Is it ideal to really "feel the burn" every week?

  • I am coming to the end of my first week and I am So so sore. Its good though! But I don't know if its supposed to feel this intense every week.

    On Monday I did upper body weights. I made a notebook of the worksheets for all the days and cut out the exercise guide from the book, I bring it with me so I can be sure to follow along. No way will I remember everything and write it down later, plus I have to look at the exercise guide so I can do them correctly. I targeted the muscles correctly and increased as much as I could do for the dumbbells. It wasn't that much, I have gotten pretty weak so the heaviest dumbbell I used was like 12lbs and I used it maybe once :-P It was so amazing because I felt stronger towards the last set of reps when I waited a minute in between. Eating correctly really worked magic with my stamina. I felt the burn but I never felt weak and shaky. Right after the workout I felt sore but it faded. The next day, I felt a burning soreness like I have never felt in my life. It was like satan was stabbing my biceps with a pitchfork. Then yesterday I kind of felt mildly sore but not much in the upper body. But the soreness in my lower body was so insane I could hardly walk. There was a snowstorm so I had to walk in snow and it was so hard. Today I had no soreness in my upper body, and it was my day for the upper body workout. I was seriously stronger than on Monday. I am telling you 5lbs was heavy on Monday and when I went to grab the dumbbell it felt like a pencil.  My lower body is still fairly sore today.

    So I have targeted the muscles correctly, ate according to the plan in the book, and I am seeing improvement in my strength already. It is so cool because I used to eat terribly and put my body through serious crap, and I was not physically able to do much at all. I am so happy and excited that I can do it and get thrills out of the workouts. But will I get the best results if I feel like this every week? Does the soreness lessen much or do the most successful people push themselves this hard every workout? I don't want to injure a muscle and then not be able to keep going. After everything I have been through, I really appreciate that I even CAN do this program and I don't want to mess it up. I weigh 240lbs and I want to be one of those success stories that got me reading this book 10 years ago.

  • This sounds like a question of pain vs. muscle soreness.  Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference but trust me there is a difference.  Pain is a more sharp sensation than muscle soreness and muscle soreness is duller.  Feeling the burning feeling that you have described I think is just soreness but as a caution if the soreness/pain gets in the way of you lifting as much as you normally would...then rest and recover.

    Since this is the first week of your training your body is not used to lifting weights.  THE EXACT SAME THING happened to me a week ago when I started lifting weights after swim season got done.  My arms were pretty darn sore but after the leg workout my legs were ON FIRE.  I could barely walk without looking like a drunken frat guy.  Your body is just in the process of adapting, so let it adapt.  This will probably take another week or two depending on how in shape your muscle already are.  

    I really hope this helps calm your nerves about muscle soreness.  I run a blog and I think I'll write an article about your kind of situation.  So maybe I should be thanking you for giving me that idea ha.

    If you ever want to read some advice about lifting or recovery check my blog out: Recovery & Advice

  • Lol drunk frat guy is exactly what I looked like. But the soreness wore off by my next lift workout, and then I was stronger. I am so thrilled that it worked! So I am wondering does being that sore mean you did it right and should I shoot for that every week? Or will the repair process feel duller as I become stronger? The pain does not freak me out or anything,I just don't want to TRY for this feeling every week and then hurt myself if its not supposed to be continuous.

  • The feeling will go away and the recovery will become duller.  Although I know you don't want to feel the soreness and "pain" but part of getting stronger involves changing up the routine.  And there are two ways to do that: lift heavier weight, or change up the exercises either by repetitions or the exercise itself.  If you've ever heard of muscle confusion that is basically what I'm talking about.

    If you just want to stay strong or in the same fitness condition then you can continue to do your routine and it won't affect you as much as it did the first or second week.  If you want to increase in fitness then I would follow the advice above.  

    I would also add that instead of worrying about taking it easy on the workout to avoid soreness...you should focus on recovery more.

  • I have done several rounds of bfl and I so miss that first 2 weeks of being really really sore the next day!  As time goes on and your muscles get more proficient at getting rid of that lactic acid, it's harder to get that really next several day sore feeling.  By a month you might wonder why after hitting your 10's and getting a real burn during your workouts you aren't sore at all.  As long as you are really pushing yourself during your workouts, getting your burn in, soreness is not an indicator of changes.  Being sore just means that you are doing something new and freaked your muscles out.  Also, make sure you are changing what exercises you are doing for each muscle group at least every couple of weeks, and cardio (ie; bike, treadmill, street jogging) so that your body is being tricked into changing.  Good luck

  • Thank you Riccar! That's exactly what I wanted to know. I got a real kick out of that sore feeling this week, but I was thinking that long term I would probably get tired of it. I was afraid though that if it went away, I wouldn't be sure whether I did the workout intense enough. This is my 1st real go at not only this challenge, but a well balanced work out/eating plan. Its so new to me to have such stamina and really feel the burn in a good way, so I have no clue what comes next.