You know what it’s like, you’ve smashed it at the gym, (you might have even just trained with me doing 300 squats 😊) a great session, that’ll leave you sore for days.
Congratulations, you’ve had an effective training session
It doesn’t matter if its been your first couple of weeks in the gym or you have been training for years, one thing that we all feel when we have had a great workout is muscle soreness (or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as it is known aka DOMS)
Why does DOMS occur?
One of the reasons DOMS occurs is because we placed an unaccustomed amount of load on your muscles which results in microscopic tears to our muscles and connective tissue during our workout. This being primarily through the eccentric phase or lowering phase of the exercise. DOMS comes into play as a way for the body to let us know that it has entered a recover phase and is in the process of rebuilding our muscle tissue to help make us stronger for that particular activity
What is the benefit of DOMS?
As mentioned before, DOMS is a sign from your body, saying “take it easy over the next few days while I recover this particular muscle group”.
Picture the days following your intense workout, there is a microscopic construction crew assisting in the rebuild of your muscles. They need fuelling and all the resources to make this new build as flash as possible. It’s hot work these little guy’s need hydrating as well!
How long is DOMS meant to last?
Typically, DOMS begins within 12-24 hours of the intense activity being completed. DOMS is only meant to last between 24-72 hours. If your nutrition is really good (good amounts of Macro/Micro Nutrients and Water) then the recovery period may be accelerated.
Usually, after this period of 3 Days recovery, the muscles fibres will be healed and ready for another assault with a high intensity workout. However, connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons can take longer to heal as they have a limited blood supply in comparison to the muscles and ‘may’ require up to 5 days to fully recover.
A common misconception is that rest day’s, mean do nothing. Actually “active recover” during rest days, such as going for a walk, light jog, low intensity workout will improve the chances of a faster recovery.
Distinguishing between 2 pains
Acute, sharp stabbing pain during physical exercise is not to be confused with DOMS! If you feel uncomfortable, stabbing pain, stop exercising immediately and seek assistance from a GP or trained professional