Monday, January 23, 2012

Post Workout Soreness: Details and Fixes

A few weeks ago, I posted this piece on post workout soreness.  Last week, I followed it up by referencing a quote from Mark Rippetoe on his forum on

This post by Justin at 70sBig is a great informational resource, both on DOMS/post workout soreness AND on what to do to mitigate it.

Feeling this way after your workouts isn't necessary,
or even desirable.  Really!

The point of my post, and Rip's, is that DOMS isn't something to aim for, and that most of the time, careful, logical planning and progression in your workouts - along with consistency/not missing workouts - will prevent any MAJOR bouts of DOMS.  Though some small soreness will likely sometimes occur, it will be more like "Oh, I worked out yesterday," than "Holy $#^$#%*%#%##^#!!!!  It hurts to get up from my chair or go up stairs!!!"

The 70sBig post elaborates more on the phenomenon, and gives suggestions on what to do if you did something stupid and trained in a way that elicited a massive bout of DOMS.  Or, how to use the Repeated Bout Effect to prevent these huge bouts of DOMS in the first place.  A relatively short, straight-forward post that's well worth the read.

I'll quote first my favorite part, then the part most relevant to my previous posts on the topic (again, linked above if you haven't read them yet).  But go ahead and read the entire thing - you know you want to!
1. Favorite part - Shawn had about a month off from training. You know what that asshole did on squats in his first session back? 135 for 5; 185 for 5; 225 for 5; 275 for 5; 315 for 3; 225 for 10; (next two sets are front squat) 135 for 10; 135 for 6 — that’s a shit-load of work....Sure, it was dumb. But calling Shawn an idiot relentlessly isn’t going to help his crippling soreness. He told me, “Dude, I am so fucking sore. I had to FALL onto the toilet seat to take a shit earlier.”
2. Most relevant to my earlier posts:  DOMS occurs as a result of doing something that the structures aren’t adapted to. This could include a significant change in volume and intensity, or it could occur from performing a new movement using structures through a different range of motion (ROM). For example, a CrossFitter would experience higher levels of soreness if they started squatting 3×5 at heavier weights than they handle in their met-cons. Conversely, a lifter would experience high levels of soreness if they tried a high repetition CrossFit met-con after being adapted to low repetition lifting (even more so since CrossFit will typically include new or different movements from the lifter’s normal training repertoire). 

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