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All there is to know about DOMS

Dreaded DOMS, otherwise known as delayed onset muscle soreness is that pain you get a day or two after a killer workout or intense training.  It can be on a scale of you noticing your muscles are a bit achy when you’re resting, to really struggling to walk, lift up your arms or pick things up because of your back.


Below we’re sharing all there is to know about DOMS including what causes it and what you can do to prevent it.


What Causes It?

It is actually a bit of a mystery.  There are a few theories that try and explain it though.  These include the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles after exercise, muscle spasm, inflammation, muscle damage and more.


People have even said that they experienced worse DOMS when they’re in a caloric deficit or intermittent fasting.


I think we all know that DOMS definitely comes after intense exercise, especially when you’re not used to doing such intense training.  I know I feel it if I hit the gym after a couple of weeks off!


Over time with regular training, DOMS tends to reduce over time.  You can also help reduce muscle soreness with BCAAs too as they lead to faster recovery ready for your next session.


Good or Bad?

Some people think that if you don’t get DOMS, you haven’t had a good workout.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to put your there’s no proof behind this!


While DOMS is a sign the workout has been intense, there’s no evidence to suggest that it expresses greater strength or more gains.  In fact, there are actually some good reasons to be mindful of getting DOMS.


  • You may be unable to complete your next scheduled workout as well as you can due to the soreness.
  • There should be a reduction in DOMS after consistent training.  If you’re still getting DOMS after each session then you may be putting too much stress on your body or overtraining.  Obviously, challenge yourself but be mindful of what your body needs.
  • It could show inflammation in your body or even that your nutrition and rest isn’t up to scratch.

Treating DOMS

Sorry to tell you that you can’t fully prevent DOMS, if it’s going to happen, there’s no stopping it!  However, you can help your muscle to recover quicker or take measure to ensure your DOMS isn’t so severe.


MASSAGE - having a massage after a workout could reduce the severity of DOMS by up to 30%.  It’d be pretty expensive to book in for a massage after each workout, so leave time to foam roll to reduce muscular pain.  It can seem like a lot of effort but your body will be thanking you the next day I’m sure!


COLD WATER - It’s not fun, but it works! Immersing yourself in cold water can help reduce DOMS the following day so you’re not struggling to walk for days.  You could still feel some muscle soreness but it sure is better than nothing.


STRETCHING - It is so important before and after exercise to stretch. I mean it won’t completely get rid of DOMS, but it’s really beneficial anyway to help your body be more flexible and get a better range of motion when exercising.  This will help to prevent DOMS in the future. Try dynamic stretching where you’re always moving instead of just static stretching.


We hope these tips help you to smash your workouts and recover a bit quicker so you’re not waddling to your next session!

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