DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is real. DOMS is the soreness felt after working out, and it usually sets in 24 to 72 hours after your workout. No one is sure exactly what causes DOMS, except for the fact that you’re injured your muscles and they are repairing (which is how you get stronger).
Today, I feel worse than yesterday after my three-day CrossFit competition over the weekend. My lats, my core, and my arms mainly. My legs were sore at the beginning of the competition, but the last two days of the CrossFit competition were arm-heavy exercises, and I’m definitely feeling it.
The thing with DOMS is you just have to endure it; there’s not much you can do to help it. It hurt to sneeze yesterday, and I couldn’t scratch my back. We’ll see how today goes.
You’ve just done four workouts in one day. You’re tired. You’re sore. You hurt all over.
You return home and plop in bed for some well-deserved rest.
The next morning you feel it: sore to the extreme. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is when muscles are stressed and tiny tears occur has begun to set in and moving is not exactly fun. You got new bruises. It may be hard to lift your arms and put on your clothes or even use the bathroom!
So what can you do?
Here are some post-competition recovery tips:
Hydrate. Drink plenty of water to get water to your muscles to aid and speed recovery and aid in diminishing the soreness.
Eat! Eat healthy. A good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and some fat will go a long way in aiding your muscles to feel better and grow stronger.
Rest. The day after a CrossFit competition should always be a rest day. Allow your body the time it needs to recover. Take a nap if you have a chance and get a good night’s rest.
Massage. Massage promotes blood flow to the muscles, which will aid in your body ridding itself of lactic acid build up from the extreme exercise. Research has shown this won’t necessarily rid yourself of soreness, but you will definitely feel better afterwards!
Creams. I personally use Hot Stuff to heat up my muscles. These creams ease your sore muscles and help with joint aches and pains. Cold creams work the same way in cooling down your muscles. The active ingredients in these creams are said to block the pain signals from the muscles to your body and don’t have an actual effect on the muscles themselves. Again, research is minimal in the effects of these creams so try it out for yourself and decide.
Let’s face it: depending on the competition, you just put your body through movements you’ve never done before, heavier weights than normal, a lot of moves, and multiple workouts. You’re gonna feel it.
The Results & Benefits of CrossFit Competitions
It does get better the more competitions you do. It’s like any stressor on the body; the more you do it, the more your body adapts. Give your body the time it needs to perform the miracles it does best.
Follow these simple tips above the day after a CrossFit competition and in a few days you’ll be back to “normal”–only stronger, wiser, and better for having done something not a lot of other people choose to do to themselves!
When you choose to beat your body up like I do, you’re constantly sore.
Moving can be a challenge (especially after having sat for long stretches of time).
Daily activities are not quite so easy (laundry, dishes, mopping, vacuuming, bending over, climbing stairs, etc).
Right now, I’m super sore.
For some reason, I decided to sign up for the Granite Games qualifier. Just to see how I’d do. Right now, I’m in 40th place for masters division. I need to be in 10th or higher to make it. I had to work out on Friday night and Sunday morning. My legs are trashed. I’ve been practicing handstands and muscle ups so my arms are super sore.
Yet there’s a push I can’t explain. One that tells me to keep going despite the soreness. To keep reaching for my goals. To keep striving. To keep on, keeping on.
When I first started CrossFit, I would get bicep tendonitis.
I’d back off, and it would go away.
The last six months I’ve had perpetual uncomfortableness in my arms, meaning one or the other feels off (usually my right arm).
In the last 6 months, all of my PR’s have increased. Dramatically. I’m lifting heavier and heavier weights. Doing more pull-ups and bar muscle ups. Overall, training and lifting at a more competitive level.
I’m wondering if my arm pain is just normal for this stage in my weight lifting career. Like growing pains with kids. My muscles are growing and adapting and healing in a perpetual cycle. With the normal muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Or is it something more?
It’s so hard to tell with soft tissue.
All I know is it’s something I’m aware of. I manage it. I back off when I need to. Take a week off when I need to. Scale when needed.
I’m seeing a massage therapist. And a muscle activation specialist.
There’s only so much one can do.
And I feel like I’m doing everything humanly possible while still maintaining my training regimen. Other thoughts?