DOMS and workouts

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 3:46 PM GMT
    Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has always been a big problem for me. It’ll usually start the day after a workout and last three or four days, or up to a week in my quads. Is there a way to minimize it? Also, people say it takes a day or two for muscles to recover, so have my muscles recovered even though I still have DOMS? What I’d like to do is increase the frequency of my workouts, but I’m not sure it would be productive, or even safe.

    PS, I read on this thread that turmeric helps reduce DOMS, but I’ve already been adding a tablespoon of turmeric to my protein shakes and I never would have guessed it was supposed to help with DOMS, it didn’t noticeably affect mine.
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    Aug 26, 2008 4:16 PM GMT
    How much water do you intake during the day? Do you take any vitamins?

    Hydration is the best way to flush the toxins out of your system (one of the reasons you feel the way you do). Similar to drinking plenty of water after a massage, you need to keep well hydrated when working out.

    I think potassium should be good too, like if you get cramps a lot (different than DOMS, I know) but potassium helps to relieve that type of stuff too.
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    Aug 26, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    I take a couple baby aspirins each day to control inflammation...both in the muscles from a workout ...and just in the body in general

    Also, fish oil is good for calming inflammation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    how long have you been lifting? do you frequently change your routine? DOMS tends to subside after you become more accustomed to the movements. at least, that's been my experience.
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    Aug 26, 2008 5:55 PM GMT
    DOMS is the common cold of exercise physiology. Despite a fair amount of research, we still don't know precisely how it works, or how to avoid or treat it.

    It has nothing to do with lactic acid or other "toxins", so flushing isn't a good strategy (though there is some evidence that dehydration during workouts can worsen DOMS).

    DOMS is a symptom of the body repairing itself after you've hit your muscles hard, either fixing or reinforcing muscle fibers. Destroying those same muscles before the repair process has completed will reduce your long-term gains, so severe soreness is generally a good indicator that you should keep resting those muscles.

    I don't know anything about tumeric or other folk remedies, but you might try:

    1) Reducing your use of negative (eccentric) reps.

    2) Using a foam roller on the affected muscle areas (not just rolling on your back) before and after the workout.

    3) Doing som light exercise/cardio that moves blood and nutrients to the muscle fibers to promote repair.

    4) Dating a massage therapist.
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    Aug 26, 2008 6:17 PM GMT
    It usually helps me to do some light exercises with the same muscle group, e.g the next day after an intense leg workout I can feel pain and stiffness on its way and I just go jogging. While it feels a bit weird at the start gradually as you warm up the "pain", stiffness subsides. Maybe this would be a candidate for a folk tale remedy but for me, this works fantastic. If I do not do anything it gets worse the next 2,3 days. If your work out is tough then you can also help yourself in advance by picking up a magnesium supplement from your local pharmacy and drink it after your workout.

    The ingredients on my brand are:
    Magnesium : 150mg
    Kalium: 250 mg
    Vitamin C: 50mg

    As it has been pointed out the more accustomed you get to your lifting routines the less this effect occurs.
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    Aug 26, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    Good advice from folks, especially the "dating a massage therapist" which has been an unfulfilled goal of mine for quite a while now. Sigh.

    I'll refrain from offering my opinion on DOMS, other than to say I think the studies out there are only the beginning and a lot more rigorous work needs to be done on this issue. In the meantime, it's probably a good assumption to make that DOMS is related to the muscle repair process, but not to use it as an indicator of progress.

    As to what to "do" about it, again, the verdict is still out, but until it is resolved, it's probably a good idea to avoid really hitting a muscle hard if it's still sore, for a variety or reasons.

    One thing that's missing is whether you're working out with a split routine or with a full or half-body workout. One of the reasons split routines were invented was to give any particular muscle group adequate rest (and to let DOMS subside), but still allow you to work out more than once every 4 days. Are you on a split?

    And I second MuscleBud's question on water intake. What's your story there?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 7:21 PM GMT
    Unfortunately, I'm not where I can site the studies, but I seem to remember that there are several issues that cause DOMS. All are interrelated.
    Since muscle repair is typically about a 72 hour process, the split is the first thing to consider.
    Amount of weight is also, If your lifting too much or with improper form (jerking rather than slow controlled motion. Jerking is the most common indicator of lifting too heavy a load.) If you can't do it slowly, then lower the weight until you can, Plus jerking motions are bad for your joints.
    Insufficient or in adequate stretching prior to lifting as well as a warm-up.

    While there are guys who can get away with this kind of thing, it often catches up with them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies!

    Yeah, I’ve been on a split routine for years now. I had heard DOMS becomes less of an issue as you stick with a particular routine, and I vary my routines only a few times a year really. The story of it is that in college, I hired a kinesiology student who received credits for personal training, and he put me on a split routine. I’ve changed some of the order I work the muscles, and over time some of the exercises, but I’m pretty conservative about changing it up. Ultimately, though, I’d like to cut my days of resting to a day, and for some muscles (especially legs) the DOMS lasts longer than my five-day split routine + one day’s rest. I will have to say, I'm bad about stretching.

    I’ll definitely try adding some light cardio before, and light exercises the day after. It sounds like the consensus is that I should wait to hit a muscle group only after DOMS subsides. How do I reduce my eccentric reps? And what’s the significance of magnesium?

    If inflammation causes DOMS, then it’s probably my genetic inferiority… my family has a history of inflammatory conditions. Besides turmeric, I take nsaids, fish oil and have an anti-inflammatory diet. Also, I do drink a ton of water, as well as green tea. They’re my two drinks of choice.

    A bit ironically, I’m close friends with a massage therapist (I’m actually staying with him this week), who’s very strict about not giving his friends massages “to maintain personal boundaries,” which is kind of irritating since we’ve had sex anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    I read in Men's Health that taking pain killers or anti-inflammatories limited your muscle growth, but then I went looking on the net to see if there were supporting studies, and there are findings in both directions:

    This one says that the painkillers stop muscle growth: http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/282/3/E551

    This one says that quadricep growth increases with painkillers: http://insidebodybuilding.blogspot.com/2008/04/over-counter-pain-killers-increase.html

    Maybe you should do some research before you consider painkillers. I have a gym-buddy with chronic pain. He just suffers and complains about it. You could always give that a go.

  • B71115

    Posts: 482

    Aug 26, 2008 9:21 PM GMT
    stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching stretching
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    The research on the benefits of stretching for combatting or relieving DOMS is, to put it charitably, mixed. In fact, some studies have found that in some cases stretching can actually aggravate DOMS. Although it trashed the 20th Century mythology about stretching and DOMS (just as the lactic acid-theory had fallen away earlier), these results make some sense when you consider that there really isn't a plausible mechanism for stretching to repair microtears in muscle fibers or fix the connective tissue. The principal benefit likely experienced by individuals who report that they believe stretching has had an effect for them is that, like most other physical activity, it has increased blood flow to the affected areas.

    Not an argument against stretching by any means. But the medical evidence doesn't really recommend it any longer as a strategy against DOMS.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 10:13 PM GMT
    When I stop getting DOMS, I know it's time to switch up my routines.

    It always hits me about 2 days after I've worked a particular muscle group. I know if I get the pain, I'm working the muscles in a different way. And I have to say, I've seen considerable growth over the last year.

    I say embrace the pain.
    Work the pain.
    BE the pain.
    icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 10:26 PM GMT
    The eccentric motion is the primary cause of DOMS. The soreness isn't from the toxins, those get flushed out pretty quickly. The soreness is from microtears in the tissue, and those take a few days to heal back up. Many of the techniques mentioned have been tested with conflicting results so nothing is proven to eliminate DOMS, but they are good ideas that can help reduce the symptoms.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 11:08 PM GMT
    dammit...I saw this thread and thought it was about dominant guys and working out...

    sorry for interrupting...

    and now back to the regularly scheduled advice
  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Aug 26, 2008 11:30 PM GMT
    I totally thought someone was going to use the word 'leathers' in this thread
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 26, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    Yeah, you're gonna lift those weights aintcha pussyboy? You like lifting those weights. Yeah, yeah, lift those big weights, higher, higher, bitchboy.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 27, 2008 5:28 AM GMT
    331,
    I have found that a combination of calcium, magnesium and malic acid greatly reduces the DOMS. Try it!! Don't leave out the malic acid.

    mike3
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2008 5:44 AM GMT
    DOMS is inevitable when you workout and you are pushing yourself. Every time you start a new routine whether it's completely different or you vary some exercise in some way, it's going to recruit muscle fibers differently and you'll be sore. EXCESSIVE soreness (4 and 5 days after), you are most likely over doing it and in all likelihood sacrificing good form in effort to push more weight. My advice, stay on your split routine and for the next couple weeks, back off a bit on weight and concentrate on form. Generally increasing weights more than 5% per workout is not advisable (but not unheard of either)....listen to your body. See if this alleviates the excessive soreness and then start moving back up in weight more slowly. It's great to push yourself and we all want that "perfect" body yesterday but if you injure yourself, it's one step forward two steps back and that means it will take that much longer. Train smart.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2008 11:21 AM GMT
    I seem to remember a study that concluded you could workout with DOMS since it didn't effect recovery.
  • B71115

    Posts: 482

    Aug 28, 2008 4:39 AM GMT
    BoarderX saidThe research on the benefits of stretching for combatting or relieving DOMS is, to put it charitably, mixed. In fact, some studies have found that in some cases stretching can actually aggravate DOMS. Although it trashed the 20th Century mythology about stretching and DOMS (just as the lactic acid-theory had fallen away earlier), these results make some sense when you consider that there really isn't a plausible mechanism for stretching to repair microtears in muscle fibers or fix the connective tissue. The principal benefit likely experienced by individuals who report that they believe stretching has had an effect for them is that, like most other physical activity, it has increased blood flow to the affected areas.

    Not an argument against stretching by any means. But the medical evidence doesn't really recommend it any longer as a strategy against DOMS.


    Research? Research? Nice idea. How about life experience? You aren't going to get rid of it. But you can make it better. icon_biggrin.gif

    stretching

    S T R E T C H I N G

    Moist heat helps, too.