Does Postexercise Muscle Soreness Indicate Training Effectiveness?

30 Jan

How%20to%20prevent%20this%20post-workout%20pain[1]Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a common side effect of exercise, especially with unfamiliar, vigorous, high-intensity training.  Many athletes consider DOMS to be a valid indicator of training quality and effectiveness.

DOMS is probably caused by inflammation resulting from micro-tears in muscle and connective tissue that occur during exercise.  Usually, soreness begins about 6-8 hours after exercise, and can last 2-3 days.  There is no significant documentation supporting a gender-related difference in DOMS.

Since we know that these micro-tears are the stimulus for muscle growth — provided adequate time for rest, recovery, and regeneration — there is probably some theoretical basis to support such damage resulting in subsequent muscle growth.

Although postexercise soreness (stiffness) may be a valid indicator of  — and stimulus for — muscle growth, it is important to differentiate between DOMS and Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage (EIMD)Sharp muscle and/or joint pain may be an indicator of a more serious problem, especially if it is accompanied by considerable edema and swelling, and persists for more than a few days.

Challenge yourself in the weight room (court, field, track, etc.), but your workout should be gradually (and realistically) progressive.  Keep your increases in intensity incremental, consistent, and steady.


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