Recovery help!

I started back to lifting this week, yet ive encountered quite possibly the worst workouts ever following the first one.


Monday: Awesome squat/leg workout…no sprints. (havent squatted in over a month…didnt even work out with weights in a month)

Tuesday: Epsom salt bath…im so so sore

Wednesday: very sore still

Thursday: TERRIBLE sprint and bench day. The ~250m run I did felt slow, even the first 100m. The two 50m sprints I did after that felt like an ETERNITY! It was so terrible. It felt like one of those dreams…where you run as fast as you can…yet you dont really go anywhere. I don’t get it. My legs were still sore from monday, but still.

Epsom salt bath

Today(Saturday): Still slightly sore. Did tempo for the first time in over a month, and to my surprise my fitness has dropped tremendously. I could barely do 5x100m @10 sec rest without gasping for air…I used to be able to handle 12x100 like nothing @10 sec rest.

I’ve tried the hot baths, I’ve tried the stretching, and today I tried the tempo. Basically, this whole week after monday, I’ve felt HORRIBLE. I dont understand, why is my recovery taking so long? I know I havent lifted in over a month, but legs being sore for almost a whole week still?? Performance severly dropping??? You’ve got to be kidding me…what do I do? How can I recover? Keep in mind, I dont have the expenses to get to a massage therapist, so that’s not an option.

This week I’ve noticed:

-I’ve lost strength from lack of lifting
-I’ve lost fitness due to lack of tempo runs
-I’ve lost speed SOMEHOW
-My flexibility isn’t getting better
-Back has felt better ever since squat day(didnt use belt)…but it still has a good bit of pain in mornings…

Any tips, much appreciated. Thanks.

How heavy did you lift? Sounds like you’ve got DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). A few years back I went a bit too heavy for the 1st session back & could hardly walk out of the gym. I couldnt squat again for the next 2 weeks. When I did lift again I started with much lighter wts.

If youve had a month off expect 1 or 2 months of training to get back into the swing of things. So that takes the pressure off trying to get back to full fitness too soon. Your body has deconditioned from lack of training, which is normal. You should start feeling better from next week onwards. There’s plenty of recovery & nutritional info here to help you out too.

You may want to try contrast showers or ice baths (10min) to reduce any swelling after wts or sprints.


Athough you probably already know this, for the first couple of sessions back at the gym it is always better to do a break in week. Use high reps for only one maybe two sets for each major lift - not to fatigue. Do this for maybe 4-5 days in a row. Workouts will prob only be about 30min. Take 2 days off then start back with your normal high intensity low volume (but be progressive - don’t hit the first serious day too hard).

Using this method (obviously taken from bodybuilding) I usually avoid DOMs completely and it acts as a nice technique session to get you back in the groove and mentally prepared for the real work.

Thanks guys.

lleny: I only did 5x275x5 for squat(old max was 385x1) and that was it…besides some clean and jerks before that. I sure have deconditioned. Thanks for the post!

tc- Heh, too bad I already started and a week has almost passed =/. My soreness is gone in legs, but NOW IM SICK. What the hell…I’m sick!!!

Oh my god…nothing is going right!

Good to see your legs are feeling better. I noticed you did your squats at just over 70% 1RM for 5 reps. That is a bit high after a mth off. A good starting point is around the 50% mark or lower if need be. When you get over your cold start with lighter wts then progress intensity gradually over the next few weeks.

Thanks man.

AAAAHHHHH. Oh my god…i MUST be doing something wrong.

I tried to do a speed endurance workout today…yet AGAIN I felt pathetically slow! Even when I ran with the wind, I felt sooo slow. This is MESSED UP.

I don’t know if its because the past 2 workouts I did were also speed/special endurance workouts. Maybe itd be important if i said what i did for each huh

April 2nd: 100/120/70/70 SLOW ASS SPRINTS

April 7th: 250/50/50 SLOW

April 11th: 100/110/110 SLOW

Did I already reach my peak? My last max v+ accel workout was in last week of march, i will admit, but seriously, did all this speed endurance work mess me up? Or did I peak before and now im done?

I’m thinking about just quitting sprinting until July, and then going into GPP again, but I dont know. I can’t handle all these bad workouts. I can’t believe I’m having all these bad sprint days in a row.

The thing is not to panic. Your original post was recovery help, and I think we’ve covered that here. Mostly, go easy on the weights & focus on whats important. Aim to peak or compete well in the most important meet of the season. After that you can look back on the season & see what worked & what didnt to get the answers your after. At the moment your body is adapting to a stimulus (wts) that hasnt been there for over a month, so you gotta give yourself some time to adjust to the inclusion of wts to your workouts, plus speed/special endurance. Also sudden changes in training will also result in inconsistent or drops in performances, as you’ve experienced. So if your going to change anything do it gradually, rather than drop wts here or stop sprints there. However, if you do decide to dramatically change your training then expect your performances to be inconsistent. Anyway, hope that makes sense & helped you out. Hang in there…

after a lay off take things slow.Rome wasn’t build in a day

You’re definately right. I’m trying not to dwell and worry over this. I was thinking, maybe I should do this for this week and next week?

Today: Tempo
Wednesday: light squat workout…just do 3x5 @225 squat or something
thursday: tempo
friday: light bench work…just do 3x5@165 or somethin
saturday: tempo
sunday: off

next weeks plan:

monday: accel workout (keep volume low)
tuesday: tempo
wednesday: semi light squat workout
thursday: tempo
friday: light max v(few flying sprints) + 10-20m sprints + light bench work
saturday: tempo
sunday: off

then when i come back into it the week after that…i should be fresh and ready for speed endurance again:

mon. Speed Endurance + Accel (10-20m)
tues. Tempo
wed. squat workout
thurs. Tempo
fri. Max V + Accel (40-50m)+ bench + Asst
sat. Tempo
sun. Off

does this look like a good plan to recovery and victory?

Bumping this.

Anyone? What do you think of my plan?

If wk 3 is your usual in season microcycle, you’d probably stick with that to get some consistency with training. Just drop the sprint intensities to 90-95% & increase rest between reps over next week or 2. Maybe an extra rest day too if you need it. When do you race next?

Thanks lenny.

Hey…my vertical jump has just lately sprung up, and I’m overcoming gravity again.(ive possibly jumped the highest i ever did a few days ago) Do you guys think this signifies that my max velocity is probably still good? If this is so, thatd mean i probably just overtrained my speed endurance capabilities.

I think this thread had proven that our minds (ego) can be our own worst enemy. After a period of deconditioning, it’s sometimes difficult to realize how much has been lost. Our minds often write workouts that our bodies (CNS, connective tissues, immunes system, etc.) can’t cash. I’ve suffered similar responses numerous time in my training career and have learned as I’ve gotten older that some times, a “little” goes a long way.

When starting back up, go way easier than you originally planned. Your goal initially is just to shock your body enough to get it to start adapting again. It’s like getting a sun tan, if you are an albino, how much exposure do you really need at first? Think of yourself as an albino to sprinting and lifting; at least for a week or two. Your body will respond very fast and you can always add load, speed, and volume as you’ve proven to yourself that you can handle the previous days’ workouts with little to no soreness or ill effects.

Really good post man!! That was an excellent post, reps for you!