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Thread: D.o.m.s

  1. #1
    bex's Avatar
    bex is offline Banned
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    Oct 2001


    At some time in or around the gym you've probably heard somebody exclaim "I've got D.O.M.S!" It sounds like a life threatening disease doesn't it? In reality it is relatively harmless and has at some time or another been experienced by majority of athletes and bodybuilders. So what is it? D.O.M.S. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is that stiff, aching sensation that people get 1-2 days after training. People who are new to exercise or carry out an exercise programme which is more intense than they are used to, more often than not, suffer from DOMS. Some people, like myself who has been training for around 5 years at the time of writing, feel DOMS after every training session whilst others rarely feel it at all.

    So what does having DOMS mean? Well, the sensation usually arises between 12-48 hours after training and usually peaks at around 48-72 hours. DOMS can last up to a week in extreme cases. If your DOMS sensations lasts more than 7 days, you should visit a doctor. Whilst suffering DOMS you will see a temporary reduction in your lifting performance and possible a reduced range of movement. It is advisable not to train a muscle group that is still suffering DOMS from a previous workout. People may also see a slight swelling or inflammation of a muscle. There is no permanent damage associated with DOMS.

    The majority of bodybuilders that I know prefer to live with the sensation or DOMS but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the pain. The application of ice, light massage and ultrasound may reduce the discomfort of DOMS in some cases but will do little to aid muscle recovery. Ibuprofen and Aspirin may reduce the actual sensation of pain temporarily but again will not speed up muscle recovery. Personally, I enjoy the sensation of DOMS, and make no attempt to treat it.

    DOMS is thought, by many, to be caused by the microscopic tearing of muscle fibres which results from exercise when the load bearing capacity of a muscle has been exceeded. Others criticise this and believe that damage to the connective tissue attached to muscle is the cause of DOMS. The exact cause is unknown.

    What is known however, is that DOMS is particularly intense after performing eccentric or negative movements. Negative movements are "braking" movements such as lowering a weight or running down hill. DOMS can happen regardless of a persons fitness level. DOMS is not the result of a Lactic Acid build up. Lactic acid is, however, responsible for the burning sensation that is felt during actual exercise. This "pump" sensation is known as Acute Muscle Soreness (AMS) and will usually disappear within a couple of hours of finishing exercise. Neither DOMS or AMS are directly related to muscle growth.

    Can DOMS be prevented? At present, there is no sure fire way to prevent DOMS although steps can be taken to keep the sensation to a minimum. Light stretching and warmups may reduce DOMS. Maintaining a regular exercise programme will also reduce the DOMS though not necessarily in the case of bodybuilding where the muscles are frequently overloaded. It has been suggested that taking a dose of Vitamin C directly after training can significantly reduce the sensation. A study carried out around 40 years ago found that Vitamin C supplementation lessened the effects of DOMS. However, the conditions of the study are heavily criticised by some researchers. The search for a magic cure goes on...

  2. #2
    NightOp is offline Member
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    Jan 2002
    i love "DOMS" and if I don't feel it a day after my workout, I feel I didn't work hard enough, even though I know that you cannot base this on the presence of DOMS... All week long, something on my body is sore... I love it. good post btw

  3. #3
    Neo's Avatar
    Neo is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2002
    Boston, MA
    Great post Bex! Keep up the good work!!!!

  4. #4
    sp9's Avatar
    sp9 is offline MMA Competition Sentinel
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    Feb 2002
    Land of milk and honey.
    I'm feeling it right now! I'm with NiIghtOp, the sorenes rotates with my routine. It's great.

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