Types of Muscle Soreness

Those who know me know that my muscle soreness starts about the 36 hour mark…good to know of course cause I can plan accordingly.  But this time frame got me interested in the types of muscle soreness and familiarizing myself with my own body.

There are basically two types of soreness:

Mild Muscle Soreness:

Mild muscle soreness is caused by micro trauma caused at muscle fiber level and by an excess of lactic acid. It generally lasts a day for advanced athletes and up to 3 days for a beginner. This soreness is a good indicator that you had a good workout the day before as you created the trauma necessary to trigger adaptation (e.g. muscle growth). When you are no longer experiencing this type of soreness then that is an indication that your body has successfully adapted to the training program; something that leads to no gains unless the routine is changed once again.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness:

The second type of soreness is delayed onset muscle soreness, better known as DOMS. The term DOMS refers to the deep muscular soreness usually experienced two days after the workout has been done (not the day after). This soreness prevents the full muscular contraction of the muscle. This type of more severe soreness is caused when you either embark an exercise program for the first time or when you train a body part much harder than usual. This pain can last between a couple of days for an advanced well-conditioned athlete or as much as a week for a beginner.

I am always pushing myself to lift heavier..always trying to PR thus the DOMS.  Truth is I sort of like it…

If you are being affected by this type of soreness and it is time to workout again don’t bail on your workout.  Simply reduce your loads by 50% and stop before complete muscle failure.  The idea behind this is to restore full movement in the muscle and to remove the lactic acid and other waste from it. It also forces high concentrations of blood into the damaged area in order to bring the nutrients needed by the muscle for repair and growth.


  1. Crossfit’s 3 on – 1 off philosophy… | PALEO NINJAS - September 8, 2011

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