This morning I got an e mail from Rob at Risebridge club in Goudhurst, Kent. Risebridge specialise in Crossfit and after asking Rob’s permission to post, here it is.
It can kick in after 6 hours but peaks around the 48 hour mark and, if you’ve been taking it easy over the summer, it’s inevitable.
You know it’s coming too, especially if there’s lunges in your first WOD back!
What am I talking about?
DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
What is it?
Well, also called muscle fever, it is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.
Why am I talking about it now?
Because I’ve got it and I know it’s going to get worse! As I write this it’s only about 8 hours on from my training session this morning and my glutes and shoulders are already displaying signs.
Don’t laugh though, if you’ve had a lay off exercise whilst on holiday it’s coming your way too!
Here is a quick explanation of why it occurs from researchers Schoenfeld and Contreras:
Whilst “the exact mechanisms are not well understood, DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.”
Schoenfeld and Contreras’ research paper continues but goes deep into the biochemistry of it all describing noxious chemicals and different nerve afferents. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into too much detail, it’s enough to know that DOMS appears to occur due to connective tissue micro trauma after the body has been exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity.
What’s more interesting perhaps is to ask whether or not it’s a usefulI to us in terms of us progressing with our health and fitness.
I regularly hear you guys mention how much you ache after certain workouts and in fitness circles it’s often associated with, and indeed expected as, proof of having a ‘proper’ workout.
But is this the case?
Watch out for my next email where I’ll discuss the pros and cons of DOMS.
See you soon,