How not to feel like a twisted pile of pain
If you’re training hard, you’re probably sore everyday. I have a personal arsenal of gels, rubs, pastes, balms, crystals, and lotions to alleviate varying degrees of muscle aches and pains. This list is organized from products to aid in mild discomfort all the way to MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS UNHOLY NOT ANOTHER STAIR post-leg day kind of feeling.
Level 1-2 Soreness on the Hyperbole and a Half Pain Scale
I found out about Magsoothium almost a year ago when my friend, Demetra, introduced it to those of us training in the studio. The company is actually two miles down the road from my studio, so I drove over and picked up a bottle from the owner himself. This stuff was magical. Spraying it on my muscles was INSTANT pain relief and muscle fatigue vanished. Notice how I used past tense there… When I was walking through a grocery store, I saw a bottle on the shelf and noticed a slight difference in the ingredients. I bought it and took it home to compare it to the bottle I got from the owner. They had completely different ingredients listed, but it was marketed as the exact same product. Sadly, the new formula does not match up to the effectiveness of the old formula. Sad face. Before, I would have marked it up to a Level 6 on the scale, but it’s not as powerful now and I only use it for barely noticeable soreness. Plus, it’s nice for dry skin.
Level 3 Soreness
Cramer’s Atomic Balm Analgesic Ointment (2.75 oz) is a medium strength muscle heat soothing petrolatum based product. I’d say it’s good post-weight lifting days when you crawl into bed and notice your obliques are kind of hurty when you roll over. You can also grab it in a one pound jar!
Level 4 Soreness
Ah, Regular Strength Tiger Balm (white) is the go-to for your standard muscle and joint tension. Maybe your wrists are a little achy after an hour of handstands; this is what you should grab.
Level 5 Soreness
Okay, it’s getting hard to reach for your coffee cup without wincing. Maybe you upped the weight on your bicep curls or added another set of dips even though you were already getting tired. Slap the Tiger Balm Extra (red) on those arms so you can stop tearing up when you pour your protein shake.
Level 6 Soreness
Getting out of bed is painful and you’re stumbling around your bedroom like a baby giraffe learning how to walk. You might make it to the kitchen with if you rub in some Tiger Balm Muscle Rub and it might be a good idea to up your protein intake.
Level 7 Soreness
A flight of stairs the day after leg day. 'Nuff said. Cramer Red Hot Analgesic Ointment
Level 8 Soreness
The Tiger Balm Ultra (yellow) is what you’ll probably need after a circus workshop weekend. Trust me.
Level 9+ Soreness
If you are here, congratulations on being completely badass without causing an injury. There’s a fine line between badass and idiot when it comes to training. There is only one item that I know of that will ease your pain. Biofreeze products are the closest you can get to medical grade muscle rubs without needing a prescription. Some companies still won’t sell it to you without being a massage therapist, medical professional, or an athletic/personal trainer (like me!). But you can order it through Amazon as an add on purchase. Read the directions thoroughly before use and don’t stick your fingers in your eyes after application. There’s even a roll-on option in case you’re the type of person that would do that anyway.