DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness is something anyone with an interest in working out, exercise and/or training is either familiar with or has experienced. Without getting too sciencey about it, DOMS is a dull ache and stiffness in muscles from 24 – 72 hours after working out caused by eccentric exercise which lengthens the muscle fibres.
Anyone who resistance trains has probably experienced DOMS, I know I certainly have. I don’t experience it too often when I regularly work out, I do however feel it after I’ve had a break from exercise or sometimes when I begin a new/more intense programme. I’m putting this bout of DOMS down to the fact I haven’t really worked out properly in two weeks until Monday and over the past two days I have churned out 120 front squats, 180 overhead squats and 90 lunges. So in short, my legs a knackered.
There is a lot of conflicting information and debate to be found on the internet regarding DOMS, causes, treatment and prevention. There also appears to be a split between the school of thought that says don’t train when experiencing DOMS and the school that says man up, it’s only a bit of pain. In the past, I have swing between the two options, sometimes believing further training helps ‘loosen’ me up and other times have ached quite a bit so have given myself some recovery time. I have yet to form a conclusion either way as to which benefits me personally.
I have read that massage, hot baths and low intensity cardio can help ease DOMS. Without sounding like too much of a wimp, my legs ache pretty bad today my original plan to go for a 5K run or some hill running is just not going to happen. That being said, I don’t want to rest today either. In light of my determination to make some gains in a short period of time (4-6 weeks), I feel like I need to keep up the training even if it is at a reduced intensity.
With this in mind I’m going to hit the gym after work and do a short back session, pull-ups, bent-over rows etc. and then 30 mins or so on the cross-trainer at a steady rate for some cardio (and to put to test the theory of LISS helping ease DOMS). Hopefully that should be enough to keep me ticking over until tomorrow when I can hammer out some more circuits and Friday when I’ll be crossfitting at the mercy of Cpt. Crofts at the ‘zoo.