The Official Muscle-Build.com Blog

If This CT Fletcher Talk Does Not Inspire You, You May Be Dead Already

Love this guy!

He curses a lot, so don't ever watch a CT Fletcher video at work or in front of your small children.

But damn if he isn't super inspirational!

Pick you up? Yeah, I thought it would.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is part of the iron game. But how do you manage DOMS? Here's how.

Anybody who's ever worked out with weights or experienced gravity knows about muscle soreness.

But did you know? There are 3 types of muscle pain.

Today, we talk about one of them: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or “DOMS.”

I thought I'd already written some material about this but after searching the archives, I hadn't. So here's an article that's long overdue. Apologies!

3 Types of Muscle Pain

  1. Acute muscle pain or soreness
  2. Injury
  3. DOMS

The first one is simply the pain you feel when you exercise a muscle. Some attribute the pain to lactic acid build up. But it's that pain you feel when you do a fair- to high number of reps. The muscle aches during the last few reps as well as a few minutes (sometimes even hours) afterward.

The second kind of muscle pain is actual injury. I don't think I need to describe it to you. It's one of those things: You know it when you feel it.

Sometimes it's even accompanied by noise. When I injured my elbow years ago, I heard, “POP POP POP POP,” along with a LOT of searing pain. I knew immediately that this wasn't good.

However, a few trips to the chiro, rest, and some therapy got me back to the gym.

What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a different beast altogether. You usually don't experience it with every workout, nor do you experience it immediately after working out. It usually takes at least 12 hours to appear. Sometimes, you may not feel sore after an especially hard workout until 48 or even 72 hours later (IMHO, that's when it's really bad).

There are differing opinions on why delayed soreness sets in. Some think it's due to the aforementioned lactic acid build up that causes pain during an exercise. Others think that it's the metabolites that accrue due to the lactic acid buildup. Either way, it happens.

But more prevalent is the opinion that it's actually caused by the eccentric part of an exercise. This is what we call the “negative,” or lowering of the bar.

Exercise physiologists don't really fully understand why DOMS sets in, but we know it when we feel it.

And most of the time, it's glorious.

Yes, that's right – I love it when I'm sore after a workout. I know I had a good workout.

Now, it's sometimes difficult to move after DOMS sets in, especially after an intense leg workout.

But the worst really is the core.

Think about it: You can't sit, stand, or lie down (and then get up) without using your core. It's the worst when DOMS is really hitting you hard.

Which brings up…

How do you relieve DOMS? How do you get rid of it or lessen it?

That's the real question, right?

We know we had a great workout if we get DOMS. But how do you get past the pain and get through your day, much less work out later?

There are a few things that help. I'll share them below in no particular order. (You may be asking why? Which ONE below is most effective? I can't give you an answer. Even for myself, different therapies work to varying degrees each time out. So what do I do? All of them.)

  1. Alternating hot and cold therapy. Take a hot shower for 2-3 minutes, then turn the hot water down as far as you can stand it and shower for 1-2 minutes. Alternate 3-5 times. Concentrate the shower head on the sore muscles. If your chest is sore, concentrate the water there; if it's your legs, focus the stream on them.
    Use the water massage feature of the shower head, if available. Which leads to the next two:
  2. Get a massage. Hell yeah, it will hurt. But a good gentle massage will do wonders for DOMS. Don't get a deep massage unless you're a masochist.
  3. Foam roll. I hate this, probably because it hurts so damned much. And I think sometimes I feel better afterwards just because I stopped. It's like banging your head with a hammer – it feels so good when you quit. But, like a massage, it does seem to work.
  4. Take a hot bath, loaded with epsom salts. This is one of those “home remedies” that actually works. Very well. Finish off, though, with a cold shower. You can get epsom salts almost anywhere. I get mine here.
  5. Do a light workout using the same muscle. I mean really light. Don't do a lot of reps, either. If your legs are sore, just do a few squats with the bar or even bodyweight – just get the blood pumping. That really seems to be the key – increased blood flow. The theory being that there's damage in the muscles (not an injury, mind you) and the blood carries out the toxins and carries in the nutrients that repair the muscles.
  6. Last, try citrulline malate. I use this every day. What I've found is that it cuts way down on DOMS (so I don't get it in the first place).

You will find that as you progress, you will experience DOMS less and less. You'll only get it when you vary your workouts so much that your muscles are caught a little off-guard.

Below is a video from Lee Hayward about DOMS and how to help reduce it once you've got it.

Winter is Coming [free outdoor guide]

shoveling-snow

I just got this and thought I'd pass it on to you – the best outdoor activities for building strength, endurance, and muscle.

Getting outside is a sure way to improve your mind, body, and spirit.

Plus, you need the Vitamin D!

So get outside, while you still can.

Well, I guess there's always shoveling snow…


Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oddharmonic/3298561497

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Start with the Negative

best-1506640

Here are the 5 best articles I found today on the subjects of fitness, weight training, diet, and building muscle:

  1. Sleep as a Catalyst for Fat Loss
  2. 5 Fats You Shouldn't Fear
  3. 5 Essential Nutrition Tips to Gain Energy, Feel Good, and Look Better Than Ever
  4. The Curse of Stress, and How to Break It
  5. How Assisted Pullups Make You Better At Pullups

I can tell you with 100% certainty that a) you need to eat good healthy fats to burn bodyfat and b) sleep and stress cause a whole lot of issues.

So get those in order if you want to build lean muscle and strip off bodyfat.

For most people, 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sound sleep is sufficient.

Is it optimal? I don't know. Let your body be your guide. Listen to what it's telling you.

For #5, I know this works – for any resistance exercise.

In fact, if you can't even do an assisted dip or pullup, do the negative!

 

When I first started weight training, one of the exercises I wanted to do but couldn't was the parallel bar dip. I could not press up from the down position. So I used my 12 year-old ingenuity, and rather than give up, I improvised.

Now, I didn't know WTF I was doing, but it worked.

I knew I could lower myself, if even just six inches. But doing so, for reps, built my strength. Soon enough I could lower myself to the fully-stretched position.

Of course, I still couldn't push myself back up.

But over time, I got stronger and was soon able to do one full rep! YAY!

When I wanted to do one-arm pullups, of course, I couldn't. So I went back to the (knowledge) well and did what I did with dips: I started in the up position, doing a pullup with both arms, then I let go with one and held it (isometrics), then lowered myself as slowly as possible.

In time, I was able to complete not just one one-armed pullup (with either hand) but several.

It works. You have to outsmart gravity and the exercise apparatus.

Start with the negative! You will get positive results.

And before I forget – you can get 30 fitness books for less than a penny here.

Now that Halloween is over…

halloween-indiscretionsOver your sugar high yet?

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween.

I love it because candy.

I hate it because – like everything else in my life – I over do it.

So I'm paying for it today.

The best part about the iron life? I get to work it off today!

And I love that!

Today is leg day, so I'm sure I'll burn off those calories and build some strength today.

Plus, I love doing HIIT training on the bike after a hard leg workout. I sweat like a beast!

What do you do to correct your weaknesses?

bodybuilder guy

Want Faster Results?

Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.


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