I think my muscles are leaking.
Yesterday, as part of my new (again) Cardio Diet Experiment
, I took Andrew’s advice and cut the cardio, except for a short warm-up and cool-down jog, and lifted h-e-a-v-y. That is the last time I listen to Andrew. Because now I am s-o-r-e. And any of you that did the Monkey Bar workout of the day yesterday are probably in a lot of pain right now too. Which I find strangely comforting.
I actually don’t know if being this sore is a good thing though. It’s one of those mysteries of life, along with who killed JFK and why my house always smells like pee. (Oh wait, I live in a preschool frat house with 4 boys. Consider that last one solved. Next I’ll tackle world peace – check back tomorrow.) When I told Gym Buddy Allison about my pain she immediately asked “Good sore or bad sore?” Indeed. How sore is too sore?
Scientists apparently listen to Allison and Andrew because we now have new research as to why 5 sets of 5 resisted pistol squats make it painful for me to sit on the toilet or walk up stairs. We already knew that when we work our muscles we develop little microtears
– which is why recovery is so important, so our bodies can fix those tears and make the muscle even stronger. But now we also know that our muscles weep too. Actually, once they reach a point of extreme exertion they leak calcium
leading to that feeling of muscle fatigue, or in marathon-runner-speak, “hitting the wall.”
In normal people (do I even know any of those??), a day or two of rest is enough to seal up those leaks and return to normal. Scientists think that the leaks are the body’s way of stopping people before they go too far.
“Maybe this is a protective mechanism,” says Dr. Steven Liggett
. “Maybe fatigue is saying that you are getting ready to go into a danger zone. So it is cutting you off. If you could will yourself to run as fast and as long as you could, some people would run until they keeled over and died.”
So the moral of today’s science lesson: Don’t Die. Oh wait, how about: Listen to Your Body. Also, don’t be embarrassed about a little leakage. (O0000h! I just couldn’t resist, could I? You would have thought I got it all out of my system yesterday
but you’d be seriously underestimating my juvenile sense of humor.) Pain has a purpose.