What you are feeling is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
The general consensus is that DOMS occurs as a result of microscopic damage to the muscle fibres caused by strenuous exercise. The discomfort is the side effect of the repairing process, which means you are getting stronger!
DOMS can typically last anywhere from 24-72 hours, however, it can last longer in some cases. The humble beginner all the way through to the seasoned veteran will experience DOMS, at varying levels, as a result of their training.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel, your body adjusts to the discomfort and severity of DOMS. It is likely that you will still experience DOMS again in your fitness journey, and who knows you may even grow to like it! Chances are it won’t be as intense or painful as it is in the first week.
The million dollar questions is “how do we recover from DOMS”? The severity of DOMS varies from individual to individual, here are some methods that can help to reduce its severity.
- conducting a proper cool down after the workout session
- compression garments (skins, tights etc)
- contrast therapy (alternating from hot to cold water immersions a few times)
- nutrition (BCAA, fish oil and protein supplements)
- foam rolling
- epsom salt bath
We suggest that you complete active recovery sessions such as walking, bike riding, rowing, yoga, stretching or something similar at a low intensity to also reduce the effects of DOMS. This helps to flush out the lactic acid build up in the muscles which is the source of the DOMS. You will find that once your muscles have warmed up the discomfort will dissipate.
If you have experienced DOMS be sure to let your trainer know exactly how sore you were as this will enable them to cater and plan your future sessions accordingly.