I’ve been gettign alot of questions lately about muscle soarness and what I’ve talked about in terms of lactic acid build up versus microscopic tears in the muscle fiber. Now I just want to start by letting you know that both are true, but in different circumstances. Here is an explanation:
There are 2 types of muscle pain. One is the burning that you feel in your muscles while you are working out, and this is commonly known as lactic acid build up. The second kind is the stiffness and soreness you may encounter for up to 2-5 days after you have worked out. This pain is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short).
Lactic acid is created when the body is not getting enough oxygen to break down the glucose required for energy. Lactic acid is produced at these moments of time of extreme anaerobic activity (such as weight lifting) as a defensive measure, forcing the body to slow down and catch its metabolic breath. The burning feeling you are experiencing is a sure sign that you are working out to your maximum. Once your body starts producing the lactic acid in high quantities the body can only continue that particular muscle use (rep) for another 1 -3 minutes. The lactic acid does not hang around in your muscles for too long, from several to twenty-four hours.
DOMS is the correct term for the pain, stiffness and suffering you may encounter when you try to get out of bed the day or two after the massive or new workout. This pain and stiffness usually peaks within the first 1-2 days and then subsides. The length of recovery time can depend on the muscle damage and subsequent repair necessary. Yes, you read right. DOMS is actually caused by the inflammation and damage of the muscles created by the workout. Generally, if DOMS is caused by a new workout routine, your muscles will soon adjust and you will find the DOMS will stop troubling you.