“No pain, no gain” is a commonly used expression when it comes to getting in shape. It may also be why many of us think you need to feel sore after a workout to know you’ve done enough.
There are many reasons why your muscles may ache after a workout. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to feel sore in the hours or days following your workout to know you’ve had a good workout.
Delayed Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the scientific term to describe the sore and tender feeling our muscles have after a workout. Typically, it happens after we’ve exercised particularly strenuously or when we’re playing sports that we’re not used to. It can happen after any type of workout, although it’s more common afterwards eccentric exercise.
These are movements in which the muscles resist a load when they are stretched (e.g. running downhill or walking down stairs). The smaller muscles of the upper extremities (like biceps and shoulders) may be more prone to DOMS than they are maybe not used to to eccentric exercises.
While DOMS can occur even hours after exercise, it usually does Peak about two days later, depending on the intensity and volume of the exercise. But while DOMS is widespread, the reason behind it still remains poorly understood — although researchers have some theories as to what’s going on.
the current philosophy of science is that DOMS is associated with a combination of:
- Mechanical damage (to the protein structure of the muscle fiber),
- Damage to the membrane that surrounds the muscle fiber
- Damage to the connective tissue surrounding the muscle fibers
- The body’s inflammatory response that causes further muscle protein breakdown and stimulates certain nerves, causing pain.
Some level of exercise-induced muscle damage is likely necessary to help build bigger, stronger muscles. While muscle damage from exercise can affect muscle work post-workout (sometimes for up to two weeks), actually you are less likely to experience DOMS to the same extent next time you exercise.
This may also explain why people who exercise regularly do not suffer from DOMS as often.
Regular strength training with an emphasis on eccentric exercises (like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses) is also proven reduce the damaging effect Strain on the muscles after ten training sessions. There probably is number of reasons for thisbut it mostly has to do with the muscle getting better protection against damage.
How often and how severely a person suffers from DOMS differs from person to person. However, older people may be more susceptible to both exercise-induced muscle damage and DOMS, possibly due to their muscle weakness less able to recover after strenuous exercise.
Research has also shown that people with a certain genetic makeup are better able to recover from an eccentric workout than other people who have done the exact same workout.
When you start a new exercise program and your first workout is particularly intense or long-lasting, it’s quite difficult to avoid DOMS. Adding more eccentric exercises to your training regimen can also lead to DOMS.
But again, sore muscles don’t necessarily mean you’ve had a more effective workout—it just means you’re doing something your muscles aren’t used to.
So if you train regularly and find that you don’t feel as sore later in the day, or even in the days following your workout, you can rest assured that your workout is still working – your muscles have just gotten better at it, with the damage deal and recover from it.
If you want to get fitter and stronger instead of feeling like you need to train to the point of soreness, instead focus on a principle called progressive overload. This is where you gradually increase the amount of exercise you do each time – such as B. doing extra reps on an exercise or adding extra weight.
Not only is progressive overload It has been shown to be an effective way to build muscle and strength, but it can also reduce the incidence of DOMS. studies show even a few weeks Regular use of progressive overload during training is enough to see this effect.
So instead of measuring how effective your workout was based on your muscle soreness, instead try to gradually increase either the number of repetitions you do each week or the amount of weight you lift. These incremental gains in fitness and strength show you how effective your previous workouts have been.
David R ClarkLecturer, Strength and Condition, Liverpool John Moore University; Carl Langan-EvansPostdoc, Strength and Conditioning, Liverpool John Moore Universityand Rob ErskineAssociate Professor of Neuromuscular Physiology, Liverpool John Moore University.