Remember when you were training the other day and you did that intense push up - pull up workout? You likely felt good during the session, but the next day your arms hurt so much that you struggled to lift your (much-needed) cup of coffee!
The pain you experience 12 to 72 hours after a workout is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), a phenomenon that most people (who train) have experienced at least once.
what causes the pain from doms?
In the past, it was a common belief that lactic acid causes DOMS. However, current literature suggests that DOMS is due to microtrauma (micro-tears) to a muscle that has been worked beyond its current capacity.
does doms mean i have done a good workout?
Some people think it’s an excellent sign to experience DOMS after a workout, but this isn’t necessarily true. Muscle does need to be worked (usually with weight) beyond its current capacity to improve its ability, but if you are experiencing DOMS regularly, then the pain is going to interfere with your ability to train effectively. What’s more, there is no evidence to suggest that training which induces DOMS is superior to training without the experience of DOMS.
how can i support my body to repair the damage?
While we don’t want to induce DOMS deliberately, it’s also not a reason to panic. DOMS symptoms will disappear with time (assuming you don’t keep re-traumatising the muscle). We can also help the body in its natural repair efforts by ensuring it has what it needs to heal effectively. These include:
how can i prevent doms in the future?
If you are experiencing DOMS regularly, you may need to look at your current training program. It may be pushing you too far outside your tolerance level.
It is also possible that your training program is not the problem. Although exercise is a ‘good’ form of stress for the body, it is still ‘stress.’ This means you will require more nutrients and minerals (than someone not training at your level) to keep your body running at its peak. And while Magnesium, Calcium and Protein are the most common culprits when it comes to DOMS, any mineral or nutrient deficiency has the potential to create imbalance within the body, causing a cascading effect and increasing DOMS.
If you are new to training then it is normal to experience some discomfort after your sessions until your body starts to get more conditioned to the movements you are performing how if you are constantly chasing the 'burn' every time you train it may be worth dropping the intensity. If you require assistance in training appropriately to improve your ability for the fitness test then don't hesitate to get in touch with the TBG Team here.
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