Monday, July 16, 2012

DOMS Follow-Up

I mentioned in my previous post that it's possible to alleviate post-workout soreness by starting with easy exercises. I also mentioned that Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is caused by eccentric contractions. A question I failed to address: can you avert DOMS by avoiding eccentric contractions during your workout?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: No.

You could bring a partner to the gym who grabs your weights for you at the top of each rep, so you don't have to lower them. Or you could just be a gigantic asshole and drop your weights1. There are ways to avoid eccentric contractions. However, they're difficult and time consuming and, frankly, not worth it.

Even in aerobic exercise (like running) that mostly avoids eccentric contractions, you're still going get eccentric contractions, especially when you get tired. It's almost impossible to avoid.

Finally, it's not worth it. Eccentric contractions happen. You catch things, you drop things, you run, you fall. Every once in a while, life is going to throw you a curve ball and you're just better off all around if you spend some time preparing. So get fit, mix up your exercises with a little of everything; isolations, compounds, aerobic, anaerobic, keep your body guessing and it'll keep itself ready for anything. Also, read a book; you're brain's like anything else. Use it or lose it.


1 - First, that damages the equipment. Second, it damages the floor. Third, it could damage someone else. If you can pick it up, you can put it down. Don't be an asshole.
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