They say love hurts.

 

I woke up this morning, and my legs were really tired.  My quads felt sluggish.  I knew what this meant… DOMS, incoming.

 

Ok, I am no expert, but from my limited understanding, when you push a muscle past what it can handle, you “overload” it, you work it harder than it was ready for, you cause little tears in the muscle fiber… microtears.  In other words, you have experienced “microtrauma”.  See the little pic from Wikipedia?

1. Bone 2. Perimysium 3. Blood Vessel 4. Muscle Fiber 5. Fascicle 6. Endomysium                   7. Epimysium 8. Tendon

 

As you can see, the the epimysium connects the muscle to the tendon.  Within that epimysium are the fascicle bundles, sheathed in perimysium, and containing bundles of muscle fibres, themselves individually sheathed in endomysium.  Put another way, these bundles of bundles of bundles are each wrapped in their own successive layers of protein, helping them to resist passive stretching, to distribute force evenly, to protect from friction, to carry nerve signals and fresh blood throughout.

 

OK!  Back to the trauma.  You have caused tiny tears or stresses, it could be to the muscle fibres, to the protein coverings, to the tendons, or even to the bones.  It all depends on what you are doing.  The body goes to work, trying to repair this damage.  As a defensive measure, the body seeks to add tissue to the damaged area, to protect it from further damage.  The area gets bigger.  This can result in a few different things:  thicker bones, longer tendons, fluid buildup in the muscle fibres (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, aka bigger muscles), or an increase in the proteins that make up the muscle fibres (myofibrillar hypertrophy, aka stronger muscles).

 

Of course, these things all often happen together.  Your mileage may vary, and bodybuilders all over the world work with ways to isolate these types of trauma through changing the way they overload their body with resistance.

The reason this trauma is good is because your body rebuilds you BETTER than before.  Every time you workout, your personal construction crew goes to work like a team of scientists with a 6 million dollar budget!

 

The theory as I understand it is, when it is repairing this trauma, there is a swell in the surrounding tissue, causing pressure, maybe some mild inflammation.  This results in soreness.  Ever notice the day after an awesome workout, you are SO sore?  Sure, we all know that.  That is likely your body repairing damage.

Please do not confuse this with the soreness you feel RIGHT after an exercise.  That is simply fatigue, your body burns through the fuel available, ATP, creatine, glycogen, then lactic acid is produced as a byproduct, etc.  No, this muscle soreness takes place a day or two after.  So they call it DOMS:  Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

 

All this is the scientific side.  The part where it enters my life though?  All day today my legs became progressively more sore.  I blame Leslie!  Curse those lunges!  I already have thighs larger than a skinny person’s waist, I don’t need bigger legs, lol.  Leg DOMS are usually regarded as the worst… why?  Because you still need to walk, haha.  After a strenuous leg day, most DOMS sufferers wobble around like aggressive chickens, coordination is WAY off.

So!  Anyways.  My legs hurt a lot as the day wore on.  How do I deal with DOMS?  Honestly, your best option is sleep.  Your body is repairing itself.  Let it do its job in peace.  Beyond that?  I like a little whey protein here and there, I like to take amino acid supplements (I personally use Dymatize Elite Recoup) both during and right after the workout, and I like to take a mild anti-inflammatory after the workout.  These all seem to lessen the soreness for me, personally.

Did I mention I sort of missed the Recoup after the Leslie workout?  I maybe brought this one on myself.

 

Anyhoo, after work I decided to tempt fate and I headed to the gym for a spin class, then maybe yoga?  I did a spin class with Crystallina, see?

Spin class was good, but it felt tough!  My legs were groaning at me.  I figured some cardio would help flush them out, bring lots of new blood to the repair crews so they can stay oxygenated.  Good in theory, in practice it meant my butt was dragging ALL OVER that stationary bike, haha.  We did LONG stretches of standing climbs, we did high intensity intervals (20 seconds of all out high tension climbs followed by 10 seconds of ride easy, multiply that pattern as many times as it takes to make the class bitter and exhausted, haha), we did a little speedwork, we did some jumping tracks (up down up down).  At the end of the hour, it was announced the yoga class would be power!  Oh joy!

I took my picture with Crystallina, talked to her for a sec, then before I knew it the yoga class had already started!  Oh darn.  Well not really, my legs wanted to crawl into bed and cry for a while.  I missed yoga, but I don’t know if chicken strut legs would have appreciated warrior poses and runners lunge after the spin class during a DOMS outbreak.

 

So I came home!

 

And how was your day?  haha

 

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