Tag Archives: rated perceived exertion

Post-Workout Recovery and Performance

1 Apr


“Rapid recovery between workouts is important for optimal training.  Short-term recovery from competition for competitive athletes is a major focus for athletes and their coaches.  Short-term recovery is a key factor for better performance.” (Enhancing Short-Term Recovery After High-Intensity Anaerobic Exercise; Al-Nawaiser, Ali, M., et.al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research)

Post-workout muscle soreness (pain and stiffness that peaks 24–72 hours post-workout), also known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is a mostly normal after-effect of exercise or exertion.  DOMS is less related to the duration and intensity of a workout, and more attributable to the novelty (“newness”) or variety of movement.  New and different exercises, drills, and movement patterns seem to have greater potential to induce post-exercise soreness than familiar exercises, even at higher intensity levels.

And, while experts agree that there’s nothing you can do to completely alleviate post-workout soreness, there are some strategies that may be helpful to protect performance, according to a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study. (Al-Nawaiser, Ali M., et.al.)

The study examined the effects of antioxidant vitamins, ibuprofen, cold water submersion, and whey protein administered simultaneously on short-term recovery.

Power output, Creatine kinase (a marker of muscle damage), muscle soreness, and rated perceived exertion were measured after 24 hours.

According to the authors, “Treatment was helpful in protecting performance, but this was apparently not due to reduced muscle soreness or damage.”

Given this information, we may need to re-think the rationale for post-workout recovery: Less as a means to reduce soreness, and more as a way to protect performance.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that rest is a vital component of the muscle- and strength-building process.  Sore muscles need time to heal and recover.


Your thoughts?

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