Should you train with DOMS?

Even though I'm not a personal trainer (yet), people who I know tend to ask me for training advice, as well as nutrition, but I do get asked about training with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Firstly, they usually say "I had a gym session yesterday, and now I'm in agony! what the hell!?", then I explain what DOMS is.

DOMS is very common, and it can affect you from 24-72 hours after your workout. Many people who aren't familiar with it, will tend to think they have injured themselves, so having another workout wouldn't even cross their mind. DOMS is not an injury, but it can easily feel like one. If you injure yourself in gym, doing a bench press for example (lifting too heavy, torn a pec) you will instantly feel it, you wouldn't carry on with your session and then find out you've torn your pec 48 hours later. I was once training with a guy who tore his pec during a set, and he knew it straight away.

Training with DOMS depends on one thing - how bad it is. If you're struggling to walk without feeling very sore, then clearly it's not a good idea to have a workout. However, if you can walk fine, move about fine, but it's a 'bit of a niggle', then it would be fine to workout. You can also 'work around it'. If you have DOMS in your chest, then work your legs and core while resting your chest.

Yesterday (01/02/15) I woke up for a workout, and I felt a tad sore to be honest, and the thought "should I even train?" did cross my mind, but I knew I wasn't injured, I knew it was just a bit of DOMS, and I manged to get a god workout in, and I'm glad I went ahead with it.

Just remember, DOMS isn't 'shooting pains', if you do have actual sharp pains, then you could have injured something. Just be sensible, listen to your body, work around DOMS if you can, and train smart.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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