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Cramps every week... I'm getting a little frustrated.

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  • Cramps every week... I'm getting a little frustrated.

    It seems like every time I work out my lower body I have incredible soreness for days afterwords, but I've been doing this for months and months with no improvement in recovery times.

    Example: I did a 6 move kettlebell circuit on monday that really kicked butt. Monday I was tired but fine, but for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I've had extreme soreness (minor cramping) in my hamstrings, inner thighs, and glutes.

    It seems like I should get to a point where I'm not uber sore every week. This soreness really detracts from swing dancing and racquetball, so I'm looking for possible solutions.

    Is this normal or am I missing something? I can't imagine doing crossfit 4 days a week if I always felt like this.

    P.S. I follow a pretty strict primal diet, plenty of fat and protein, under or around 100 carbs. I stretch after workouts, and I do a lot of slow movement throughout the rest of the week.


  • #2
    I'm not sure if this would help, but you can try supplementing with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Since starting CrossFit, I've started taking BCAAs (10 g post-workout), but I'm not sure whether it's had an effect on reducing DOMS for me (delayed onset muscle soreness, which sounds like what you're describing). I haven't been incredibly sore recently, but that could be because I'm still doing the on-ramp sessions (i.e., beginners' classes).

    You really shouldn't be experiencing DOMS at the same level if you've been doing these workouts for months. Do you only lift once a week? Because if that's the case, then it may not be frequent enough for your body to adapt. Maybe if you upped it to twice a week, it would improve. (I have no idea if this is true--I'm just making things up, but, in my experience, the more often I lift--up to a point, obviously--the less likely I am to be sore, and if I stop for a while--even if it's only a week--and then go back to it, I'll be sore again.) Also, do you do the same workout once a week, or are you cycling through a couple of different workouts. If cycling, then your body may not adapt as quickly (again, this is completely based on personal experience so take it with a grain of salt).

    Another thing that could help with lower body soreness is recovery runs. Nice easy runs--two to three miles, shorter runs may work as well.

    My journal


    • #3
      Have you experimented with Magnesium supplementation? You can also get magnesium very quickly using epsom salt baths.
      Rebooted Body -- Ancestral Health + Modern Psychology | The Rebooted Body Podcast


      • #4
        I can relate. When I started crossfit, I could barely move for 3 days following a workout. After months of this hell, I made two significant changes and the results are amazing. I am rarely sore now, and have increased my workouts to 4-5 x per week.

        The changes I made:
        1. :15 min before fasted workout, take 15grams of BCAA
        2. The hour after your workout, take another 15 grams of BCAA
        3. Remaining in a fasted state, take another 15grams of BCAA in the 2nd hour after your workout.
        4. In the 3rd hour, post workout, begin your feeding window.
        5. Lastly, I increased my protein from 50grams per day to 140-160 grams of protein every day (workout and non workout days).

        Since making these changes, I can't believe the difference in recovery time. The odd time that I get sore, it is minor and I rebound from it pretty fast. I'm at the stage where I'll start doing two workouts a day within the next few months.

        Cheers, Lu
        F, 48, 5'10"
        Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
        Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

        Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Rebooted Body View Post
          Have you experimented with Magnesium supplementation? You can also get magnesium very quickly using epsom salt baths.
          Yeah, sounds like a magnesium/potassium some-sort-of-salt deficiency.
          Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

          Griff's cholesterol primer
          5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
          Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
          TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
          bloodorchid is always right


          • #6
            Hey guys, thanks for the info.
            -I workout Lift mondays and fridays, and I pretty much switch back and forth between kettlebell circuits and body weight exercises.
            -I will look into some BCAA's, I tried some GNC stuff for preworkout and it makes my whole body itch, so that's not fun...
            -Can you recommend a relatively clean and affordable BCAA supplement
            -I'll give running a try
            -I do supplement magnesium on a daily basis, but not potassium, salt shouldn't be an issue.
            -I'll definitely try upping my protein, but it seems impossible to eat any more, I'm trying to have a restricted eating window from around 4:00 - 10:00, with nothing but pure fats until that point.

            Thanks so much for all the suggestions, I'll give them a go!