DOM, DOM-DOM-DOM, DOMS!!

Delay Onset Muscle Soreness(courtesy CV Verve)

This is a very fancy term.  I love fancy terms; they make me feel so smart when I regurgitate them.  What does Delay Onset Muscle Soreness mean?  It means your body feels really sore after a workout.  Specifically, the period 48-72 hours after a workout.  Why does this happen?

Basically, when we provide the body with a new, and unexpected activity, said activity works the body in ways it may not have been prepared for.  Muscles that have not had to lengthen and contract in quite a while now have to do so  quite a bit. Muscle tears ensue, as does soreness.  The more intense the activity, the more intense the soreness. This explains how you may have felt after your first Crossfit workout.

This is not really a bad thing.  It is important to discern between muscle soreness, and muscle pain that you feel from injury. Your body hurting from DOMS is from the body’s natural healing action.  So don’t fret.  That being said, there are ways to fight off DOMS in the future.

1.)  Work out regularly. After a workout, the body reacts and adapts aggressively to prevent future damage and soreness.  Muscles grow stronger.

2.)  Do not take fish oil directly following a WOD.  Fish oil is amazing, and we want to consume at least 3-5 grams a day. However, one of fish oil’s many fantastic effects is that it is an anti-inflammatory.  The body’s muscular inflammation is a healing response.  We do not want to inhibit it. Try taking your fish oil when you wake, or before you go to sleep at night.

3.)  A proper cool down.  No cool down = stiff muscles.  Some of us are incredibly stiff to begin with.  Not cooling down with any activity or stretching is a recipe for future injury, and contributes to DOMS.

Finally, remember: The worst thing you can do if you are suffering from DOMS is nothing. Be active, and the symptoms will subside much faster.