Is muscle soreness good, bad or necessary?
All of the above!
DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a part of starting a new training program or pushing to new limits in your current training program.
It isn’t necessarily good or bad & despite popular belief, your level of post activity soreness does not reflect the results you will get from the workout.
Why do I experience DOMS?
There are 4 main reasons for DOMS
- Exercise intensity
More intense workouts will bring on more intense DOMS
- Exercise duration
Workouts that are longer than what your body is accustomed to will increase your chances of experiencing DOMS
- Exercise type
Trying new sports or activities will increase your likelihood of experiencing DOMS. Also certain training methods will impact muscle soreness. E.g. eccentric training (when the muscle is lengthening while under tension like Quads while walking downhill, or slowly lowering into a squat position) causes more DOMS that concentric training (when the muscle is shorting under tension, eg. Pushing up from the bottom of a squat)
- Fitness level
A body that is well conditioned to a workout will experience less or no DOMS at all. Working unconditioned muscles will be a very different story!
What is DOMS?
DOMS typically starts between 8-72 hours post exercise. When you work out you cause micro-tears in the muscle tissue. To repair and rebuild the damaged tissue, the body reacts with an inflammatory response, which means swelling, pain and soreness.
I have DOMS, now what?
The trick with DOMS is learning how to manage it.
You can continue training with muscle soreness, in fact it can often help! However, you do want to make sure that any muscle soreness and stiffness doesn’t accumulate between workouts, otherwise your body will start compensating by moving away from the pain, and your training results will suffer.
We recommend that you recover well through hydration, nutrition, rest and self-release (stretching, foam rolling etc.) This will help the body repair and rebuild muscle tissue for optimal results and a more enjoyable training experience.