Truth about DOMS (Muscle Soreness)

Why do researchers and physiologist have to make everything sound so complicated and specific?  I think it is so that they can feel like they are better than everyone else. Don’t worry we have simplified their silly research papers. Now we can dispel the myths about muscle soreness.  And yes, there are many myths about muscle soreness.  Unfortunately everything everyone learned in high school about  muscles was completely wrong.


Myth one: stretching before exercise is good.  

The truth. It is not good. It is actually bad. Studies show that stretching muscles only weaken them. It is not terrible for your muscles, but it is like lifting weights to get ready to lift weights, it doesn’t help warm you up at all.

Stretching is a good activity to do, but it isn’t a good warm up activity.  It will burn calories and shape your muscles.  However for warming up it is much better to do something simple like jumping jacks, running in place or some other sort of aerobic exercise.  The point of a warm up is to get your heart pumping, not to get your muscle stretched.  Does that make sense.

Myth Two: lactic acid causes muscle soreness.

Nope, this is absolutely wrong.  I don’t care how bald or fat your high school teacher was.  When he said that lactic acid caused muscle soreness he was completely wrong.  It is public school what do you expect?  DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is actually caused by, well, actually we still don’t know.  Nobody knows the precise mechanisms that make muscles feel sore after exercise.

However, not to say you don’t feel lactic acid in your muscles. You totally do.  During intense activities like outrunning a saber tooth or dead lifting 250 lbs. you will feel a slight burning in the muscles.  This is from lactic acid.  When the body needs to use more muscle energy then oxygen can provide it then takes it from glucose.  It does this by converting glucose to glycerin, and then burns it as energy. The byproduct is lactic acid,  and this makes your muscles feel  warm.  But this is completely flushed out to the system within 30 minutes of the exercise.  So it doesn’t really make any sense that it would be the cause for DOMS.