Two days ago I did a very short but very heavy session.
My gym partner loaded me up with weights of 4-6 max reps. It was great!
Afterwards, and the next day, just a "pleasant" heavy feeling. Now, if I didn't know better I'd think someone beat me up with a baseball bat. It has NEVER been this bad! I can't dress myself properly.
The day after I did a light, calisthenic style workout (pushups, sit ups, lunges, squats) to keep those muscles moving but not exerting them too much.
I also ate the equivalent of a small hippo over my daily calorie recommendation of 2000cal (is this normal??)
Today I was thinking a short, light jog to lessen the muscle stiffness/soreness (hopefully)?
Not sure where I'm going with this post other than: OOOWWWWWW and seeking some advice on best recovery.
Stretching and foam rolling are the two best things I have found for DOMS. Magnesium oil seems to help me too. Definitely helps me sleep well at least.
After decades of making mistakes, I finally came to the conclusion that its best to just wait 'til all/most of the soreness is gone. Usually takes a couple of days after the worst of the DOMS for me but then at 50, the resilience and rebound of youth have departed somewhat. Nowadays, during recovery time I walk and stretch a lot and just carry on with the rest of my life. No need to get in a hurry because next session is likely to be stronger/better if I allow myself to recover well from a bad bout of DOMS.
Agree with above. Long walk, magnesium and rest until all soreness is gone. Light duty seems to help it heal faster, like normal housework and job stuff.
DOMS is not the enemy....it is the sign that you are getting stronger. It sucks to go through, but it is what it is.
Basically, there are two types of exercise that are going to cause a lot of DOMS: 1) Going VERY heavy, few reps, esp compound movements. 2) High volume anything (doing air arm circles for ten min will make you really sore, for example)
When you put all of that weight on, you are challenging the muscle past the point it is used to. You will recruit ALL of your muscle if you are highly trained, but some of those fibers all moving in one direction are going to tear from the load. This is the micro-tearing all strength training is based on. No duh :)
The "delayed" part is caused by the inflammation that sets in after all of this tearing, and it takes awhile to get in full swing. It's not lactic build up or anything else, it's that your muscles are literally shredded....all of that inflammation causes the recruitment of hypertrophic growth factors though, and will make the muscle grow back stronger. I agree with the previous poster...don't workout a sore muscle. You grow in rest, not in lifting.
Medically, inflammation has 5 parts that are mandatory, so I always say that taking them all on individually makes for faster recovery.
Rubor (redness): Caused by increased blood flow to heal area. Fight by light movement of the area, like you are doing.
Dolor (pain): Best methods I've found are ice baths and jacuzzi. Ice will temporarily drive out a lot of the prostaglandins causing you pain.
Calor (heat): Ice, ice baby
Tumor (swelling): I don't stretch it (more tearing), and don't take NSAIDS for it (advil, tylenol), as these will likely prolong the process. Those work by cutting off the prostaglandins, which long-term heal your muscles.
Function loss: Don't use it until it's better. Eat well, make sure to have enough protein, the normal stuff. You did good to get it :)
Adding a magnesium supplement greatly reduced my post-lifting soreness, so another vote for that. Or some epsom salts in a hot bath.
I make a drink using freshly chopped ginger and a slice of lemon in hot water. Add honey if you can't bear the bitterness but I kind of like it. Ginger has some great properties, one of them is easing muscle soreness. I shredded my quads running a long downhill recently, it helped but like everyone else says just gentle movement and nothing strenuous. If you aren't getting DOMS you probably aren't trying hard enough!
Foam rolling and magnesium baths are my best friends after heavy sessions. Oh and plenty of starchy carbs in my post training meal (otherwise I feel like I've gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson the next day...as well as wanting to eat like a baby hippo).
Lazarus: wow, very informative! Thank you. I'm currently studying Fitness so that's very useful to know.
I take Magnesium, but for some reason it hasn't done anything. That I can feel anyway!
Didn't know about the ginger thing, will definitely try.
Carrying on with gentle activity seemed to work today. However, now I can barely move again after sitting down for 15mins.
If I end up with DOMS, I simply lay off the exercise on that part of the body until it goes away.
Mike Mentzer in Heavy Duty training reckoned that anywhere between 4 days to over a week was optimal recovery time after a HIT session....Lift heavy but infrequently.