Strong CFSBK women and men represented our gym well this past weekend. A bunch of ladies (Lauren B., Lauren S., Coach Whit, Ellie M., and Coach Jess) + Pierre D. hit up an Outlaw Barbell Training Camp and Andrew M., Dave F., and Ben W. did the Wall Street Decathalon at St. Johns University. Great work, everyone!
608 Plumbing/Showers Update
Since we know you always yearn to know the intimate details of CFSBK’s bowels, we’ve confirmed that the sewage line leaving the building has collapsed or been damaged. This most likely happened because of the construction work that’s taken place recently in Gowanus. In the next week, contractors will come in and dig up the sidewalk and street, and once that happens, the showers and bathrooms will be up and running again over at 608.
This means you still cannot use the bathrooms or showers, but you can use the water fountain—not to bathe, just to hydrate. Thank you again for your patience, and we’ll keep you updated!
Should I Be Sore After My Workouts?
By Chris Fox
This is a topic that comes up a lot, especially from members who are newer to training. Let’s look at this important question from a few angles.
Is muscle soreness okay?
Yes, sometimes. Normal training will lead to mild muscle soreness from time to time. Muscle soreness—especially DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that comes on 24-72 hours post-exercise—is a normal part of adapting to a new training stimulus. If you’ve never trained squats, deadlifts, presses, and the variety of conditioning movements we use in CrossFit, then you’re more than likely going to be a bit sore until your body adapts. You should not be sore all the time, however. Being sore doesn’t always mean you had a good workout, and if you’re not sore it doesn’t mean you didn’t work out hard enough.
What creates muscle soreness?
Muscle soreness is created by inflammation in response to micro tears in your muscle fibers themselves (not lactic acid build up as was once thought). Inflammation is a natural part of the adaptation process to a new stress in training. Your muscles perform work that they are not used to, they are damaged slightly by the effort, and in response, new, stronger tissues are formed.
Why am I sorer after certain workouts than others?
The greater the disruption to the system, the more soreness will result. This is why you may be pretty sore when you first start CrossFit and then not so much after a while. If your intensity and volume go up slowly over time, then you will suffer far less muscle soreness. Until, that is, you do a workout that includes a lot of volume of a movement(s) that you haven’t seen in a while. Think “Murph”—that type of volume isn’t part of the regular programming at CFSBK (1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push0ups, 300 squats, 1-mile run)—so you might be sore for a few days after doing it.
Furthermore, eccentric (lengthening) contractions are known to create more soreness than concentric (shortening) or isometric (static) contractions. A deadlift performed at normal speed on the up and the down portions will lead to less soreness that one where you pick the bar up (a concentric contraction) at normal speed but lower it (an eccentric contraction) much slower than normal. The same principal applies to any movement. Though it’s been long touted that pre- and post-exercise stretching leads to less soreness, the science shows it to have a negligible effect. If it makes you feel good then by all means continue to do it, but there are a few other factors that can make more of a difference.
What factors can mitigate post-workout soreness?
Recovery methods that bring blood flow to the sore muscles can help reduce soreness. Foam rolling, hot baths, sauna, contrast baths, massage, and low-intensity movement can all help reduce muscle soreness.
Somewhat counter intuitively, high intensity workouts have also been shown to reduce muscle soreness. To be clear, I mean high intensity in terms of percentage of a 1RM, not “Damn, that wall ball WOD was INTENSE!” Experts disagree as to why this appears to work, but it is thought to have something to do with exercise-induced analgesia. This is where your body increases pain tolerance thresholds as a response to exercise. For years now I personally have made sure to do a heavy squat session the day after any endurance event. For me that means half-marathons, adventure races, “Murph,” and the like. It’s sometimes tough to get started but I’ve always found it to work.
Eat more protein, especially around the time you train. Protein is of course necessary to build muscles, but eating some soon after the workout period has also been shown to reduce muscle soreness.
To sum up…
- You’ll probably be a bit sore when you first start CrossFit, and also from time to time even after years of training.
- Being sore or not does not mean you had a good or bad workout.
- New movements, higher volume, or much higher loads are more likely to make you sore.
- Slow negatives are also more likely to make you sore.
- Recovery techniques like self myo-fascial release, massage, contrast therapy, and very low intensity training can help reduce soreness.
- A heavy strength training session may also reduce soreness.
- Sufficient protein consumption is necessary to build muscle and when eaten around the training period, can reduce muscle soreness.
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