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As you rush back to your gym that recently re-opened, head to the the tennis court, softball field or basketball court for league practice, or begin training for that next 10K, you may feel that endorphin rush of your return to working out, but also feel the aches and pains of getting back into the game.  Have you ever wondered while that muscle soreness you look forward to as proof positive of a great workout happens the next day or a couple of days after?

There is a scientific answer.  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS occurs after any type of activity that puts unaccustomed stress on your muscles.  DOMS is different from the acute soreness or pain that happens during the actual physical activity.  DOMS typically begins 12 – 24 ours after your winning workout or tough training session and may produce the greatest pain 24 to 72 hours after the exercise has been performed.

According to the ACSM Resource brochure activities that are known to cause DOMS include

  • Strength training exercise
  • Walking down hills
  • Jogging
  • Step Aerobics
  • Jumping

DOMS prevention:

  • Slowly progress into a new program or activity
  • Allow the muscles to adapt and recover
  • Start with a proper warmup
  • No Pain, No Gain?

It is unlikely you will avoid soreness altogether when you start or restart an exercise program.

Pain does not need to be present to achieve gains.

If you are experiencing acute pain during exercise, this may indicate the exercise is too intense.  The exercise should be halted or adjusted so not to cause muscle or joint damage.

Check out the ACSM article and brochure: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS):

ACSM Resource Article: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) | Info Sheet

DOMS Brochure

If you would like to learn more about DOMS and have that desire to help others to reach their fitness goals as a personal trainer, fill out the form below to set up your personalized pre-enrollment orientation: