How much time do I need to recover from sore muscles?

Question: Two days ago I spent close to three hours in the gym and did a lot of weights and the different machines and woke up the next day with sores all over. I know that I probably overdid it with the workouts.

However, today I want to hit the gym again, but the problem is, my muscles are still aching and sore from that workout two days ago. When I think about it, I’ve given my muscles more than 24 hours to rest, so I think that it should suffice right?

I hope you can give me some pointers.


Answere: Thank you for your question. I do hope you like what Exercise For Beginners has to offer!

First of all, you spent three hours at a gym? My goodness, you should be extremely thankful that you didn’t get yourself injured. If you did, you would have to say goodbye to your trips to the gym for at least two weeks before you feel better.

The rule of thumb is to spend one hour at a gym. Some enthusiasts might choose to clock more hours, but I strongly feel that it becomes counterproductive after one hour. You might be pushing yourself too hard, leading to injuries and so on.

Your muscles are responding in the way muscles are supposed to react after getting overworked, by aches and pains. You have to understand that the saying ”no pain, no gain” is an old-school train of thinking.

Studies are gathering more and more evidence that pain during exercise could be bad signals instead of a good sign. While you should work your muscles by pushing yourself to complete more repetitions or lift heavier weights, it should not reach a point where it hurts.

I do not think that it is wise for you to be working out just yet. You need to wait until the pain has completely gone before you are good to head for another gym session. Forcing your body to work at this point will only lead to unwanted injuries.

During your next gym session, have a good, decent plan worked out. Focus on which muscle group you want to target. It could be lower body or upper body. Choose machines that will target the different muscle groups of your target group.

When you are doing the exercises, go for three sets of eight. Do perhaps five different exercises. This is actually more than enough. Remember to warm up and stretch before starting your workouts. This prevents unwanted aches during your exercises.

With this in mind, you might wonder how on earth are you going to spend much time in a gym. My point is: you don’t have to. Spending half an hour doing quality workouts in a gym is much better than going all out for three hours and risking injuries.

Unfortunately, too many people have these mindsets still despite research that suggest otherwise. Every day I hear people talking about working out until it hurts. Others think that spending lots of time in a gym means that they are doing something right about their health and fitness.

The sad thing is that they’re wasting their time. If you should eat foods in moderation, you need to exercise in moderation as well.

Besides that, rest is crucial if you want your muscles to grow and become even stronger. So don’t be stingy with rest. Allowing your muscles adequate rest will determine your performance on the field or during your next gym session.

Rest and exercise go hand in hand. At the same time, do not forget the important to nourishing your body with enough proteins, fibre, vitamins from fruits and vegetables and plenty of clean fluids.

Once you keep these fitness principles in mind, you will be further ahead than 90% (or more) of people who try to make an improvement to their physical fitness.

I wish you the very best. Good luck.