Many years ago when I first decided to go back to the gym to get in shape, I purchased a short-term membership at a big box gym. The membership came with three free personal training sessions with a certified trainer. After the third session I literally could not walk for a full week. Sitting down hurt, standing up hurt – everything from the waist down hurt. At first, I blamed the trainer and I it took me a few more years before I decided to hire another one. The fact is, it wasn’t the trainer’s fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. I hadn’t been in a gym in years and my body wasn’t used to strength training and I was sore.
It happens. It's called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or D.O.M.S.
After my three sessions I did not go back into the weight room. Instead I got nice and cozy on the treadmill and that is where I stayed.
That was a huge mistake and I’m finding more often with my new clients that after one session they are ready to quit. I hate the saying, “No pain, no gain” because a workout is not supposed to be painful however, there will be soreness. Even if you have been working out for years, if your workouts are intense then you will continue to be sore – it’s part of the process. A few ways to relieve or prevent the soreness are:
You have to push through. If workouts were easy everyone on the planet would be fit. They are not easy and anything worth having won’t be easy. If your current workout regimen or nutrition plan is not challenging, then you probably aren’t seeing much progress. I’m just saying.
I used to provide very easy workouts for new clients in order to ease them into the process. I don’t do that anymore because I am convinced that the majority of people are much stronger than they believe they are. I don't throw them to the wolves on Day 1 but they will be challenged. I think it’s insulting to assume that a person can’t handle a challenging workout. If it proves to be too challenging, I’ll take it down a notch but that very rarely happens. Most of the time the client feels an incredible sense of accomplishment and wants to see what else they can do!
Here’s the thing, if you haven’t set foot in a gym for five years and you finally hire someone to help you, you should expect to be uncomfortable. You should expect to be sore but you should also realize that with consistency the workouts will get easier. Day 10 is never as challenging as Day 1 but you’ll never get to Day 10 if you keep giving up. Push through.
I’ve told this story at least 100 times and here it is again: the first time I tried to do skull crushers in the gym with my trainer I literally cried in the middle of the weight room. Why? Because I was terrified that the weight would fall on my head and I was frustrated because I couldn’t move past the fear and it brought me to tears. My trainer wouldn’t let me quit and I got through the set. I could have allowed my embarrassment to keep me from going back but I didn’t. I decided to push through.
If you want to see success you have to stop making excuses, stop doing what’s comfortable and push through. You can do it!