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How Wrong Is It To Laugh at the Soreness of Others?

feet toes

Touching your toes is a big challenge for the inflexible! Credit: joelklal

So as a part of the new gym-member experience, my husband and I both received free fit assessments. The assessment hits all of the key fitness criteria: strength, cardio, flexibility, and you also get weighed and have your body fat measured. All good things to know at the start of a fitness journey, so you can see that wonderful progress.

Fresh off of his first gym workout where he jogged on the treadmill and hit “a few weights,” my husband cranked out as many push-ups as he could to gauge his strength. The trainer measured his flexibility and was told he had none. I take that back: He had the flexibility of a man twice his age. That’s right. My 35-year-old husband has the flexibility of a 70-YEAR-OLD MAN. I’ve seen him try to touch his toes, so I must say that the assessment was spot on.

The days that followed? My abs still hurt from laughing at him hobbling all over because of his soreness. The man could barely lift his arms. Someone at work noticed how he struggled to get his lab coat on. He practically had to shave by moving his face instead of his hand. Day after day after day, his upper body was so sore I thought I would have to start functioning as his arms.

I finally said that I was surprised that his lower body wasn’t sore, too. After all, he hadn’t run in awhile either.

“Oh, my legs are sore. Really sore. It just pales in comparison to my arm soreness.”

I laughed really, really hard. And even harder at what he said next.

“And to think, all of this damage happened in about 10 minutes.”

Oh my gosh, you guys. Ten minutes! Poor guy. I don’t think it helped that he pushed himself on the fit assessment push-ups when he should have been recovering from his workout the day before. But he has since recovered. And is taking it a little easier as he gets back into shape.

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew? Been so sore you couldn’t shave? Let him know he’s not alone. —Erin

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9 Comments
  1. Julie says:

    I had a similar situation. A trainer was showing me how to use all the equipment at the gym when I joined it and as I was still a fitness newbie at that time I agreed to it. Well she had me do 3 reps at the standing calf raise machine until exhaustion each time. The next day I could barely walk. I was almost crawling around my house and I couldn’t go to work. Long hot baths didn’t even help to loosen up the muscles. As soon as I got out they tensed back up. It was 3-4 days until I could walk properly again but I was still sore at that point. So I definitely know how it feels! Today I’m getting a Polar Body Assessment done so I hope this goes much better!

  2. Melissa says:

    Please let him know I TRX’ed yesterday and could barely slice butter this morning. Time to break out the arnica and epsom salts.

  3. Tish says:

    Definitely not alone. ANY new workout and I’m an 80 year old woman hobbling around.

  4. Clara says:

    I’ve been dealing with this for a while and now I wonder if I’m getting enough Vitamin D,because I read this morning that deficiency can cause arthritis (and diabetes, and MS, and tons of other diseases). I recommend this article for more reading if you want to uncover the real problem. http://bit.ly/MrtcZJ

  5. Plus it doesn’t help that trainers love to “prove a point” on their free meetings with prospective clients… I once knew a trainer who said he tried to make everyone throw up the first.. just to show them how out of shape they are! Crazy and irresponsible!! He may have been sore anyways after 3 sets of 10-12 pushups, but going to failure right out of the gates was a sure-fire way to muscle destruction, with no additional benefits!

  6. Hi Erin,

    Quite hilarious coming from a fit blogger but we have had the same experience in our lifetime. While I have stamina and strength I have an inability to run. It is weird that my fitness is in areas where it is not often tested.

  7. Jaclyn says:

    The way you tell the story is great, and I’d probably have laughed too! But you should let him know that we’ve all been there. Once after doing Jillian’s “Banish Fat Boost Metabolism” I was so sore that I could barely walk for days. No one laughed at me, but the secretaries in my office did start thinking I was more bad@$$ than I actually am.

  8. digamba says:

    Hee. Tell him about how I was so WEAK (not sore) after doing the Pauline Nordin butt workout, my physical therapist was worried about me at my appointment the next day and insisted I take a day off exercise altogether! Because my arms and legs were a little wobbly a whole day later. And I’ve been working out for years.

    Note: the PN is one serious workout, even if you don’t use super heavy weights. Don’t let your husband try this one yet.

  9. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    My arms were so weak after my first Gravity class, I had to ask an 80yr old lady to open my locker for me.