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    What Causes My Muscles to Be Sore?

    Why Muscles are Sore

    The issue is muscle soreness was not taken into consideration. Working out causes the muscles to tear, called micro tears. These micro tears have to have time to heal so you can recover. It is the recovery that is essential to building muscle, getting stronger in order to obtain a higher workload in your training, which will lead you to physically burn more calories because you can go longer, be stronger etc. Whatever your fitness results are, recuperation is the key, and more soreness happens...at least initially. The trick to avoiding, or at least reducing the amount of muscle soreness you get from a workout is to gradually build up your workouts, as opposed to going all out at the get go.

     

     

    DOMS - WHAT IS THAT?!?

    D.O.M.S. stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is the soreness you feel in your muscles after a very strenuous workout, or a very new workout. It is usually cause by eccentric muscle contractions, or muscle tension while stretching the muscle, such as lowering a relatively heavy weight slowly...the muscle is fully contracted, but it is lengthening at the same time. It's this lengthening of the muscle while under stress which causes trauma to the muscle. Plyometrics is also a good cause of DOMS. If you do a lot of box jumps, and jump down... that may do the DOMS trick.

     

     

    IT'S NOT LACTID ACID

    People still tend to think that muscle soreness is cause by Lactic acid being stuck in their muscles, which is not the case...but sometimes things take long to die. Lactic acid is a by-product of anaerobic metabolism, like sprinting for the bus, or doing many repetitions of resistance training. When your muscles start to burn, yes, that is due to acid build up....the pH of the blood supply to your muscles is too low. However, when you stop the exercise, or even slow down ....your aerobic system kicks in. This means you start to breathe heavily in order to take in enough oxygen to get your pH back up or more alkaline...then the muscle burning stops! The Lactic acid has circulates back into your blood stream and it is used for energy...that`s as far as it goes for acid buildup.

    The muscle soreness is from muscle damage, which cause inflammation...when the inflammation touches the nerve endings, it causes pain....This is usually how I describe it to my personal training clients.

    Here is a thing I've learned from a little research for this article:

    When the muscle is damaged through eccentric training, there is a leakage of muscle proteins into the blood stream (ie: Myoglobin and Creatine Kinase)...Whenever I would go get a blood test after working out...there was always concern because of the high levels of Myoglobins and CK in the bloodstream....once they realise I just came from working out, it cleared the concern.

     

     

    HOW MANY DAYS REST DO YOU NEED TO RECUPERATE?

    This is what I usually say to my clients...and also what I`ve experienced:

    The amount of days you need to recuperate depends on the intensity of the exercise you`ve done, which affects how much soreness you will have. The more intense your workout, especially involving eccentric muscle contractions, the more sore you will be, and the longer it will take to go away. If, for example, you stick to a routine for a few weeks, you will probably be most sore after the first couple of workouts, then, after your body adapts, you will feel less and less sore...until you begin a new workout routine, or if you do something different that can induce some muscle soreness.

    Likewise, If you`ve taken a week or two off from your workout routine, then go back into it without a transition day or two, you will feel more soreness than if you didn`t take the time off.

    In general though, it usually takes about 2 days before maximum muscle soreness occurs, then maybe another day or two to go away. This is why it`s good to vary your exercises in order to work out more frequently despite having muscle soreness.

     

     

    DOES STRETCHING HELP REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS?

    In short? No it does not.

    Again, this is another common misconception that hasn't died yet.  In my opinion, stretching an already damaged muscle may cause further damage. I do see the logic, though, then by stretching a muscle, you are trying to keep the muscle in a lengthened position, in order to prevent the muscles from shortening after recuperating....This makes sense to me.....However, it doesn't speed up the recuperation or healing process of the muscle.

    Does that make sense?  If not, hit me up at dsloniegura@gmail.com

     

    IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE DOMS?

    Possibly. Massage and foam rolling seem to be your best bet to help alleviate D.O.M.S. Studies are divided on it, so it`s your call. In my opinion, the logic behind why it may help is they both help reduce swelling and help circulate the waste products stuck in and around the muscle...through enhanced local blood and lymph flow...As worst, you get some relaxation out of it (though the process of foam rolling or massage may be painful). In any rate, if the muscle soreness feels alleviated, it actually does not help speed up the muscle healing...so be aware of that.

    But what seems to work for me is a warmup of walking to help get the blood flowing...that seems to help me!

     

    Have questions you would like me to answer?

    Please let me know at dsloniegura@fitnessdavid.com

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    REFERENCES

    Zainuddin, Zainal et al., “Effects of Massage on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, and Recovery on Muscle Function”. Journal of Athletic Training. Retrieved October 17, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1250256/     

     

    PM, Clarkson et al., “Muscle soreness and creatine kinase activity following isometric, eccentric, and concentric exercise.” International Journal of Sports Medicine. Retrieved October 17,2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3733311

     

    Jooyoung, Kim et al., “The relationaship of creatine kinase variability with body composition and muscle damage markers following eccentric muscle contractions.” Journal of Exercise Nutrition Biochemistry. Retrieved October 17,2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523802/

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