D.O.M.S. is a pain in the ass – sometimes quite literally (day after leg day).
Is it possible to reduce the pain?
Actually, yes it is.
Here are 5 ways you can reduce DOMS…
(1) TAKE CAFFEINE
Surprised? Apart from improving in-gym performance, caffeine actually helps alleviate DOMS.
You can save a ton of money and use my own cheap homemade pre-workout. Or use something like MyPre from myprotein (I’m using this at the moment). See my instagram for more.
How much caffeine?
A good rule of thumb for pre-workout is 2mg caffeine per pound of bodyweight. Although I would advice those over 200lbs not to go over 400mg caffeine. You can get caffeine for next to nothing on Amazon here – $5.69 for 100 x 200mg pills.Take 2mg caffeine per lb body weight for increased performance and reduced DOMS Click To Tweet
(2) TOPICAL MENTHOL
Topical menthol has proven itself as an effective pain reliever for those training to induce muscle damage.
Be warned that although the pain is alleviated, you are not recovering faster. So don’t workout any sooner than you normally would.
Here is one cheap product that will work well for you: Ultracin OC.
(3) GET YOUR DAILY PROTEIN
The amino acids from protein increase protein synthesis levels and decrease muscle breakdown after a workout.
Consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight.
So if you weigh 180lbs, consume 180g of protein per day.To build muscle consume 1g protein for every lb bodyweight eg 180lbs=180g protein Click To Tweet
By the way, for high quality whey proteins that are the cheapest around, I personally recommend are Optimum Nutrition Whey in the USA and Impact Whey from MyProtein for Europe.
(4) WARM-UP PROPERLY
A lot of people warm-up before resistance training with cardio. They may also do something to loosen their joints.
But it’s simply not enough for the bodybuilder.
‘Acclimation’ works best for lifters. As I point out in this article, you should warm-up to your first set like so:
- (OPTIONAL) 2-3 minutes light-moderate aerobic activity e.g. cross trainer.
- 10 reps at 50% of your first working set weight. For example, if you are about to bicep curl 50Kg on your first set, curl 25kg for 10 reps.
- Rest a minute.
- 1 or 2 reps at 90% of your first working set.
- Rest a minute.
- Now perform your first working set
I would also add the option of a third warm-up set for heavy lifts like deadlifts, squats, and leg presses.
If your workout commences with one of these bigger lifts, you may want to insert 4-5 reps at about 70-75% of your first working set between the 2 warm-up sets above. This is how I personally warm-up for the big lifts.
NOTE: For the 3-day full-body THT workout, the initial warm-up set and working set of squats is sufficient to get the whole body warmed-up.
Now that you’ve warmed up properly, you’ll not only lift more and prevent injury, but it will reduce DOMS too.
(5) EAT SOME BLUEBERRIES
Waste products build up from heavy lifting.
The anti-inflammatory compounds found in blueberries help remove them and have a positive knock-on effect on muscle soreness.
Anti-inflammatory compounds found in blueberries can help reduce DOMS Click To Tweet
If you’re anything like me, you kinda like the pain.
There’s a love/hate relationship I have with DOMS. It’s like I wake up in agony and think, “Good job, Mark. Well played, son.”
Then I see a set of stairs and I’m not so positive about the whole thing lol.
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Great tips Mark! Caffeine, who would have known!
Mark, I heard about taurine helping with this. Is that legit?
@Phil. Yes, there is some research on Taurine. However, it was on guys who never trained before. So I’m not sure how useful it will be for trained athletes.
Great info Mark! Thank you!
I like the pain. It lets me know I’ve done some good work. I get less than I used to, though, and I think that might be due to your pre-workout recipe I’ve been using the last few months – caffeine, whey protein and beta-alanine. I guess it works.
Same here Max. The only DOMS I really don’t like are abdominal DOMS, because they’re actually pretty debilitating. But other than that – bring ’em on!