I recently experienced something that doesn’t happen to me often: I was so sore last week that I decided not to work out two days in a row. Skipping more than just a weekday is really not like me so I decided to look into it, mostly to find a way to get rid of the awful pain.

I’ll now share some of what I learned with my people here at ADAPT:

First of all, there’s a medical term for that awful pain we call ‘soreness’: Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.

What causes DOMS?

DOMS is caused by muscle strains as a result of excessive and accustomed exercise, which results in an inflammatory response.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms might remind you of the day after one of George’s leg days:

• Aching muscles 24 to 48 hours later — you know, waking up the next day feeling like a truck has ran you over

• Stiff muscles — not being able to sit on the toilet

• Short-term loss of muscle strength — having a hard time going up stairs

• Joints with reduced range of motion — being incapable of reaching something from the back of your car

What can you do about it?

There are a few things you can do to treat DOMS:

  • Practicing ‘active rest’ — as in ‘get on the bike’
  • Applying heat and cold
  • Applying direct pressure — using lacrosse balls or foam rollers
  • Avoiding excessive muscle stretching during the first 24 hours

How can you prevent this dreadful pain?

Here’s the advice:

• Increase sets, reps and weights no more than 10% per week — am I glad that ADAPT’s program is very smart and disciplined about workout programming or what?!

• Make sure to properly cool down after finishing your workout

Simply put, DOMS is a common occurrence among people who exercise that can be prevented by working out smart, so “Be HUMBLE, be TEACHABLE, and always KEEP LEARNING” here at ADAPT.