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10 Dec 2004

Stiff/sore muscles
Hi doc

I am a 17 year old boy who has started exersising in a gym to improve my speed and strength for the coming rugby season, but i find myself feeling great after gym but about a day after, my muscles become stiff and sore. i cannot move without experiencing extreme pain, which results in me not being able to exersise. What can i do to keep on exersising besides taking it easy in the gym?


Leaping Lock
Answer 352 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

THe pain that you feel after gym is very common and is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or "DOMS" for short.

The current thinking about DOMS is that there is microscopic damage to the muscle fibres as a result of training when the fibers are not accustomed to the training. This very slight damage causes inflammation and there is then a complex series of events which causes fluid to move into the muscle, possibly causing pain together with very sensitive nerves. All this helps to repair the muscle, but unfortunately, you feel the pain for a few days.

Now that you know more about DOMS, you're probably wondering how to prevent it. That's a good question and is one that's under scientific investigation as you read these words. While for the moment, there is no magic bullet which can seek out and stop the pain associated with DOMS, the simplest and most important thing is to understand that it is only a natural occurrence and any time that you train beyond what the muscles are capable of, you will feel this pain. Therefore, my advice is that you back off on the training. It seems quite possible that the problem is that you are training too hard too early in the season. I don't know what you are doing in these sessions, but I would hazard a guess that you should probably be using slightly lighter weights and also focusing more on doing the 'base' training. I think that if you backed off the training volume and intensity, you would no longer feel such pain. All in all, you have to give the muscles a chance to become stronger and then much later, you can up the intensity for strength and speed.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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