D.O.M.S also known as the ‘Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness’ but should be rightfully renamed to ‘Don’t Overestimate My Strength’.
Although he may look big and strong, and yesterday he was lifting weights so heavy you would swear he could bench press a car. Once that DOMS hits don’t even think about asking him to lift up that box, hold the door open for you, or even be a gentleman and get up to give you a seat.
DOMS is the after ache you get that makes grown men act like little children unable to fend for themselves. For those of you that don’t know, or haven’t experienced it before, DOMS is the painful feeling you get in your muscles after a truly epic workout.
It generally occurs a day or two after a gruelling routine. I say it’s a painful response, but I do actually quite enjoy the feeling it brings (could be the sadomasochist in me), but it’s a rather accomplishing sensation.
If it isn’t something you’ve experienced before, not to worry, and don’t let it deter you, it is a perfectly normal reaction. Part of the adaptation process, believed to be a result of microscopic tears in the muscle and surrounding connective tissue, which leads to greater strength gains as the muscles rebuilds and repairs itself, so no need to go running, (or limping) to the hospital just yet. The pain usually starts to appear within 12 to 24 hours after exercise and should only last for approximately 3-5 days.
(If you are experiencing long lasting pain, then I recommend going to see your doctor as you could have something a little more serious going on.)
Sadly there is no magical cure to prevent DOMS from occurring altogether, but progressing slowly into a new routine is a way that you can lessen the effects. Giving your muscles time to adapt to a new stimulus should help minimize the severity of the pain. The only way to truly prevent it from occurring is by not training, or doing anything at all- which is not an option at all really.
Because the symptoms of DOMS may include reduced range of motion, joint stiffness, local swelling, tenderness and diminished muscle strength, generally when you are experiencing DOMS it is best to rest the affected muscle. This will give it the time it needs to recover completely so you can attack again at optimal capacity. There is no point training a muscle that can only do sub-maximal work, and by doing so, it will also give you time to work on other body parts so you don’t end up looking like Jonny Bravo.
I guess what they say is true, ‘No Pain No Gain.’
Become the face of fitness you’ve always wanted and embrace the pain.