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Is it a good idea to train muscles with a little DOMS?

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  • Is it a good idea to train muscles with a little DOMS?

    I've always thought it is best to wait until the muscles are fresh before training them again. However when I train my legs every 4 days now there is usually a bit of soreness there, and sometimes a bit of overlap from the previous workout (e.g. Biceps>Back and Deadlift>Lower Back and Hams).

    I'm fairly new to DC, so just wondering what others would do. Train as planned or insert an extra rest day maybe?

  • #2
    Originally posted by pdiddy15 View Post
    I've always thought it is best to wait until the muscles are fresh before training them again. However when I train my legs every 4 days now there is usually a bit of soreness there, and sometimes a bit of overlap from the previous workout (e.g. Biceps>Back and Deadlift>Lower Back and Hams).

    I'm fairly new to DC, so just wondering what others would do. Train as planned or insert an extra rest day maybe?
    In my opinion, wait the extra day. Im back on a new blast and my soreness is lasting longer so im taking the rest. 3 weeks from now, I will be back in the groove and my soreness will dissipate faster.

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    • #3
      Thanks Colokrom


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      • #4
        Do some stretches on rest days as well.

        It may be just me but my soreness is also my gauge for protein and water intake, if my soreness is hanging around I will make an effort to sneak in more animal protein and water....seems to have an affect.

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        • #5
          Yep its not issue. DOMs and overall soreness is simply acid built up. Doesn't mean you shouldn't train

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          • #6
            After a good training session, DOMS can last many days after the initial major elevation in protein synthesis is back to baseline (lasting only about 48hr or much less).

            (DOMS is not due to lingering muscle acidity or muscle acidity during exercise. I can address that if anyone's interested.)

            So, the time course of muscle soreness and the period of increased muscle protein turnover do not coincide: DOMS may not be indicating the state of muscle recovery that many suspect it is.

            Also - one can grow muscle quite well and have minimal / no DOMS, but others can have DOMS continuously and make good gains. Even when you control for strength, age, and activity level, the extent of muscle soreness is WIDELY variable. (I have seen this personally in a controlled lab setting. It’s bizarre, actually. I suspect some of it has to do with perception of pain and some of it due the various factors underlying the muscle injury.)

            So, common sense should prevail, of course. If your DOMS is abnormal or getting worse and worse, then pulling in the reigns makes sense (take a day off training, reduce volume, etc.).

            DOMS that subsides after you get warmed up is something one can train through, in my experience, but this doesn't mean one shouldn't also pay attention to it. Ever notice how one exercise for a given muscle group might be more painful than another for the same muscle group? (E.g., seated ham curls hurts much less than a SLDL variation, especially after you training with stiff-legged DLs the previous workout... ) This is likely related to the activation pattern: The DOMS is somewhat specific to the activity / exercise that caused it. So, training with exercises that aren't as painful also makes sense, b/c those are the ones that are activating the muscle differently than your last training session.

            An easier example would be if one's upper chest is sore. Training lower / middle chest with presses / flies / etc. at a different angle introduces variety into training. The upper / clavicular pec will still get a training stimulus with the new angles but working around the soreness to some degree hits the muscle mass that was (probably) less stimulated previously (lower/mid pec) and avoids perpetuating excessive soreness elsewhere (upper pec).

            -S
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            • #7
              I do. Once I am stretched out/warmed up it doesnt seem to matter

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShadowBeast View Post
                Yep its not issue. DOMs and overall soreness is simply acid built up. Doesn't mean you shouldn't train
                Originally posted by homonunculus View Post
                ....(DOMS is not due to lingering muscle acidity or muscle acidity during exercise. I can address that if anyone's interested.)....-S

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                • #9
                  I love Homon. Thats why this place is the shizzzz.....for real.

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                  • #10
                    GREAT post Scott. ...


                    I did 15 weeks of Squat. Every. Day (Mon-Sat), obviously I trained with DOMS, like Scott said most of the time it subsided by time I was done warming up.

                    Oddly enough, my percieved doms had little effect on the quality of my workout (quality defined by worki g up to a "daily 1RM", eg-some says id be sore and kill it, other days id be loaded (rested, fully carbed, no soreness) and be lackluster.

                    Another weird side note once every week or so id have to train at 4am which means I'd get only 5-5.5 hours sleep but I almost always had great workouts on those mornings.???? I thought maybe itv was a mini flight or fight response (idk)
                    Last edited by trucelt; 12-24-2015, 10:42 AM.
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                    • #11
                      There's some really cool studies done on maximal voluntary contraction, DOMs, and possible physiological mechanisms behind it, and all that fun stuff... Enzyme involvement, preferential muscle fiber recruitment patterns, etc. But I'll let Scott expand on that should he so want to

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                      • #12
                        Scott, jump on and answer questions more often. We beg of you.

                        Legs are one group for me that always end up ridiculously sore. If we use soreness as an indicator whether we should or should not train a muscle, then some muscles would rarely get trained as often as they should, and we would be training others, like delts, every day. I have muscles that I struggle to get sore. Not that Im aiming for soreness, but it can tell me if I used that muscle properly in my training. But if that's all it take to judge when I should train a muscle next then I could be hitting many muscles every other day, and hard.

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                        • #13
                          Scott obviously said plenty. I will also add that your own personal recovery should be cross referenced with many factors soreness being the least of these. Aches can be one thing but soreness alone is not an indicator of success or failure. I recommend orthostatic heart rate testing as well to add to your recovery analysis tools.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shawn "Future" Bellon View Post
                            Scott obviously said plenty. I will also add that your own personal recovery should be cross referenced with many factors soreness being the least of these. Aches can be one thing but soreness alone is not an indicator of success or failure. I recommend orthostatic heart rate testing as well to add to your recovery analysis tools.
                            I've heard more and more about that lately. I've not looked into it in depth, admittedly, insofar as research supporting its efficacy. I've done some work with HRV, which several people (and companies) are now touting as an indicator of over reaching / over training, although I am not sold. (The research we did with HRV was related to anaerobic threshold.) I'd be interested to see the comparison(s) between HRV and OHR testing as it relates to markers of over training.

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                            • #15
                              I dont think in itself it is something to hang your hat on but part of the overall training protocol to consistently assess recovery.
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