I had to take a break from my new workout routine today and here’s why: my. arms. are. sooooooo. sore.
I decided to incorporate some easy weight lifting into my routine because a) it’s good for me and b) I don’t want flabby arms! On Tuesday, I just did two simple arm exercises: lat pull down (which is really more of an upper-back/shoulder exercise) and bicep curls with 10 lb weights. I wrote about how challenging the bicep curls were and the total legitimacy of muscle atrophy and then went on my merry way. I felt totally fine yesterday–no soreness, no nothin’–and figured I’d wake up today, muddle through my workday, and hit the gym again for another easy 20 minute sesh on the recumbent bike and some more weights on my second “off” day from running this week.
Not so fast.
I can barely move my arms today. And I was perplexed, because I always thought you feel sore the day after your workout and your muscles heal and you’re good to go by the next day. That’s why you’re supposed to do weights every other day. Instead, my biceps hate me today. So I got to work and decided to start a little gchat sesh with a coworker who is really into working out. I told her my dilemma and she said “hmm…that’s weird. I’ve never heard of that.” Oh great. So I started to google my symptoms, thinking surely there’s something wrong with me. I mean, I know it’s never lupus, but I figured something diabolical was happening inside my body machine. It turns out this is relatively normal, especially for people who are out of shape and starting a new routine. It’s called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Like muscle atrophy, this shit is legit, y’all! Essentially I threw my body into a merry-go-round of confusion. Since I only worked my biceps on Tuesday, I have this debilitating pain to look forward to when I start working on my triceps. Awesome sauce. This is also why, the day after my first running day, I felt fine–but then I was miserable the next two days. My body just needs to learn how to adapt to all this newfangled fitness mumbo jumbo.
So, feeling like a big giant failure, I made the executive decision to skip out on the gym completely today. I am not kidding when I say it hurts to even hold my arms out straight. My biceps are so tight and I’m fairly certain they’ve swelled to some degree because the area surrounding my elbows is tender and just doesn’t want to budge. Eff. This sucks. I want to feel better tomorrow so I can take advantage of the weights at the gym after I do my third and final running day of Week 2 of the couch to 5k, but I don’t really think my muscles will feel better by then. It might be best to wait this out until next week and try, try, try again.
On the one hand, this all sounds well and good because “no pain, no gain,” but on the other hand it’s frustrating as hell because I want to get on my routine and I feel like I have to clear all these roadblocks first. Another aspect to this all is the shame I feel for letting my body get so lazy that merely 3 sets of 10 bicep curls has crippled me. Sigh. I have faith that my body will adjust, though–after my initial two first days of soreness after running, my legs have felt totally fine and I’ve been able to keep up my routine. I really hope my arms will follow suit.