My wife swears by Aspercreme but my feeling is that this doesn't help the muscles heal, it just masks the pain and if I take that route and work out I could potentially do more damage.
You are correct - working out with pain is a signal to stop.[br>[br>1. Am I correct in my assessment that if I've not recovered enough to complete simple exercise movements without significant pain that I should continue to rest?
Correct - Now you need rest from the exercises, not inactivity, proper sleep, proper hydration and proper nutrition, connective tissues, muscles, the body's electrical and recuperation systems were all challenged by the workout. You need a time of workout hardening before starting workout programs.
Workout one set per body part per week, until the weight and repetitions have increased enough to give a slight feeling of "pump" muscular fullness, and after 4-5 days you feel good. Do not add sets until that occurs - it could take 6-12 weeks depending on age, health, nutrition, etc. [br>[br>2. Am I correct in my assessment that masking the pain with a pain reliever in order to enable me to work out increases the probability of additional damage and an even longer recovery?
Very correct[br>[br>3. Does four days seem excessive recovery time for a set of pushups, pullups and situps given no significant exercise in about 25 years?
Not at all. Stop the body weight driven exercises till you have progressively work hardened in the gym. Body weight is too much on unconditioned joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, Bodybuilding is built using young models of fitness and physical condition levels, you are stuck your body the rest of your life, Torn shoulder joints, knees, back, etc stay with you long after gym member ship is over.
Instead of pushups try dumbell bench presses flat, incline, decline and cable work. start light build up gradually ligaments tendons connective tissue are limiting factors
Instead of pull ups try lat bar work, cable work for lats. Start doing basic conditioning fundamentals, light deadlifts, light squats in a power rack, light calf work, light over head clean & press both dumbells & barbell , to learn proper and safe form.
Go to Utube look up Lee Priest, Mike O Hern, Bill Pearl, etc - bodybuilders that worked out will less than usual injuries, that tried to take care of themselves without letting ego ruin health in the rush to build up.
situps, put a folded towel on the floor to pad your knees, in front of a cable rack, with handle at highest comfortable stretch position, kneel, hold handle, do abd crunches with light weight, that gradually increases once conditioned till situps no longer hurt lower hip tie ins and under rib cage and only muscle burn is felt once enough sets and reps performed.View Thread
The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.
Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.