Is the pain and stiffness felt in your muscles 24 to 72 hours after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.
After exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and results with soreness. DOMS is not an injury and does not mean you have strained or caused long term damage. This is a normal process for the body and can take up to 5 or 7 days until the pain eases.
After the process of DOMS is complete, the muscles get stronger, leaner (lose body fat), faster and change shape.
Although there is variance among exercises and individuals, the soreness usually increases in intensity in the first 24 hours after exercise.
Factors which may increase instances of DOMS are:
If you have not trained for a considerable time (about 2 weeks).
You start a new training program.
You are lifting heavier weights or increasing intensity in your sessions.
Factors which may decrease the severity of DOMS are:
Avoiding ALCOHOL after intense sessions as this dehydrates the muscles and decreases the rate of recovery.
Eat PROTEIN at every meal and especially within 45 minutes after finishing an INTENSE training session.
Drink plenty of water during and after training to rehydrate the muscles and boost recovery.
No matter how “sore” you are, get up and get moving! The more you move, the more the pain will ease and increase your recovery.
It does not matter how fit you are, you will always get some form of DOMS after training. Personally, I have lived with DOMS for the past 20 years in my training. Yesterday, I did a track session, and I can barely walk up the stairs, use the toilet and drive my car!