I follow Dom Thorpe, many of you may of heard him. He is an online fitness coach for people with MS, Chronic illness & any other disabilities.
He emailed me this about muscle soreness. I do get muscle soreness whether I have been down the gym of not? It may help some of you as well to understand the pain your experiencing. Happy reading.
When you live and breath health & fitness it’s easy to forget that most people don’t know what you know.
I was reminded of this yesterday when someone in The DOMS Club asked if it was okay that her muscles hurt after she increased the weights used in her workout.
Funny thing is…what she was experiencing was DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which is what The DOMS Club is named after.
It is a sore, aching, painful feeling in the muscles after unfamiliar and unaccustomed intense exercise.
It usually arrives between 12 hours and 48 hours after the exercise took place.
It’s all part & parcel of the strengthening process.
When you work a muscle, you damage it slightly…but in a GOOD way.
Stress through the muscles causes microscopic tears in the surrounding tissues which causes your body’s stress response to take action.
To prevent the same issue happening again, the tissue repairs, but stronger than before to ensure that it can cope with these stresses in future.
Think of it as your body increasing its tolerance to the type of activity which it now expects in the future.
The DOMS itself (the pain) is your body’s way of ensuring that while this recovery and repair takes place, you don’t over-stress the same muscles.
Stressing them during this recovery phase wll not only inhibit the strengthening and recovery process, but it also risks injury, which takes a lot longer to recover from.
Typically DOMS will pass fairly quickly, but it can take up to a week to do so.
How long this process takes is proportional to the stress your body perceives, and usually the length of time since you last did something similar.
Higher intensity…longer recovery time.
Longer period since you last did something like this…longer recovery time.
The secret to avoiding it is to exercise the muscles regularly and increase the workload gradually.
So DOMS isn’t something to be worried about. But do be mindful that if you’re experiencing pain within your muscles after a recent training session, you should be resting those muscles.
Intensively train the same muscle groups every day and you risk injury while inhibiting any potential progress.
That doesn’t mean no training. It means you should work different muscle groups in the mean time.
This is why we design split muscle group workouts for clients so they can train regularly without overtraining specific muscle groups.
This is how you can get maximum strength gains with little or no discomfort.
Side-note: increased blood flow to the area will usually speed up the recovery process, so light activity or massage on the same muscle group might help you ditch the DOMS more quickly.
In summary…embrace the DOMS…don’t fear it.
Have a look at Dom’s own web site here.