Have you ever ached a few days after weight training and wondered if you did something wrong, lifted too heavy or didn’t stretch afterwards? Well don’t panic, chances are you got DOMS!

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) also referred to as muscle fever, is pain, stiffness and reduced flexibility felt in the muscles 24-72 hours after a muscle building workout. Often DOMS is confused with regular muscle soreness but DOMS is actually caused by the body’s inflammatory response to exercise and other variables.

DOMS is caused by intense best folding bicycle ,  exercise or exercising a muscle group after a long period of rest. If you haven’t exercised in a long time the effects of DOMS will be more noticeable and more painful to begin with, also recovery time will be longer compared to those who weight train regularly.

Recent studies have shown that eccentric contractions (lengthening) cause the greatest amount of DOMS, whilst isometric (static) exercise causes reduced amount of DOMS and concentric (shortening) causes none. An eccentric contraction is when the muscle lengthens during an exercised, for example when lowering the barbell on barbell biceps curls, the biceps muscle lengthens.

Is DOMS a Bad Thing?

Absolutely not! If you have been lifting weights for several months or years you probably won’t experience DOMS that often, generally DOMS is felt when the intensity or number of eccentric contractions increases. A perfect example of when you might experience DOMS is performing negative repetitions or 10 second training, see my page on advanced training techniques for more information on these.

Just because you become sore a few days after training does not mean it’s a bad thing, the most likely scenario is that you added or changed a workout or increased the intensity and your body was not used to it, if this happens there are ways to prevent DOMS or reduce soreness after getting DOMS:

DOMS Prevention and Treatment

Gradually increasing the resistance of your exercise program (such as increasing the weight or number of repetitions) and continuing to exercise at regular intervals will reduce the effects of DOMS. It has been studied that warming up and stretching as part of an exercise regime whilst still important has no impact on reducing DOMS, in fact overstretching has been shown to increase DOMS.

As a bodybuilder it’s a great feeling knowing you have pushed yourself hard enough to feel DOMS, I do a full body workout twice a week and often feel DOMS (especially in my legs) a few days after, although it is getting less each week. If you find you have pushed yourself and really feel the DOMS kicking in you can try some of the following to reduce the soreness.

  • Lift light to moderate weights in the affected area(s).
  • Get in a hot tub or go for a 30 minute swim.
  • Get a sports massage in the affected area.
  • Go for a run or bike ride at a moderate pace.
  • Get plenty of rest and ensure good nutrition.

Basically the idea of reducing DOMS is to increase blood flow and movement into the affected area(s). Whilst none of the above has been scientifically proven to reduce DOMS this is what works for me and other bodybuilders.

Filed February 27th, 2020 under Uncategorized

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