I was going to talk about Adaptation, Accommodation, The SAID Principle, The Overload Principle and the Rest Principle. However I am going to talk about the DOMS Fairy. This Fairy is aggrieve!!! FYI you can set PR’s after being visited by the DOM’s Fairy… Don’t be scared!
DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS is the biological phenomenon (AKA: DOMS Fairy) that causes extreme pain, soreness, and stiffness that occurs in athletes muscles 12 to 72 hours after exercise. The pain and soreness will slowly go away and can take as long as a week to completely go away if the exercise was extremely intense. DOMS mostly occurs when an athlete begins a new exercise program, changes their exercise routine, and/or drastically increases the duration or intensity of their training. The pain can be unbearable and sadly it’s a completely natural response for the body’s adaptation process. As the body adapts through recovery and sometimes a painful recovery, the muscles gain strength and stamina caused by muscle hypertrophy, which is the enlargement of muscle tissue due to the increase size of the cells. You should always take precautions before, during, and after training that will help you recover from a hard training day. By implementing these recovery elements, it’s very likely that your recovery will be quicker and a lot less painful.
Top 10 Ways to Reduce the Pain and to Speed Up the Recovery from DOMS:
1.) Nutrition – A great diet is absolutely essential. The guilty and quantity of food you put in your body before training is your fuel during the workout. Eat healthy, well-rounded meals for at least a few days before increasing the intensity of your training or starting a new program. Make sure it’s high in protein, high in fat and some complex carbs. Cut out all alcohol, sweets and processed foods.
2.) Hydration – It goes without saying that staying hydrated is the“KEY” to training! It is essential for an athletes health, but in the since of DOMS it is essential for muscle function and reducing soreness. Make sure you are fully hydrated a week or 2 before increasing intensity or duration and/or starting a new training program.
3.) Warm Up – Don’t go straight into working out. Heading straight into your workouts will make you more susceptible to injury and will increase soreness post-workout. You should start with a will rounded warm up program which will get your body warm to increse performance and recovery. Monostructural exercises like running or jump rope are great ways to start your warm up and get your blood flowing. You also want to ease into intense training.
4.) Regulation – Don’t go overboard!!! This is the biggest cause of DOMS. It’s important that you challenge your limits, but you have to know your limits. This is where having a log is key. Gradual progression (AKA baby steps) will get you further in the long run and help to prevent DOMS but you need to know what you did last time. Also if you got super sore from 50 deadlifts at 315lbs you might not want to do 275lbs for 100 reps. Unless this data is in your log book you would not know.
5.) Cool Down – Is a most!!! Ways to cool down include light cardiovascular exercise, rolling out, distraction and static stretching. These cool down techniques will progressively lower body temperature, helping to flush the body and help increase range of motion in muscles and joints. All these techniques will help to reduce DOMS.
6.) Nutrition – Within 0 to 30 minutes you need a post workout shake. With in one hour of your workout, it is crucial to eat to get out of a catabolic environment and to get back into an anabolic environment. This will increase recovery rate and performance. In your post workout shake immediately after a workout you want to have an abundance of complex carbs and protein. “Also, studies have suggested that the anti-inflammatory effects of Vitamin C aid in post-workout recovery.” Load up on oranges or Vitamin pills!
7.) Active Recovery – A great way to increase recovery and to reduce DOMS is to stay active. Many clients assume that immediately resting muscles is the best road to recovery. This might be the worst thing in the world to do! However by staying active you are flushing the blood in your muscles and replenishing them with nutrients.
8.) Bathing – Icing your muscles or ice bathes won’t necessarily aid in the recovery, but it will help numb the pain and reduce the swelling of muscles. Hot Bath can help with taking muscle soreness away. The heat will increase circulation and provide a soothing effect but if done close to training my reduce recovery and cause rabdo. Flush the muscle soreness away is the best! Run or sit in a cold bath for2 to 5 minutes and then immediately switch to hot water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Repeat this process 5 to 10 times. The effect of opening and closing your blood vessels which will flush your muscles and ease the soreness. It is easier to take a shower and do this, but if you can do it in bathtubs that is best it just takes some courage!
9.) Massage – Massage away the muscle soreness. A simple body massage or massage to the sore muscles can reduce the tightness and increase blood flow. Getting a massage a week can ease stress, reduce pain, and relax your muscles and mind which will help with recoveery.
10.) Rest – Your body heals when it rest! The body recovers best when it sleeps. Make sure you get at least a full 8 hours of rest so that you don’t prolong your recovery. Also remember the Supercompensation rule which is “Gains are made when the body fully recovers from workout, not during the actual workout. An athlete may see gains in performance during the workout, but this is due to full recovery and supercompensation. During and after an intense workout there is an initial breakdown of muscle fibers and depletion of naturally occurring substances (nutrients) in the body, leaving the body and Nervous system in a state of fatigue post workout. From this state of fatigue the body begins to rebuild itself through rest and an increase in protein synthesis, to rebuild the muscle fibers and nervous system back to its original baseline level. The period from level of fatigue to baseline level is known as compensation. Now, if an athlete allows for proper recovery from initial fatigue to the next workout (graph I), he/she may then achieve supercompensation. This is where the muscle/Nervous system is built up beyond the original baseline, creating a new level of physical condition. This is the goal of training. That is, training smart, recovering well, and supercompensating completely.”