Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Is DOMS stopping you?

Doms, first of all what is it?

We all know that training makes us tired and achey the day after. It hurts to walk up the stairs or sit on the toilet. This is called DOMS or The Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness, and usually occurs 24 to 72 hours after exercise.

Research on this suggests that the pain you feel is the result of your muscles tearing ever so slightly whilst you are exercising them (don't panic, this is completely normal) and then repairing itself.

For example if you cut your finger, it doesn't necessarily hurt straight after you've done it, however after a few hours it gets painful to do anything with that hand. Well DOMS works in the same sort of way.

Now back to the point in question. Is DOMS stopping you working out?

For 99% of the general population the answer would be yes. This is the person that starts the new year routine, works out for two days and when the DOMS hits they stop and don't exercise for another 12 months.

Now, my personal advice for DOMS would be to carry on training, carry on with your normal routine, once you have warmed up you shouldn't really feel the soreness. Regular exercise will increase your pain threshold, thus allowing you to train.

It's a vicious circle. The more often you train the less likely you are to suffer from bad DOMS.

If you are in the infancy of your fitness journey, I would advise light active recovery sessions such as;
Swimming
Walking
Cross training

And to help ease the pain consider;
Hot baths
Massage
Hydrotherapy Pool
Sauna

Another way to change your perception of DOMS is to feel it is a badge of honour for working so hard. The more it hurts, the better your workout must have been!

Remember, the pain you feel today, will be the strength you feel tomorrow. 💪