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aching muscles

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:41 pm
by hoffmeister
I have been training for a couple of months and my muscles still ache the day after (and sometimes two days after) training. I have spoken to friends and no one experinece the same thing unless they have been training really hard. I almost never strech and the ache is often located in the same muscles.

Does anyone have a clue on why this is happening and if there are ways of prevent this.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:56 pm
by Pete
Couple of things. First you should stretch :!: that's a must. If a certain exercise causes aches, it could be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) they come on over the day or two after you workout, some people get them bad, others not at all (DOMS do not indicate a good workout), you could be over-stretching tight muscles, you could be using bad form on some of your exercises or it could be that you are not designed for some of the exercises you are using (I can't do the flye without elbow pain - no loss there then :) ).
A few things you can eliminate, go to check out the Infinity fitness, ExRx, etc sites & check your form (make sure you are doing the exercises right).
Next, stretch the part that you intend to exercise before & after (even between sets) your workout.
You don't say what exercises cause what ache, so if you give us some details it might give us more of a clue. If it is DOMS you are lumbered. You can help them by having a hot bath after you train, massage the areas after training, stretch them regularly, but some people are more prone to DOMS than others (simple fact of life).
Hope this has been of some help, if you give me some more facts I'll try to give you a bit more help.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:20 pm
by dudeimhuge
are you saying that soreness indicates bad form at all times? i stretch and have always thought i've had excellent form, i'm not really sore except when i actually stretch the muscle group i worked out later that day or the next but i do feel soreness at certain this bad? i guess what i'm asking is, i know that pain is bad, but i should expect some indication(that being some form of soreness) that i worked that muscle group, right?


PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 9:14 pm
by Renecarol25
I know I'm not Pete but no that's not what he is saying. Sometimes people use DOMS as an indication that they are getting a good workout. It doesn't always.. sometimes it could be something else. And you can get a good workout in without being sore.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:19 am
by stateofflux
Just to say- my DOMS have diminished significantly since I started using MSM. It's great because it means I recover faster and can do more.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:24 am
by JP
Personally, and i think this is often the case, you get DOMS when you do "something new". So those who start lifting get DOMS, very serious ones as well and slowly they start easing untill you get them hardly at all - and then the misconseption comes in and new lifters think that they are somehow not working hard enough because there are no DOMS to prove your effort.

For instance squatting i always get a bit stiff but since early last autumn i didn't really get any DOMS to speak off. But then I changed my squatting style from slightly wider than shoulder width to as wide as you can go inside the rack, the doms were unbelievable! Quite enjoy them though ;)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:44 pm
by prenna
What are people's opinions on training through DOMS? I've heard some people say that you shouldn't train until you have no trace of DOMS while others have said that you can train through it.
My problem with stopping training till the pain completely goes is that it's hard to build working out into a routine or a habit. I only do calisthenics (no weights) so it may be less of an issue but what do people here think?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:56 pm
by blackdaisies
I personally like the soreness. I feel like progress is being made. I usually split my workouts though so even if my say my upper half feels sore, I could still work out my lower half.

I've been pushing myself with the weights more, so the stiffness is part of my life. I didn't know that it could be unhealthy though (except maybe last week when I couldn't move!)

DOMS, training and other musings

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 10:00 pm
by VeganEssentials
The whole topic of training while still suffering from DOMS is definitely a tough call, and I think that it is definitely up to the individual to decide what is right for them (though I lean greatly toward being fully recovered or extremely close to it myself before training a body part again.) Things to consider are:

1. Training while still feeling DOMS means you're likely to be more susceptible to injury in that body part.

2. If you're still feeling DOMS, you're probably not going to be at full strength for that part which is being worked.

3. If you're looking for mass/strength gains, they will likely be hindered if you train a body part before it has recovered.

All things considered, if you train with DOMS regularly and still make progress and manage to avoid injury then you're one of the lucky ones - I found that when I ignored the prolonged aches early on in my lifting and it cost me a lot of time trying to make up for the slow progress later on. This is a lot of why I train instinctively - if I feel well recovered early after working a specific lift/muscle group and am up for it I'll train it anywhere from 4-6 days later, perhaps not all-out but with a chosen secondary movement (as with 1/4 deadlifts instead of deadlifts from the floor). If I'm wiped out and sore for a long time (such as with benching) I won't think of training that part for 7-10 days later until I've recovered. For me, making gains in every workout is what motivates me, and when I train with DOMS my gains are almost nonexistant.

I do have to agree with what was said before, DOMS are definitely not always a strong indicator of a good workout. Anyone remember the Simpsons episode where Homer started hitting the gym, got under the pulldown machine and would repeatedly drop the weight stack on his head, saying something to the effect of "My head's sure going to be sore in the morning!" Soreness doesn't always equate to progress, as if it did there'd be a lot more herculean physiques out there from those that train non-stop for endless hours. Best bet is to always listen to your body, and if it seems to be telling you it isn't ready yet, give it another day or two - a little extra rest will be beneficial and nobody's program ever failed because they were careful to keep themselves injury free!

Enough of my ranting for now!


PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 10:34 pm
by Malcolms Billy
Just to throw my 2p's worth in and repeat what Pete's said before: stretching is REALLY important. My workout consists of a (cardio) 5 minute warmup, then stretch, then workout, and during the rest period between sets I will often stretch the muscle group I'm training, and then at the end I will again stretch any muscles that I can "feel", i.e. if I've really worked my back hard and can feel my lats, I will give them an extra stretch. I still get doms, but I'm sure they would be more severe if I didn't stretch.

As for training, I will train if I've got slight doms, i.e. not so bad that I wouldn't be able to complete the usual number of reps and sets. On Sunday I was still a bit sore from a previous workout, so I worked out anyway, but just did some different exercises, eg. front raises instead of military press and did lots of stretching.

I was once told that the big beefcakes who hold their arms gorilla style away from their body, might do so because they aren't able to keeps their arms straight anymore. They've contracted their biceps so strong and so often, without stretching afterwards, that they have shortened. Make what you want of this story, but it could make sense.

See ya,


PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
by ctchrinthry
I consistently get DOMS. BUT when i get DOMS and take time to let it fully go away, and eat well, it seems that i can always do a bit more next time with that muscle. If i work with DOMS i lift less and the gains seem to go away. I think people are different. Some people's muscles recover much faster. I ( and maybe you ) are not one of those.

Here's an article i think is good:

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:16 am
by Renecarol25
I'm with the group that says if you are still sore you probably need that extra day of rest for CNS adaption. That way you get maximum strength and mass gains.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:41 pm
by Pete
Hoff, you've had quite a bit of feedback on this. Has any of it stuck any chords, or are you still unsure of whether it is DOMS or some problem with form?
If you need any more help, tell us exactly the moves you do & what hurts after. It may be something you're just adapt to, or using the wrong form.
Hopefully, all the advice you've got, you've started to have some ideas of the problem & maybe formulate corrective measures.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:44 pm
by josh
I always get a little sore the 2nd day after doing bench presses...but im never sore at all the day before, does this happen to anyone else?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:21 pm
by Pete
Josh said
[quote]I always get a little sore the 2nd day after doing bench presses...but im never sore at all the day before, does this happen to anyone else?

...In the chest, shoulders, arms (at the back, in the triceps)? If the pain comes on after the 2nd day, then I'd think it was DOMS. The best bet is to start gentle stretching of the area regularly. Try stretching a few times a day & before & after every workout. If possible also try to have a hot bath the evening after training, however - if there is any possibility of inflamation, then do not get into a hot bath, use ice on the area of inflamation, this is very important! Stretching the area between sets can also help.
A point to be aware of while benching is to use a grip that isn't too wide or too narrow, use a grip you'd naturally use (normally just wider than the shoulders), or use dumbbells.
Another idea is if it's only benching that causes problems, do you have to bench? Doing Dips gives the chest a great workout & may not cause you any of the problems that benching does, just athought, but it might help?