Delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise known as DOMS and muscle fever, is often described as pain, discomfort, and stiffness in the muscle.
This pain, discomfort, and stiffness often occurs around 24 to 72 hours after you've worked a muscle.
DOMS is a topic of huge controversy throughout the muscle building world.
DOMS is most likely caused by the swelling of cells.
This swelling puts pressure on the surrounding nerves causing muscle soreness.
Another cause of DOMS may be the increased sensitivity of the surrounding nerves. When the nerves become more sensitive after training, the soreness becomes noticeable.
The exact cause of DOMS is a mystery throughout the scientific community. We can only make guesses as to what causes DOMS. No one knows the cause for sure.
Do You Need Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness to Build Muscle?
You do not need DOMS to build muscle. Many people measure the effectiveness of a workout on the level of DOMS that is felt a day or two later. DOMS has never been linked to muscle growth.
But, DOMS is not completely understood by the scientific muscle building community.
DOMS is a good indicator of the stress you've applied to each muscle group during the previous workout. But, DOMS is not the best indicator of the stress applied to the muscle group.
You will simply focus primarily on increasing the load to the muscle group each workout and then getting the burn in each muscle group as your secondary goal. This will induce the proper muscle building stimulus that you are looking for. But, where does DOMS come in?
On WLC, I want you to attempt to induce a low level of DOMS each and every workout. With WLC, this should not be a problem. You will not attempt to completely trash a muscle group and induce high levels of DOMS.
For example, a high level of DOMS in your legs will have you limping around barely walking. A low level of DOMS will simply feel like a light stiffness in your legs.
BUT, you do not need DOMS to build muscle. This has been proven over and over. So, don't stress out over the fact that you don't have DOMS after a workout. And remember, DOMS doesn't normally occur until 24 to 72 hours after a muscle group has been worked.
So, always strive for a low level of DOMS after every workout, but don't rely on it as in indicator of the effectiveness of a workout.
You'll learn to apply a certain amount of intensity each workout in order to get a mild case of DOMS in the target muscle groups. This comes with experience. You'll learn.
Should You Workout if You Are Sore?
One thing science has proven is that the recovery process can continue and can even be enhanced through another workout session. So, if you have any DOMS at all, another workout will not harm your muscle building efforts. It may even help your muscle building efforts.
Too many people have been brainwashed by the muscle building community. They tell you that muscles need to recover completely before you work them again. These people will tell you that you are overtraining if you work the muscle while it is sore…
I fell for this line of thinking for several years and severely limited my gains. I'm sure many of you have also fell for this. You don't over train from a single workout. It's a cumulative build up of fatigue.
If you are sore, do not hesitate to work the muscle group again unless you are very, very sore. On WLC, you will work each muscle group every 48 to 72 hours, approximately. If you are sore, it doesn't matter. You will always work the muscle group again. Your muscle building efforts will be enhanced through another workout session.
Are You Recovering Properly from Your Weight Lifting Workouts?
If you continue to stay very sore for extended periods of time, this may mean that you are not recovering properly from your workouts. If you are sore and work the muscle group again, the soreness usually subsides.
If this isn't happening, you need to reduce the intensity of your workouts and possibly take a break if you've been lifting for several months without a break. Use the Rest and Recovery section of this manual to help improve recovery between workouts.
It's perfectly fine to workout if you are sore. If you are staying very sore for longer periods of time, you need to take a break. I've never been very sore for long periods of time in my entire weight lifting career.
The only time I've stayed sore for long periods of time is when I've played in sports tournaments for the entire day. I sprinted most of the day. I over worked my legs during those tournaments, and I had to spend several days recovering. You won't have to worry about anything like that in the WLC workout programs.
We've got you covered with everything. All you have to do is follow our step-by-step programs.
If you want to build muscle fast, you MUST read all sections of this website and fully understand each of the sections. It's VERY important that you understand HOW the muscle building process works.