DOMS is 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 the 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 (unless it’s a very minor tear, rather than a full blown injury).

Training with DOMS depends on one thing - how bad it is. If you're struggling to walk without feeling very sore, then it's clearly 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 while resting your chest.

For the majority of the time, you can either still train, or work around some DOMS, but if you immediately think “I’ll give it a miss”, then that shows a lack of willpower.

If you’re a professional athlete, then you have to approach DOMS with a little more caution. You may well have a small injury, or training with DOMS could keep you out of the gym for a few days, or even miss a game/event. The more you train, the more experienced you’ll become with knowing what’s DOMS, what’s an injury and how much you can do even when you have DOMS. If you’re new to the gym and suffer from DOMS, then worrying you’ve injured yourself is natural. Simply assess yourself by doing some bodyweight exercises and basic movements. If you struggle to do those, then lifting weights should be off of your to-do-list.  

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. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published