Copyright 2006 Jonathan Perez
A lot of people believe that taking a NSAID (non-steroidal inflammatory drug), like aspirin, will help relieve some of the soreness we feel when we train with weights when our goal is to build muscle mass and gain weight.
Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a BIG mistake.
Taking medications such as aspirin can have a negative affect on your muscle building / weight gaining goals.
This is because once aspirin is inside the body it blocks the effects of something called prostaglandins, which are what causes the slight inflammation that surrounds a wound.
Well, this blocking of prostaglandins is bad when you are trying to gain weight in muscle form because the release of prostaglandins are part of the all-important “recovery and rebuilding” process that the body puts in motion whenever it senses some kind of an “injury”, including the micro-traumas that are caused when you lift weights to build muscle.
If you were to take aspirin, it would block these protaglandins, which in turn would slow down tremendously the “recovery and rebuilding” process of the muscle tissues…….and as a result……..slower muscle / weight gain!
It is also believed that one of the many reasons that anabolic steroids work at building muscle mass is because it assists the prostaglandins in the body, which results in quicker recovery, rebuilding of muscle tissue, and growth.
So, then, what should you do if you are suffering from the ache and soreness caused by intense, heavy weight training?
There are many exterior techniques, as I like to call them, that can be used for relief of muscle soreness.
They are exterior techniques because it is something you do from the outside of the body to obtain the relief, in contrast to an interior technique, like taking a pill, which then works on the body from the inside.
Some of these exterior techniques that you can apply are:
1) deep tissue massage, which helps to break down knots, pinched nerves, and helps release toxins from the muscles
2) ice, which when applied right on the sore area of the muscle will help reduce the swelling and inflammation that sometimes causes the pain in the area
3) stretching after a workout, which will help loosen up any tightness resulting from the workout
So, instead of taking aspirin (or any other NSAID), simply make sure that you are eating enough calories, getting enough rest, and if possible, massage the sore muscles.