The inability to move faster than a shuffle, stairs that have to be taken one at a time (sideways) and the real struggle to sit down – yes, enter the DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness).
Like most people who train regularly, I have a love-hate relationship with DOMS. Waking up the next day, or possibly two days later, with that sense of accomplishment is pretty satisfying. But at the same time, as colleagues race pass you on the stairs, wanting to kick yourself when each step makes you wince in pain.
Now the festive season has well and truly passed this week it was time to get back to it, get back into the morning routine. So, bright and early on Monday morning I did just that. I returned to Body Pump after a two months hiatus and just in time for the new Les Mills release.
And despite my years of experience training and against my better judgement, I packed on the weights as normal. Perhaps due to a sense of pride, perhaps pure stupidity – either way it is safe to say by that evening my body felt like it had been hit by a ten tonne truck as the DOMS started to set in.
The aches and pains did not alleviate over the next 48 hours. Day one saw the worst, the longer I spent sitting the worse the stiffness became. On the second day post Body Pump though the aches were definitely still evident, I managed to push on through with a Spinning class – it hurt like hell.
Slowly the aches and pains became a distant memory and I am now ready to throw myself into the next class – most likely pushing myself further still.
So what exactly causes DOMS?
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the stiffness and soreness that we can feel between 24-48 hours after taking part in high intense physical exercise that is new, or if we push ourselves just that little harder.
DOMS can be a sign that you have done something right during your training session. By taking part in resistance training, like Body Pump, you are creating micro-tears in your muscles. The soreness shows that fitness is progressing. And over time you will feel this less and less as your body gets used to the new activity.
The quickest way to alleviate the pain is to have a hot bath filled with Epsom salts. Rich in magnesium it helps widen your blood vessels to boost recovery and ease the aches. During my training for the London Marathon I felt the aches on a daily basis, nothing I did helped, I forgot what it was like for my legs to feel normal.
With a lack of bath, a friend recommended trying a Floatation Tank session. Using a high level of Epsom salts in an floatation pod. The session did wonders, my body felt transformed. Not only did it ease the aches and pains, but it also help lower my stress levels – leaving me in a state of total relaxation.
A little floatation therapy would have been extremely welcome this week, but sadly not possible.
In order to aid my recovery post work out and post race, and to ensure I get that much needed time out I will be including more floatation therapy sessions in my schedule in 2018.
Anything to improve physical and mental well being.