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Recovery time - what's the secret to make it shorter?
19

user1471523870 · 28/06/2021 11:43

I am on the wrong side of 40s and been exercising all my life. I know what muscle pain feels like, when to expect it to develop and how long it takes to recover from it. Or at least I thought I knew!
I didn't do much last year due to Covid and gym being open on and off, but then started exercising again three months ago and noticed it's taking me ages to recover!
Initially I thought it's the natural consequence of being unfit, but this still persists months later. To the point that even if I would like to hit the gym every other day, I have to limit it to max twice a week:(.
The pain in my muscles lasts for at least 2 days, sometimes even 3, while I used to recover in one day and -also- after few sessions, my expectation is that that muscle group should not hurt anymore (this has always been the case).
I am fine with cardio and I can easily go running few days in a row. It's more like my muscles have lost their memory!

Is it old age? That's the only explanation. Still I don't know how to fix it :(.....

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mn2022 · 28/06/2021 11:47

The only way I 'mend' the recovery is by working through it. The less you go to the gym, the more it'll hurt. Stop waiting to ' feel recovered and just go and work through the pain IMO

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HalfCakeHalfBiscuit · 28/06/2021 15:55

Lots of stretching after exercise - I find as I get older I need to do it more
Protein shakes after exercise - choose one formulated for recovery
Yoga/pilates

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Frymetothemoon · 28/06/2021 16:05

I'm afraid you do need more recovering time with age. I have to say the constant muscle aches do my head in. You might need to alter the type of exercise you do too. I'm moving away from running and moving towards rowing machine and cycling. Also, strengthening exercises and stretching (my physio says a stretch needs to last 1 min)

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Octopuscake · 28/06/2021 16:14

HRT helped me...

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SuperLoudPoppingAction · 28/06/2021 16:16

I found it helped to go for a quick swim after exercising, and possibly a dip in the sauna pool. Not sure if there is any scientific basis to this, and it relied on the fact it was a quiet gym with a relatively unmanky sauna.

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user1471523870 · 28/06/2021 16:46

Thank you everyone, great suggestions there.
It's the strength exercise that kills me (weights). I am not very consistent with my protein shakes and never thought about swimming/sauna afterwards. They are available in my gym to all members. Will give it a try!
It's possibly the first sign of age I am getting (well except the wrinkles on my face!). Ouchhhhh

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purplesequins · 28/06/2021 16:49

lots of stretching and magnesium before bed.

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Hopeislost · 28/06/2021 17:00

DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be awful, so I sympathise. Things that I've found help include:

  • drinking loads of water
  • eating plenty of protein
  • active recovery for 48 hours (eg walking, swimming, using a foam roller)
  • working out again after 48 hours, even if you're still a bit sore, will actually help. Use lighter weights/fewer reps if you need to.
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Twinkie01 · 28/06/2021 17:02

Take BCAA in your protein shake after working out.

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Palavah · 28/06/2021 17:04

Stretch
Refuel
Rehydrate
Sauna/steam / -hot bath
Ice bath
Foam roller
Deep tissue Massage

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ShirleyPhallus · 28/06/2021 17:05

I have a massage gun and it is absolutely amazing, gets rid of the DOMS pretty much right away. That and loads of protein

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MyFloorIsLava · 28/06/2021 17:06

Make sure you cool down really really well. Get a proper cool down program and take time targeting every muscle group you worked out. Very gentle yoga or mobility on your recovery day. If it hurts that much for that long perhaps try more reps with a lighter weight.

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DrDreReturns · 28/06/2021 17:08

Eat a lot of protein in the hour following exercise (the so called magic hour)

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S0upertrooper · 28/06/2021 18:06

It's lactic acid that causes the pain so anything that shift this helps. So ice bath, massage, foam roller, stretching and not sitting for too long. If you have a vibration plate in the gym, a quick blast on the main muscles (quad, hamstring, glute and calf) should help shift the lactic acid.

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BadgertheBodger · 28/06/2021 18:09

Make sure you’re warming up properly as well, look at dynamic stretches and take your time over them

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AuntieStella · 28/06/2021 18:18

Stretching after exercise is more important than beforehand. Never scrimp on it.

I don't get on with foam rollers very well, but I have one of those things with knobbly balls on a stick and find it much easier.

Cross training is good - doing different sports/exercises will help condition you in the round, rather than leaving you wide open to weaknesses in muscles groups that might be under-used if you stick to the same old. Having a strong core underpins absolutely everything.

And it doesn't matter that you are under 40 (that's the wrong side!) - it's pretty much the same at any age

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ShortBacknSides · 30/06/2021 19:25

The pain in my muscles lasts for at least 2 days, sometimes even 3, while I used to recover in one day and -also- after few sessions, my expectation is that that muscle group should not hurt anymore (this has always been the case)

I think you need to learn the difference between discomfort and actual pain. DOMS can feel like pain, but it's not. The best recovery is more exercise, but vary it so you don't get overuse injuries ie real pain.

Also:
stretch after exercise. Religiously
foam roller after exercise. religiously.

I'm early 60s and do 2 or 3 really heavy 60 minute work outs each week (mixing heavy weight lifting, with metcon/cardio), as well as a 4 ballet classes & at least 1 yoga & 1 Pilates class each week. Yes, I"m often stiff, but that is because I have a pretty sedentary job. I never get discomfort when I'm training.

DOMS is great - it tells you what your muscles are finding to be overload at any point in your training eg did a lot of work a couple of weeks ago on pull ups (I still need a band assist). I've difficulty finding my lats, but the day after doing 6 sets of 3 reps of assisted pull ups, I could feel them! So I knew I was working correctly. And the week before I pulled a personal best deadlift (90kg) and could feel it in my shoulders & hamstrings the next day - which was excellent - it meant I'd engaged those muscle groups!

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mn2022 · 30/06/2021 19:31

my expectation is that that muscle group should not hurt anymore

If you're not feeling a bit of pain a few days after a workout (DOMS) then you've not worked those muscles properly/to their maximum

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Rollerbird · 03/07/2021 21:55

Plenty of Sleep is the best recovery ever

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