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I'm doing StrongLifts 5x5. I hit gym in the night hours and this is the situation:

BW: 64kgs
Saturday: Rest
Sun: 6km walk
Mon: Squat 75kg 3sets of 5 reps, Bench 42.5kg 5x5, Barbell Row 42.5kg 5x5
Tue (yesterday): 6km walk + 20min session of dynamic stretching.
Wed (tonight, 7hrs from now): Squat 75kg 5x5, OHP 31kg 5x5, Deadlift 90kg 1x5

I usually sit in front of computer for the entire day, so I wanted to do walking and a bit of stretching on rest days. I heard that it helps in recovery too. I started walking on Sunday and I didn't have any problem for next day's workout.

On Monday's workout, fearing injury, I only did 3 sets of squats that day as I felt my squat form wasn't good. Yesterday my back & upper body was little sore. So I added a 20 min session of dynamic stretching to my yesterday evening's 6 km walk. Since waking up this morning, my lower back is very sore. It is as if I did a heavy workout. I don't understand why this happened. This wasn't as sore yesterday. I thought walking & stretching would only help me in recovering.

  1. Why did this happen? Do I need to change anything?
  2. What should I do about today's workout? Squatting 75kg 5x5 and then Deadlifting 90kg is definitely not going to go easy on my lower back.
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You're sore Wednesday because you squatted Monday. Soreness from lifting can easily last two or three days, and even get worse on later days. It's called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.

Since waking up this morning, my lower back is very sore. It is as if I did a heavy workout. I don't understand why this happened. This wasn't as sore yesterday.

You did do a heavy workout. On Monday. That's why this happened. It wasn't as sore yesterday because the Onset of Muscle Soreness was Delayed. That's Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

Keep squatting. Keep walking and stretching on rest days. Keep an eye on your form. For today's workout, warm up thoroughly but stick to the planned lifts.

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  • My only concern is it wasn't this bad yesterday as it is today. – claws Nov 25 '15 at 6:53
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    @claws That's to be expected when someone is first experiencing truly challenging squats. You're at precisely the stage (just over BW) where the feeling of squats go from "yeah yeah I squat down with a barbell on my back, I push a bit and it's fine" to "if I don't totally focus and keep everything tight and exert myself harder than I may have ever exerted myself before I'm going to be crushed underneath this thing". Soreness is normal. Soreness increasing from the day after to 2 days after is normal. – Dave Liepmann Nov 25 '15 at 7:05
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    +1 You don't know how relieved I am. Thanks a lot. if I don't totally focus and keep everything tight and exert myself harder than I may have ever exerted myself before, I'm going to be crushed underneath this thing This is my exact feeling now a days. And I was thinking I may not make progress further. But your words fueled my confidence. I am going to stick to schedule :) – claws Nov 25 '15 at 10:08
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    @claws Awesome! I don't think people talk enough about how different squatting 3/4 BW feels versus squatting 4/3 BW. It's not that the lighter weight is easy, it's that the heavier weight is mentally challenging in a totally different way. There's a significant transition thereabouts for most people. – Dave Liepmann Nov 25 '15 at 11:31
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    "My only concern is it wasn't this bad yesterday as it is today." - That's why we call it delayed onset muscle soreness. – Alec Nov 25 '15 at 12:09

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