A long time ago, I was asked this question “I have been working out for a while and I am not getting sore anymore. What can I do to get that soreness?”I responded ‘Soreness is a side effect, not an objective.’ His training was boring and he had simply plateaued so I suggested a few training ideas. Two weeks later I saw him again and he said he was really sore and wanted to know how to get rid of the soreness!

Training soreness is simply minor muscle damage at the microscopic level. If you were to look at a muscle fiber after an intense training session you would see strands of fiber that look like frayed rope. The muscle, of course, heals and during the healing process that takes approximately 48 hours; you wake up with a mild soreness like you’ve been through an MMA bout! Well, maybe not that severe, but you get the idea. We call this DOMS: delayed onset of muscle soreness. Is DOMS an objective? No! it is a side effect of training. When you introduce a ‘new’ stress into your training program, expect it.

The remedy for this is to take a ‘chilly’ shower to reduce the inflammation that occurs from training. I know this doesn’t sound inviting but it is effective. Another approach is a message to loosen the scaring that occurs from the muscle damage. The scaring takes place during the repair process and causes that stiffness you feel as you try to regain functional normalcy! I highly recommend you get back to training at a mild to moderate intensity when you have DOMS to encourage mobility. This ‘stretches’ the muscle and reduces the DOMS symptoms. The recovery process should only take a day or two at the most then you can return to your normal training intensity.