I Just Can’t Today… I have DOMS


Delayed onset muscle soreness, AKA DOMS, is a common excuse for not completing a training session.  Although it is inevitable to feel tenderness in your muscles as they get used to a new activity, you can lessen the intensity. 

Simple things like a proper warmup and stretching session after can help your muscles relax and reduce the pain felt post exercise. The timing of these two important elements of your session is relative to how long your training session is. They can be anywhere from 5-20mins. As a quick guide, if you were doing a 45min gym session, Nancy recommends at least a 7 minute warm up with a 7 minute cool down; making the entirety of your gym session 1 hour long.

Food is also a big factor in reducing DOMS. The pain in our muscles is caused from microtears in the fibres. These tears actually help build the muscle as they get filled with proteins and nutrients from the food we eat. Ensuring we have a good diet with enough proteins can help the muscles build quickly, reducing your pain. Foods such as fruits, carbs and high protein foods will help you fuel for a session as well as recover. 

If we are past the stage of no return, you have done the deed and not given your body warm up and recovery time… “because I didn’t have enough time”.  We now need to spend a bit of time treating our DOMS. 


Treatment may include:

  • Active recovery sessions
  • Self-release sessions
  • Remedial massage
  • Rest and hydration

DOMS generally lasts between 3-5 days of moderate to severe pain. It will reduce the length of your muscles which will need to be addressed both during and thereafter. If you can avoid severe DOMS, please do. Gradually work into new forms of exercise, remember to thank your muscles after by giving them a stretch and keep hydrated during your active sessions. But also remember to listen to your body, sometimes you need a break → but sometimes its just DOMS and learning the difference between them is important.