Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): What is it? What causes it? Plus, 5 Ways to Alleviate its Effects
What is DOMS?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS) is a common condition that occurs when you are exercising intensely for a prolonged period of time. When your muscles get tired, they start to ache and become tender. This pain lasts anywhere from 2-6 hours after you stop working out or even if you do not finish all the exercises in your workout routine.
The reason why you experience DOMS is because your body is trying to recover from the intense physical activity. Your muscles have been stressed and overworked due to which they begin to feel like they are going through a fire. If you continue with your strenuous activities, these same muscles will eventually go into spasm and make you feel pain again.
How Long Does DOMS Last?
There are many theories about what causes DOMS but there is no definite answer yet. Some researchers believe that DOMS is caused by a combination of factors such as:
Exercise intensity – too much or too little Exercise volume – too high or low Rest interval between sets – short or long Recovery time between sets – short or long Exercise frequency – too often, not enough; Too few times, sometimes too much.
Other researches claim that DOMS is actually caused by something called “muscle damage” which results in the toxins that are released during the process of muscle contraction. However, there is still no evidence of any change in the muscles after exercise, so most experts believe that DOMS is more of a local pain phenomenon rather than a sign of any real tissue damage.
Regardless of what causes it, most people experience DOMS 2-3 days after they have done their particular activity. The pain usually lasts for a couple of days but the pain is not permanent and will eventually go away. Even if you continue your regular exercise routine, chances are that you will not experience DOMS again in that particular muscle group, unless you push yourself very hard during your next workout session.
5 Ways to Alleviate the Effects of DOMS
There are different things that you can do to reduce the pain caused by DOMS. Here are some simple ways to help you get through this condition:
Applying gentle pressure and massaging the affected area will help your muscles relax. You may also apply ice or heat to reduce swelling or any other kind of compress if you don’t have an ice pack available.
Stretching your muscles can also help relax them if done in a gentle manner.
3. Warm Baths
A hot bath can help you relax your muscles and its warmth can also take your pain away. Be careful not to get too relaxed though because this may cause you to lose your balance and fall which might just make your pain worse.
4. Stretch After Every Workout
The best way to prevent DOMS is to stretch after every single workout. Stretching has a lot of benefits that can make a huge difference in your training. Not only does it prevent injuries, but it also helps increase your flexibility and prevent DOMS to some degree.
One of the main reasons for DOMS is that after you’ve been working out, your muscles become stiff. Stretching them out not only makes you feel better but it will also improve your flexibility which can help you avoid injuries in the long run.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
Finally, make sure that your diet is up to par. Foods like salmon, eggs, chicken, bananas and low-fat milk are good for you and will help your body in a number of ways. Eating well will give you more energy and keep your mind clear so that you can focus on your work out and lifting more weight next time!
Get Ripped With No DOMS With These Helpful Tips
Getting ripped is the ideal that many men and women strive for. Not only does it make you look good with your shirt off, but it’s a great feeling to see all your hard work in the gym pay off with a body that turns heads.
So how do you go about getting that ripped body?
Well, there are several factors at play here and they all begin with a healthy diet and proper weight lifting routine. We’re going to break down the process of getting ripped so that you know what you’re doing and why.
First of all, if you want to get ripped, you’re going to have to start eating right. This means giving up the McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and any other fast food restaurants that are tempting you every day on your way home from work. It also means cutting back on beer (or eliminating it entirely) and drinking more water.
Starting out, you’re going to want to set a goal for yourself of how much weight you want to lose. Aim for a number and when you get there, re-evaluate the situation. As your weight decreases, your calorie intake will decrease as well since you won’t need as much food to sustain your body.
The more active you are (through working out), the more calories you’ll be able to consume since you’ll be burning them off.
When you’re first starting out on your weight loss goal, you’re not going to see a change for at least a few weeks. Don’t get discouraged and don’t raise your calorie intake! Be patient and keep working out.
Once your body starts adapting to your new diet, you’ll start shedding the pounds.
Another important thing to remember while getting ripped is that guys and girls have different shapes that they’re aiming for. Guys are usually aiming for a V-tapered torso while girls are usually trying to slim down their entire body.
As far as working out is concerned, you’re going to want to focus on high intensity interval training rather than long cardio sessions. This means that you’re really going to have to push yourself during your workouts and really push yourself to the limit.
One of the most popular ways of getting ripped is through doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with weights. What this means is doing intervals of high intensity activity broken up by periods of low intensity activity. So, for example:
You sprint as fast as you can on a treadmill for 20 seconds, then walk at a slower pace for 40 seconds. This cycle continues for 10 minutes. Once that cycle is complete, you increase the intensity and repeat the same process but this time with 15 seconds of high intensity and 45 seconds of low.
The meat and potatoes of your weight loss program should come from a well balanced diet plan. To get ripped, you’re going to have to eliminate the junk food in your diet and only consume the good stuff.
To get ripped quick, you’re going to have to burn more calories than you’re consuming (which is why it’s important not to eat junk food). A general guideline is to burn 500 calories more than you eat each day.
Here’s an example of a ripped dude’s daily diet:
Meal 1: 8 oz. lean beef, 1 cup of oatmeal Meal 2: 8 oz. cod, 1 cup of rice Meal 3: 6 eggs, 1 cup of oats Meal 4: 16 oz.
chicken, 2 cups of rice Meal 5: 10 oz. tilapia, 2 cups of rice Meal 6: 40 g protein powder, 1 cup of oats
As you can see, this meal plan is high in protein and carbohydrates but very low in fat (which is important if your goal is to get ripped).
Combine this diet with a solid weight training program and you’ll be on your way to getting ripped in no time. Just remember that getting ripped isn’t just a physical challenge, it’s a mental one as well. To get ripped, you’ll have to stick with your diet and workout plan regardless of what others may say (especially those close to you).
Ripped guys always get the girl. Girls are attracted to a guy with a six pack. If you’re ripped, you can pull of a tank top with no problems.
You don’t even need to do stupid stuff like flexing in front of a mirror to feel good about yourself, you’ll always feel confident when you know you’re ripped.
Now get out there and get ripped!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Effects of massage on delayed-onset muscle soreness, swelling, and recovery of muscle function (Z Zainuddin, M Newton, P Sacco… – Journal of athletic …, 2005 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Vibration therapy in management of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (Z Veqar, S Imtiyaz – Journal of clinical and diagnostic research …, 2014 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- To compare the effect of vibration therapy and massage in prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (S Imtiyaz, Z Veqar, MY Shareef – Journal of clinical and diagnostic …, 2014 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effects of athletic massage on delayed onset muscle soreness, creatine kinase, and neutrophil count: a preliminary report (LL Smith, MN Keating, D Holbert, DJ Spratt… – Journal of Orthopaedic & …, 1994 – jospt.org)