Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is generally seen as local pain in a trained muscle resulting from muscle damage during your lifting session. It is known that when you weight train you cause micro-tears to the target muscles which will later lead to the soreness.
DOMS occurs 12-72 hours after training, depending on the individual. It is usually associated with stiffness in the affected joints and a possible loss of strength and mobility of the muscle.
Most of us believe that soreness means we've done a great workout that will lead to growth or positive results. The truth is, when you first start training, or when you come back to training after a layoff, you experience the most severe DOMS. And it happens that during these periods you also gain the most muscle (new muscle mass as a result of your body adapting to the new activity or regained muscle that was lost during the layoff).
But is being sore necessarily an indication that you'll gain muscle? And is the lack of soreness an indication that your workout was a waste of effort? The answer is NO in both cases.
Actually, being sore doesn't mean you're stimulating more muscle growth; it means that you've outdone your body's current capacity to handle that amount of physical stress. Your body fights to maintain its balance and becomes better at tolerating training. The same thing happens when you switch to a new program or exercise.
When you diet hard to get lean, and you reduce calories and nutrients significantly, you tend to be more sore than usual, and the soreness lasts longer. Does that mean you'll build more muscle when dieting down? Of course not!
This reduction in calories affects your capacity to handle training intensity and the speed of your recovery. Making sure to get enough nutrients before and after your workout is very important if you want to reduce soreness. It is highly recommended that you fuel up your workout with Aminocore BCAAs (http://shapeupstore.net/AMINOCORE-400g) and include Creatine Krush Loaded (http://shapeupstore.net/Krush-Loaded) in your post workout shake.
When you get more advanced, you tend to becomeless sore. Your body has adapted to handling the training intensity. So the level of soreness you feel is not necessarily representative of the amount of gains you'll get. Likewise, not being sore doesn't mean that you didn't stimulate enough muscle fibers.
You should, however, feel your muscles are pumped, tighter and harder the day after a good training session. Soreness must not have a negative impact on your training neither by reducing strength or range of motion nor by preventing you from exercising with proper form and technique.
If the soreness isn't too intense that it affects your ability to perform the exercises properly, it's advisable to train the sore muscles using light intensity. Doing pump work and focusing on the quality of the contraction will not further damage the tissue but will increase blood flow and nutrient transport to the muscle which can speed up recovery.
You might be thinking right now that training a sore muscle might interrupt the repair process. The answer is no. Repair isn't something that happens for a specific period of time. Your body is always repairing and working on the muscles, thus training a sore muscle doesn't halt or delay the recovery process.
Now that you understand soreness a little better, it will help you train smartly, take your performance and strength to the limit without hurting yourself. Listen to your body and have the full control over it for continuous positive results and gains.
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