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Can Sore Muscles After Workout Cause You to Gain Weight

Man Rubbing His Sore Shoulder MuscleAnyone who has ever stepped inside a gym has experienced that painful sore stiffness in the muscles not long after the workout is done.

When exercising with weight our muscles are being bombarded by tension from eccentric contractions, they are lengthening and adapting to the stress which causes micro fractures in the muscle tissue that will up with fluid.

Feeling of pain is for most individuals gets very intense 2 days after the workout.

Muscles soreness can sometimes be so intense that you have to take a complete break from physical activity, this happens when you train with high intensity right from the start while your body is not is not ready for that kind of intensity.

To avoid this it’s best to gradually increase workout intensity and a good idea is to do a 2 week warm up routine before attempting any exercise program if you already don’t exercise regularly.

Is There A Way To Avoid Muscle Soreness?

Some say that having sore muscles means a good workout. Having sore muscles after means that you pushed the intensity barrier a bit further which will result in more repair tissue built.

To avoid muscles soreness you would have to lower the training intensity so much that the workout wouldn’t have any effect on muscle building. Intensity is what builds muscles, if you don’t push your limits every time you workout your body won’t have any reason to build new muscle tissue.

This is the reason most people are stuck in plateaus and not improving their physique. So if we can’t avoid soreness what can we do? What we can do is speed up the recovery.

For faster recovery I recommend to keep hydrated at all times, sleep at least 8h every night and stretching.

Stretching is proven to reduce Delayed onset muscles soreness time and will help you build new muscles.

Stretching for Maximum Results

  • After every workout for 15 minutes – This will significantly reduce muscle soreness and will help you with building details
  • Before bed for 15 minutes – Stretching helps release Growth Hormone, by stretching before sleep you will build muscle faster and burn more subcutaneous fat
  • Every morning for 10 minutes – It will help your wake up faster and you have more energy during the day

Note: You should always avoid stretching just before and during weight lifting as it will lower strength and performance, also it might cause injury.

Before workout the most important thing to do is warm up joints, muscles and tendons. High repetitions with light weight work well for warm up.

Sore Muscles and Weight Gain

Can muscle soreness cause weight gain? I already mentioned that when muscles tissue breaks apart fluids enter the tissue to compensate and recover the muscle and that causes some slight weight gain on the scale.

This 2-5lbs change on the weight scale is a result of water retention when muscles are damaged. In 72h your weight will go back to normal and there is nothing to worry about.

However I recommend for everyone who wants to reduce recovery time to start stretching and do some light cardio.

May things can influence your weight scale measurements and if you want to find out why weight scale is not a reliable way to measure progress check out my weight scale myth article.

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  • diane

    when I start up from a period of no exercise I always seem to gain a few pounds at first. usually when I eat nothing and exercise like a maniac. Im sure muscles or whatever somehow react from this and hold onto some water, usually 2 pounds. which goes away in a few days.

    • Yea, this is very common. Lactic acid builds up you retain some water and weight scale goes up.

  • Tuba Khan

    Another insightful article.. glad I read it.

  • Levi-Taylor Smith

    I have been doing exercise for 6 months now- exercise classes of cardio for one hour a week until this week. As i did a 4k run as well as my cardio class. I ached and ached and still have for 3 days now (did the run on the Monday, class on the Tuesday, today is Wednesday) stood on the scales at slimming world to see i have gained 3.5 pounds! i still ache, and i’m hoping the ache is the water im holding onto to repair my muscles.. is this correct? I eat a balanced diet and haven’t changed anything before I get asked 🙂 x
    thanks for the help in advance, just would like to know