Can’t walk for days after training legs? I know the feeling! But, is this the sign of a good workout and is it needed for muscle growth?
DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) are the tightness, aches and pains that follow a session in the gym. Normally hitting the next day and lasting 24 to 72 hours, DOMS are thought to be caused by mechanical damage to the muscle primarily from the eccentric part of a movement.
Experiences lifters may find that this is an issue they deal with less often as the body becomes accustomed to specific exercises and patterns, but add new exercises to your routine and they may be back in a hurry.
Beginners shouldn’t shy away from muscle soreness but should avoid taking the intensity to levels leaving you barely able to move the next day. Natural lifters need to allow their body ample time for recovery and one workout which puts you on your back for days after isn’t the ideal route to gainsville!
In order to reduce muscle soreness, focus on a gradual increase in weight / reps through your programme while also ensuring your nutrition / hydration is on point and that you are getting enough sleep. When they do arrive – and it’s normally legs for me – active recovery is my go to with some light cardio or yoga to stimulate blood-flow to the affected area.
And finally, DOMS are not something you should use to measure the success of your workout or routine. Muscles adapt EXTREMELY quickly to stress meaning that each time you return to an exercise, the targeted muscle will have become more capable of dealing with the impact and will be able to recover with less after effect.
How do you deal with DOMS and what activity do you find most difficult the day after training legs?
Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.