Competitive athletes train by taking a hard workout on one day, feeling sore on the next, taking easier workouts until the soreness disappears, and then exercising intensely again. This training method is called stress and recovery. The soreness is caused by injury to the muscle fibers themselves and when the muscles heal, they are stronger than they were before the soreness occurred. Exercising intensely when muscles are sore delays recovery and interferes with training.
A recent study from Indiana State University shows that the pain medicine ibuprofen, sold as Motrin, does not prevent or shorten the delayed onset muscle soreness that signals that an athlete has damaged his muscles enough so they will be stronger when they heal. This is a good thing because athletes use muscle soreness as a signal to tell them when they can exercise intensely again.
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