PT on the Net Research

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness


Can my clients still see results if they do not get Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness the next day?


YES! The fact of the matter is that there aren’t many textbooks written about this phenomena. We can say beyond a reasonable doubt that you can expect higher levels of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) with heavy emphasis on the eccentric component of movement.

Unfortunately, this is where most of the research tends to fall short. First, we must look at most workouts going on in the gyms today. It is fair to say that most people ignore or at least de-emphasize the eccentric component of movement entirely. The question now becomes, are people really getting DOMS or is it that they couldn’t control the load they were using and they were actually damaging the structure and integrity of the joint capsule and surrounding tissue? With the staggering number of non-contact ACL tears and all the injury occurrences in the eccentric or isometric phases of movement, it is silly that mostly concentric or force production types of training still permeate the gym world.

Without going into another realm with this question, please understand that eccentric and isometric conditioning of muscles are the most important phases of training. Everyone starting an exercise regime should emphasize the eccentric and isometric components of movements for at least six to eight weeks or until they can truly control their movements. Getting back to the question of having a good workout without DOMS, the answer is yes. If you truly control the movements you are attempting and use the appropriate weight and intensity, you can build a strong base of support and avoid much of the DOMS effect from occurring. The reason people feel so much DOMS after what they think is a great workout goes back to what was previously stated that most people either can’t or don’t control the load they are using, and they damage part of the structure and become incredibly sore. If your clients stay pain free and keeps consistent with their training routines, they will experience much better results and make health and fitness an integral part of their lifestyle. Isn’t that what it is really all about?