It’s Normal (Increased Exercise Questions)

January 28, 2013 · 29 comments

Ever since the recent start of fitmixer boot camp #3, I’ve been sore. Every day.

Now, some of this may be due to the fact that I was doing next to nothing while recovering from my most recent surgery. Even though I was running, I feel like I’m starting from square one again with many of these workouts.

What’s more, with the start of the new year and the start of boot camp, I have lots of people who have recently increased their activity level approaching me and asking, “…is this normal?”

Usually, my answer is yes. I wanted to compile these questions into one post to let you all know that, yes, it’s okay, and no, you’re not weird/dying. Here are a few examples:

1. So sore. Everywhere. Every day!

You’re probably working new muscle groups. You’re probably working them harder and/or in a different way from how you have targeted them before. It’s normal. Stay hydrated, grab a foam roller, and stick to it — don’t let the soreness keep you from pressing on and sticking with it.

Maybe I’m sick in the head, but I like being sore the next day. I just think of it as a sign that I’m getting stronger.

2. Working out more, but gaining weight?

I’m sure you were thinking, “I know, muscle weighs more than fat. I’m just gaining muscle!” You may be gaining muscle, but that may not be the culprit. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat actually have the same weight, but the volume of muscle is denser than the volume of fat.

The thing that could be causing a weight gain even though you’re sticking to a diet and exercising more? Fluid exchange.

When I started fitmixer boot camp for the first time, my number on the scale actually went up 9 pounds. I was horrified. I was doing more intense workouts and I was weight training a lot more/running much less. When I contacted my friend Candice, the fitmixer nutritionist, she explained some things to me.

Running causes a lot of fluid loss, and I don’t drink any fluids while running outside (unless it’s crazy hot and I have my Nathan water bottle).  During the fitmixer boot camps, I focus on hydration (with my favorite fitmixer aminos), and I tend to sweat a little less. Because I don’t have the automtic air resistance during boot camps that I get during my runs, it may actually feel like I’m sweating more, but I’m not.

SO, my body was gaining muscle and was getting used to losing less fluid during my workouts. Really, I probably should have been hydrating better in the first place, but this explained a lot. That number eventually went way, way, way down. To be exact, I ended at 9 pounds below my starting weight number. I was also way more muscular than I was when I started.

Also, remember, the scale says nothing about your fitness level or body composition. I much prefer to judge my body and fitness level on how my clothes fit and how easily I can perform grueling exercises.

3. Appetite Increase

I WANT ALL THE FOOD. ALL THE TIME.

That’s me on a normal day. When I’m less active for an extended period of time, my hunger does tend to decrease. So, if you’re upping your activity level, you may see a spike in your hunger. If that’s the case, just make sure you’re reaching for the right fuel. I typically advise reaching for something in the fruit, veggie, or nut family.

Got some more questions? Throw them my way. And if you’re sticking with a new exercise endeavor, I give you extra applause today.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annie January 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hi Alyssa!

I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog (you’re hilarious, I’ve been reading for about a year) and you are the reason why I signed up for fitmixer boot camp! Your results and rave reviews were very inspiring, so I decided to go for it. I have been LOVING it so far and I am already seeing results. I can definitely relate to this post – I’m sore EVERY day!!

Have a good one :)
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2 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I’m so glad, Annie! I’m excited to hear about your results as we get closer to the end of boot camp. :) And thank you for your kind words.

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3 Christina D January 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Thank you so much for this post! My weight went up a little bit this past week even though I was working out super hard (i’m doing the fitmixer bootcamp too!) and I was freaking out but this actually makes a lot of sense :)

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4 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Trust me, I was mystified when it happened to me. Just keep on keepin’ on. You’ll see results soon!

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5 Erin January 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm

It’s like you read my mind this morning as I submitted my weekly weigh-in… “WTF am I gaining weight? I worked so hard and stuck to the plan!!” Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one!

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6 Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant January 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I never thought about the fluid exchange when I’m switching between running and weight lifting programs…good to know!
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7 Sky @ The Blonde In Black January 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

You’re not the only “sick” minded person! I’m on week 4 of Best Body Bootcamp with Tina Reale and have been sore almost every day, but I love it too because I think of it as getting stronger and fitter. I really do need to invest in a foam roller soon! The fluid loss issue is interesting and I’ll have to keep that in mind if I notice anything.

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8 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

The foam roller will change your life. AND you’re in great hands with Tina. :) I adore her!

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9 Nikki January 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Awesome post and so true! It’s a great reminder to people just starting out who haven’t gotten used to this happening, or who weren’t even aware it could. It’s also a great reminder not to give up the first time you reach a wall with weight, pain, and hunger. Find a balance, push through, and you’re going to start feeling better.
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10 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:41 am

Agreed. I think many times it’s the results that scare people away from pressing on.

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11 Sarah @pickyrunner January 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm

These are all really great tips! i didnt realize the part about weight gain and hydration. That’s so interesting!!! I’m always a hangry monster when I’m running high mileage weeks. Even on rest days!!
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12 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

Me too!

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13 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Great post, Alyssa! :)
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14 Yellow Haired Girl January 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Foam roller = my life. Excellent post, girly!
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15 Darrecia January 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

“You can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry tomorrow. You choose” – So very true. I’m a raging beast too from time to time (aka a few times everyday). You’re right it’s all about grabbing for the right foods. Great post!

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16 Amber K January 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Interesting! I have never heard of fluid exchange before. I have so much more to read up on.
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17 Chelsea @ LittleOneRuns January 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

totally agree, i love being sore the next day lol its totally normal…i’m the same way, always hungry, and if i get up earlier than normal and get my workout in, i’m even more hungry, probably because i’m so tired from getting up early lol.
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18 Julie M January 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm

This is my first time doing fitmixer boot camp. I love being sore. Let’s me know I’m doing something right. Well unless it’s pain, but that’s different. Do wish my calves would recover though. The stairs at work are killing me!!!

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19 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

Ah, my calves have been super sore, too! Try stretching them throughout the day. And get yourself a foam roller!

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20 Julie M January 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Oh trust me! The foam roller was my best friend on Sunday night and Monday!
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21 Sarah B. January 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Totally agree. I love feeling sore the day after a workout — that’s how I know I was doin’ work!

I gained, like, five pounds when I was training for my marathon, basically because I used it as an excuse to eat everything in sight. After the marathon, I lost the five pounds. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re logging a ton of miles, you do need to consume more calories, but some people (cough, myself) use it as an excuse to eats lottts extra.
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22 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

AH, I totally gained wait in training for my marathon. I was a donut monster. Lots of bagels. And I totally don’t regret it. ;)

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23 alyssa - life a la wife January 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

So should we be drinking during strenuous workouts? I don’t want my number to go up but have cut back on the running (while its cold) and have been doing more crossfit!
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24 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

I’d say always hydrate when you can! Even if the “number” goes up, it will eventually go down. Plus, you’re likely to eat more if you’re dehydrated!

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25 Jessica @ Prayers and Apples January 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

great answers! i read a quote on pinterest the other night (that site’s addicting by the way! lol): “You can be sore tomorrow or you can be sorry tomorrow” lol i’m with you – i’d much rather be sore! :)
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26 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

ooh, yes. I like that one!

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27 Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome January 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

Great post! I used to freak about these things as well and experienced the same weight gain my first time through Fitmixer Boot camp. Luckily the number also went down! Over the years I’ve learned my body retains so much water and to not focus on the number on the scale but the way my clothes fit or how I feel. I was just thinking yesterday how I enjoy that sore feeling. Glad I’m not alone!
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28 Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian January 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Thanks so much for addressing this topic! I’ve been extremely sore everyday too with the Fitmixer workouts and I’m happy to know it’s all normal.
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29 Annie January 31, 2013 at 8:00 am

This recently happened to me too! I started taking body pump classes when before I was mainly running and after just 2 classes my jeans were super tight for no other reason! One of my more experienced friends told me to drink drink drink as it was probably just my body getting used to working those muscles. She was right, a week later everything was back to normal. I definitely need to remember that!

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