Archive for the tag - doms

Why Are My Muscles Sore After Exercise?

Dear Davey,

After I exercise, my muscles get very sore. I understand that this can be beneficial but why is it happening?

From,
Ben

daniel-garofali-workout-2What you’re experiencing is something called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and, as you noted, it’s actually a good thing.

Most often, individuals experience DOMS when trying something new. It could be a new routine, new exercise, new amount of resistance or so on. DOMS, as the name implies, occurs a day or two after the exercise. Injury-related soreness, on the other hand, occurs immediately and should be treated by a professional.

There’s still a lot that we don’t understand about DOMS. It was initially thought that DOMS was the result of lactic acid buildup from exercise. But the latest theory is that DOMS is the result of micro-tears in the muscle fibers caused by exercise. Though muscle damage sounds like a bad thing, these tiny tears are rebuilt stronger and bigger than before; this is the very process by which our muscles grow and strengthen.

Over time, DOMS can subside as your body adjusts and evolves. And it’s important to recognize that DOMS isn’t required for muscle growth and it’s not an indication of the effectiveness of an exercise routine. In other words, a lack of DOMS doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

The treatments for muscle soreness are widely debated. Though stretching was once believed to prevent and alleviate soreness, recent studies are suggesting otherwise. There has been some success in alleviating soreness through massage or the use of a foam roller. Some individuals and trainers prefer active recovery. Or just plenty of rest to give your body time to recover, repair and rebuild.

Love,
Davey

Sore Muscles? Drink Watermelon Juice!

watermelonjuiceDelayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs 12 – 48 hours after your workout. It’s often called the “good” kind of soreness (as opposed to the bad, injury-related soreness), and it’s generally associated with a change in your workout program, increased intensity, new exercises, etc. You won’t feel it immediately after your workout; but in the subsequent hours, it slowly sneaks up.

While gentle massaging can help relieve muscle soreness, the best prescription is time. Give your muscles time to repair and rebuild – and the muscle soreness will decrease over time. And don’t exercise a muscle that’s already sore.

However, a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found scientific evidence for a new treatment: Watermelon juice.

According to researchers:

l-Citrulline is an excellent candidate to reduce muscle soreness, and watermelon is a fruit rich in this amino acid.

So, researchers put watermelon juice to the test with a group of participants. After crunching the data, researchers found a positive relationship between muscle recovery and consumption of watermelon juice. In other words, watermelon juice helped!

If you’re struggling to recover from particularly severe or debilitating muscle soreness – or simply want to reduce your recovery time – try introducing watermelon juice into your diet. It will do the trick.

Is It Okay to Run with Sore Legs?

Dear Davey,

I’ve started a new lower body workout, and it leaves me sore for a few days thereafter. I know you’re not suppose to strength train muscles that are still sore, but is it okay to run with sore legs?

From,
Matthew

Well, there are a few points that need to be made here.

First, there are two types of soreness. There’s delayed onset muscle soreness (called DOMS) which occurs 12-48 hours after you complete your workout. It’s normal to experience DOMS – especially when you start a new workout regimen.

The other, less-desirable type of soreness occurs immediately and is often asymmetrical (i.e., it occurs only in one leg or one hamstring), and it’s most-often injury related. If your soreness is injury related, then you need to avoid using the injured muscle until you’ve recovered.

If you’re experiencing a low-level of DOMS in your legs, it may be okay to do some cardiovascular training. Ensure that you do a warm-up and proper stretch before engaging in your cardio. If the soreness or discomfort increases during your cardio, then you should stop immediately – as the increased pain may be indicative of an injury.

Keep in mind that DOMS typically fades within a month or two of a new routine, so you probably won’t be dealing with issue long-term. As you become more accustomed to your routine, the soreness will dissipate in subsequent workouts. And remember: Soreness isn’t required for muscle growth.

The bottom line: If you’re experiencing a slight amount of DOMS, then it’s okay to engage in cardio so long as it doesn’t exacerbate the soreness. If your soreness is injury related, avoid cardio until you’ve healed.

No Longer Sore After Workout: Am I Doing Something Wrong?

Hi Davey,

I’ve been getting back in to shape lately by going to the gym 2 – 3 times a week. When I first started, my muscles would become sore 1 – 2 days after my workout. Recently I’m finding that my muscles don’t become sore in the slightest. I am increasing the amount I lift but I’m cautious because I’m still getting back into it and I don’t want to harm my muscles.

Does this lack of soreness or stiffness in my muscles mean I’m not working hard enough?

Thanks and much love,
Eric

Hey Eric,

Congratulations on getting back into the swing of things and renewing your commitment to exercise!

First things first, muscle soreness that occurs 12 – 48 hours after exercise is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – and it’s a good thing. Immediate muscle soreness or pain, on the other hand, is often related to injury – and immediate medical attention is encouraged. Since the soreness you experienced is the former, there’s no need for concern.

When exercisers start a new routine (just as you did), muscle soreness is very common. Since the new workout is a shock to the body, muscle soreness is a likely result. But, over time, the body will adjust – and soreness will tend to decrease. This is all very natural and part of the process.

Though many people become addicted to feeling sore after exercise, soreness isn’t required for muscle growth. Provided you have an effective strategy to target muscle growth, your muscles will continue to grow even if you don’t experience discomfort.

In this way, the age-old adage of “no pain, no gain” is certainly a fallacy.

Love,
Davey

Is Soreness Required for Muscle Growth?

I'd let him make me sore.

As silly as it sounds, don’t you love being sore a day or two after a really intense workout?

In some twisted way, I think we all do. And it can be addictive; many people feel like they didn’t get a good workout unless they’re sore thereafter.

But it begs the question: Is soreness required for muscle growth?

No. Soreness is not required for muscle growth.

There is a lot that is still not understood about soreness, but it often arises after doing something new. New workouts or exercises are a shock to the body, and soreness may be part of the result. Since subsequent workouts are less of a shock, soreness tends to decrease over time.

If you’re just starting out with a new routine, you’ll probably feel it the next day. But if you’ve been training for years, you probably won’t feel the soreness. It doesn’t necessarily mean your muscles aren’t growing; it may simply mean that your body isn’t shocked in the same way.

And if you’re looking to build your muscles, sometimes no soreness is a good thing. Muscle soreness is often associated with endurance training (i.e., taking a spinning class, doing many reps of an exercise, etc.) and not the type of low-rep high-resistance strength training that stimulates muscle growth. In other words, if you do a few sets of heavy bicep curls in a low rep range (say 8 reps) until muscle failure, you probably won’t get sore. But there’s no doubt that it will grow your muscles.

Of course, if you try something different, work ignored muscles or push your body in a way in which it isn’t accustomed, then you’re likely to experience delayed onset muscle soreness. But it’s not required to gain muscle mass.

Myth: No Pain, No Gain.

"No pain, no gain" is a recipe for both injuries and unpleasant workouts.

Let’s change the way we look at exercise.

“No pain, no gain.” It’s probably the most quoted fitness proverb ever. It’s plastered on the wall of many gyms and instilled in the mindsets of most of us.

The quote has been credited to everyone from the poet Robbert Herrick to Ben Franklin, but it was brought into mainstream popularity by Jane Fonda during the early 1980s. In her workout videos, Fonda used the quote as catchphrase to encourage participants to work through the burn.

Today, “no pain, no gain” is a mantra for many gym enthusiasts. But here’s the thing: It’s not true – and it’s a dangerous mentality.

If you truly experience pain during exercise (and not the “burn” to which Jane Fonda was actually referring), then you should stop immediately.

There are two basic types of pain or soreness that exercisers experience. Injury-related soreness is what you’d feel during or immediately following an exercise. Obviously, this type of pain is something that will not result in any fitness gains – and could prove to be debilitating. If you work through the pain (as the adage might imply), you may exacerbate the scope of the injury. Delayed onset muscle soreness (called DOMS), on the other hand, is what you’d experience 12-48 hours after working out. It’s a good thing; it means your body is engaged in a process that will result in muscle gains or increased strength.

If you hold the idea that “pain” is a necessary ingredient in becoming physically fit, you’re selling yourself short; this notion paints exercise as an unpleasant experience. And if you are nodding your head in agreement, than you, too, have been fooled. There are a million creative ways to incorporate exercise into your life that are fun, enjoyable and yes, painless. Hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, ice skating and trampolining immediately come to mind. In fact, I even enjoy going to the gym, running and lifting – the exercises have a meditative quality for me. I look forward to my workouts.

I think it’s time to retire this adage of “no pain, no gain” from the collective human physique. It’s a dangerous idea that sets us up for injury – and, indeed, you can achieve your fitness goals while enjoying yourself and your exercise routine.

Here’s to gains without pain.