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What is Doms?

This is for anyone who gets muscle soreness after workouts and wants to know why and how to reduce it.

DOMS stands for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, which can kick in as early as 6-8 hours post exercise and peaks around 48hrs after training. DOMS is explained as a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in connective tissue elements.

A study by Bret Contreras PhD also found that exercise with a greater emphasis on the eccentric phase plays a significant role in the manifestation of DOMS.

Placing more stress on your muscles than they are used to is a contributing factor to muscle soreness. This can be achieved in a number of ways e.g. higher training volumes/loads, new workout programmes, new exercises, focusing on muscles in isolation rather than your usual compound moves.

Although DOMS (muscle damage) is directly correlated to muscle growth as a key mechanism for hypertrophy, there is a point of diminishing returns as extreme muscle soreness can obviously be counterproductive. It’s important to note that you do not need to experience muscle soreness in order to build muscle and you shouldn’t rely on it as an accurate indicator for a ‘good’ workout!! I will do another mini blog on ‘good workout’ indicators during the next month so look out for that!

Now you know what DOMS is and what causes this sensation of pain in our muscles, I’m sure you’re desperate to know the best ways to ease the sort of pain that makes stairs or washing your hair an almost impossible task

Release tightness and increase range of motion with some LIGHT stretching
Make sure you drink lots of water as dehydration can cause soreness!
Increase circulation and improve blood flow & nutrients to the muscle by going on a walk or some other LIGHT exercise.
Consume enough protein to help your muscles build recover and repair (a good recommendation is 1-1.5g per lb of body weight)