DOMS – Don’t Fear Soreness


Now we are avoiding soreness? While no pain no gain is not my mantra, no soreness usually means not challenged or starting the slow leak to get weak. Some avoid soreness at all costs. Some are slaves to it and demand Graston sessions that look like the spanish inquisition. How much pain is too much and how much pain is normal? Eccentric action is not evil, and I find it strange that a few years ago we see discussion about fascial fitness, and now we are seeing a reduction in range of motion and lengthening of tissue with workaround exercises. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t have it both ways. Westside splits are now TRX circuits, maximum strength is now just keep them healthy, yet injuries and hyped ESPN comebacks are blemishing those concepts.

I don’t have commandments of DOMS, but prevention by doing less is not the answer. I find it odd that protein and carb drinks are still a challenge, and now low glycogen and lack of vitamin and minerals are cardinal signs of smart nutrition. So what to believe? Simply put history tells us what isolated science makes sense.

Concentric Only? Pool workouts are great options to reduce eccentric overload. If you are beat up hop in the pool, but only if you are doing extreme competition demands, not because you are missing a regular workout. I don’t do any concentric only weight room work because I have seen first hand the results of many of the McDonalds like facilities grind out tight athletes. Fascial fitness is talked about but if you look at the lifting everyone looks like robots or the tin man. It seems a inverse relationship exists with fascial fitness proponents. Shallow squats and lack of olympic lifting!

Passive Recovery? Active recovery is for fit athletes. If you are not fit do passive work first and build light fitness. I used the word fitness is because many athletes can show up and perform but are out of shape. Too much passive recovery without active recovery eventually will backfire.

Three Day Split? I find that GPP use to be triples or doubles. Now it’s three times a week! The reason is it’s hard to push the envelope without overtraining. Yet the problems we are seeing is not because athletes are doing too much they are too pampered. Nobody wants to be the guy that tells the truth to the athlete. We are all nice guys, but when people get hurt we throw them and their parents under the bus. Too much video games and overspecialization, and too little play. Blame the parents but don’t’ give them credit for their DNA. Train more to be less sore.

Of course frequency, volume, sequence, load, and exercise selection matter in reducing unnecessary DOMS. Still train smart and don’t worry about the normal eccentrics of exercise.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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