Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a pain! Literally LOL Abbreviated DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can happen from any physical activity that places loads that you aren’t used to on your muscles. This isn’t like a typical injury when you will get specific soreness right away at a spot of an impact for example, but this is soreness that usually starts within a day or so and can really be at its worse within 2-3 days of exercise. With many of us in the middle of our New Years program, DOMS can be very real as we push harder on new workouts!
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – What causes DOMSThe common belief is that DOMS is caused by microscopic damage that is done to your muscles during rigorous exercise you aren’t conditioned for. This makes a lot of sense when we think about our definition from above, that DOMS really hits from “any physical activity that places loads that you aren’t used to on your muscles.” Think about the NEW soreness you experience from a brand new workout or the next phase of X2 or Beast. We aren’t used to the movements and they hit our muscles in new ways they aren’t used to. Week 1 and week 5 of P90X are always the weeks when you are super sore. Same thing for your first couple times diving into Body Beast Build Legs! OUCH! Talk about your muscles not being used to that! DOMS is really the product of your body repairing those tiny tears and damage to our muscles from our exercise. If you want to be positive about your soreness… think GAINZ!
Over some time though, our bodies do get used to those movements and workouts, and you get less and less sore. Another thing to consider when thinking about DOMS is that it is most common with exercises where you have to resistance while lengthening your muscles (the eccentric motion). If you have ever done one of Sagi’s tempo workouts, you KNOW DOMS! Huge new stimuli and lots of load on your muscles while you control the eccentric part of the lifts.
How can you help recovery and avoid DOMS
In really bad cases, you just need to rest and recovery. The worst cases are when you completely go overboard and hit a workout harder than you were ready for. So ramp up into programs. Don’t ever feel bad for modifying moves and don’t try to keep up with the cast members on the workouts! If it is really your Day 1 and you haven’t been active in a long time, BE SMART! There is no sense hurting your results by being so sore you can’t move.
Making sure you take your warm ups seriously and that you cool down well plays a big part in staying safe too. When you are sore though, light workouts won’t harm your recovery. In bad cases, going and trying to complete your workouts without dialing them back can cause more soreness and pain.
You can use some ice, rumble rolling, and OTC meds to help reduce pain, but be careful. Just cause you feel a little better doesn’t mean the recovery process is done. Pain meds only mask the pain.
My Advice with DOMS
Don’t worry about DOMS too much! It will happen but in almost all my cases of DOMS, it goes away in a few days and I can still workout. Most Beachbody programs are structured to give you rest after your workouts. You might hit legs hard with Body Beast on a Tuesday, but you will have a good week before you hit them again. You can still do back and arms with sore legs :-) Take your warm ups, cool downs, and sleep seriously. Get good recovery and work up to heavier weights, don’t jump into the BIG weights. I know if you do that, you will get awesome results and avoid bad muscle soreness.
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