T Nation

DOMS is a Funny Thing


Does the extent of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) sometimes seem disproportionate to the workout which caused it?

About a week ago, I went through an admittedly half-assed arm workout. I really didn't want to go to the gym that day and I was completely "going through the motions", using the same poundages as the week before and in fact doing the exact same exercises. The next day, my arms were killing.

My triceps, in particular, were sore to the extent that getting into a push-up position would have posed a challenge. This wasn't any exercise related injury, it was just DOMS...very intense DOMS that didn't seem to fit the workout which caused them.

Just the other day, I finished a real ass-kicker of a leg workout. Back squats, front squats, leg presses, calf raises, and Zerchers. I felt like a million bucks that day and wanted to push myself. Normally, after doing ANY kind of squat (let alone 3 kinds) I get pretty severe DOMS, but after this pretty epic workout my legs were fine. No pain whatsoever...I could have sprinted up a hill afterward with no ill effects.

I don't want to debate whether or not DOMS = Progress, but rather, do any of you ever get DOMS like this...seemingly disconnected to the workout which preceded it?


Different muscles get more or less sore for different people. My shoulders have never been sore but my legs get sore for 5-6 days.

Not to mention nutrition could have been the culprit in your experience. If I have a less than stellar workout and my diet sucked to go with it (didn't eat enough) I'll still get pretty sore.


What exercises did you do?


It is different for different people. My shoulders are always sore. Even 4 days after a workout. My biceps not so much. Triceps either.


Your shoulders get sore? Seriously? I think you're the first person I've ever "heard" talking about how his shoulders are sore from training.
Unless you don't mean the deltoid musculature but the joint/tendons/'cuff. :slightly_smiling:

My shoulders have never been sore (in the good way). Ever... No matter how I train and how much weight I use. Weird.

Then again, nowadays, I practically don't get sore at all anymore. Exceptions: Eating too little, missing meals, too little protein, having just done an exercise I haven't done in ages or a new one... Or having done an exercise that puts the muscle into a stretched position (PJR's, incline offset curls at a good incline, etc.)


Same.. I thought it was because my mind-muscle connection was f'd up.


I tend to get less sore when I have fantastic workouts and more sore when I have crap ones. I think the reason is, as others have mentioned, that all the things that make for a good workout also make for a good recovery.

My shoulders tend not to get sore either. Chest, quads, traps and glutes.


Somedays after standing presses I can't raise my hands above my head. They also get sore after bench presses. I'm pretty certain I'm using mostly triceps and shoulders when I bench. I had to incorporate pec dec to hit my chest.

This soreness actually causes a problem with my split. I do

It seems like everytime I go to bench my shoulders are sore. They never fully get to recover. It may very well be more inflamation at the joint then soreness, it's tough for me to tell.


My back and biceps rarely get sore. Glutes and quads almost never, no matter how brutal I get, not even widowmakers will do the trick. Calves only recently are getting sore because of extreme stretching during reps. Chest and tris usually get sore but not too much, traps only get sore when i do explosive movements (hang cleans and such, for some reason ive noticed the best results with these also) heavy shrugs, light shrugs, they won't do it. Hamstrings are the worst, they will get sore for days sometimes and the soreness will run into my next work out if i don't focus on recovery methods. I think it's an extremely strange thing.


I've found that increasing frequency has decreased my soreness greatly. This would lead me to believe that DOMS is more of your body dealing with the unfamiliarity to a movement/weight/rep range/volume rather than whether a session was effective or not.


Since implementing extreme stretches several weeks back, DOMS has DRASTICALLY dropped for me. Saturday is leg day and regularly I would feel DOMS in my legs for 2-3 days after to the point where walking normal and bending over is a huge challenge. My legs were really fatigued yesterday, but I only had minimal DOMS, and today it's not bad at all. It's nice to be able to get high-quality workouts and avoid DOMS as much as possible.




Way to many variable affecting DOMS beyond the workout itself to pin down 'cause & effect'.
It's not any one thing you have done; it's everything you have done.


It could have been that you were stronger since you used the same weights, and didn't realize it but did slower eccentric movements. The first workout may have been harder, but you may have done better quality work during the second workout (greater TUT, greater force, mind-muscle, whatever).

But ya, DOMS is really strange. I rarely get it, unless I do something new and extreme, like EDT, GVT, or rest pause. It definately isn't a direct correlation to growth, but if you NEVER get sore, then you may be doing something wrong.


I always get DOMS in my triceps, only part of my body I do get sore following a work out no matter how hard I push myself.


I can get light soreness anywhere, but DOMS seems limited to my forearms. Very frustrating. Soreness I can work through, but DOMS actually limits my lifts. I wish T-Nation would invent an anti-DOMS pill.


i get sore delts once in a while

im sooo fuckin badass


It's all the same only to varying degrees. Spell out the DOMS acronym...


I know what DOMS stands for, just saying that I never get deep muscle soreness in any muscle group other than my forearms to the point that it limits my lifts.