Post-exercise muscle soreness is called DOMS –Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and it usually becomes noticeable 8hrs post workout, peaking between 48-72 hours later, although this varies.
Many exercisers crave or seek to feel DOMS following workouts; believing it promotes growth and indicates a successful workout. Sadly, science indicates no such thing.
The Cause; It’s complex and there’s no single answer!
DOMS is related to exercise-induced muscle damage usually caused by unfamiliar exercises/load -damage not equal to pain felt. At microscopic levels & using MRI imaging, there’s little damageseen to muscles post-exercise, compared to the “feel”. Evidence shows that one may experience DOMS with little or no muscle damage present, or possibly experience severe muscle damage without getting DOMS.
If DOMS indicated likely muscle growth potential; then Marathon runners and ultra-athletes anecdotally would have the hypertrophy of strength athletes but this isn’t the case. Many believe this logic though, due to anecdotal evidence showing exercise novices experience the most DOMS and hypertrophy.
DOMS is not a build-up of lacticacid within muscles. Some evidence indicates that other by-products of metabolic stress do however contribute to DOMS. These chemical by-products enter cells causing inflammation and Nerve receptors outside the muscles sense this, sending a pain response to the brain.
Should I train with DOMS?
Training DOMS affected muscles shows it hinders range of motion, movement pattern and muscle recruitment, which may lead to injuries and will hinder your recovery. Long term, this habit canactually decrease muscle growth.
What helps DOMS recovery?
Remember …train smart, move well! Seeking training advice then we can help
Specialist Master Coach