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DOMS after 2 days?


spunko

Question

When I first started going to the gym I used to get really bad so-called delayed onset muscle atrophy/soreness (DOMS) i.e. muscle pain the next day, as is normal. But for some reason in my legs, now that I've started to focus on them at the gym, I get this after 2 days. Today my legs are killing me.

I've Googled it, but can't seem to find an explanation why my legs are fine after 1 day and only hurt on the 2nd day.

Other muscles are always the next day, only. Are my legs fucked? O.o

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25 answers to this question

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I get the same pattern - the pain setting in the day after the day after. I think it's fairly common.

Last time I did a leg-specific day (couple of months back) I was completely wiped out for about 3 days afterwards, thought I was coming down with a cold or something.

Needless to say I've not done a leg workout since, bar walking and cycling xD

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TBH 5 sets of 105kg with 90 seconds rest is pretty beastly. I would try extending your rest periods and/or doing Madcow ramped sets instead of 5 sets at top weight as per Stronglifts. I was nowhere near as good as that, think I might once have managed one set of 5 at 100kg with a belt, maximum leg drive etc. I think my pecs are my limitation, I could easily do sets of 10+ dips with a 20kg plate tied round my waist.

As for benching without a spotter, I used to bench inside my power cage with the catch bars set at neck height. If I couldn't make the lift I'd drop it back onto my chest and roll it down to my neck, then wriggle out from underneath it- the bar would touch my neck, but I still had plenty of space to breathe. You have to be careful at 100kg+, for sure.

I haven't lifted for many years, going to get back into it this winter, though I won't be shooting for my previous highs, as I don't want to get too bulky for cycling. A bit more bulk won't slow me down when I do the Megavalanche again though, I hope!

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3 hours ago, Ponty Mython said:

I agree. For a natural bloke with a regular life (as opposed to a fitness-as-a-job life), successive sets of 100+kg benches for reps is pretty beastly. I don't know where you train, but if you are comparing yourself to others and coming up short, I would suggest that they may have "assistance".

I reckon a substantial proportion (maybe more than half) of guys in the gym these days are using; back in my student days, a 100kg bench was quite something, even for the biggest rugby players. These days, it seems three plates (140kg) is the benchmark, pardon the pun.

Not comparing myself to anyone, my gym is pretty deserted, I just thought 100kg was a low ish figure and most people (men anyway) within a few months of weights could do it. 

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I also used to get the most severe DOMS on day 2 after a session. If I stopped lifting for even a couple of weeks the first session back would provoke severe DOMS again. Some days I could barely get up a flight of stairs. But I'd still go in the gym and do another session, and once you've yowled your way through the first set it actually improves markedly. So I definitely recommend just pushing through, as once your legs are used to the idea you'll have no bother for a while.

I eventually got to a stage where I was lifting such heavy weights that I couldn't ever fully recover, and felt stiff all the time. But it took a while; cross that bridge if and when you get to it.

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20 minutes ago, spunko said:

Not comparing myself to anyone, my gym is pretty deserted, I just thought 100kg was a low ish figure and most people (men anyway) within a few months of weights could do it. 

On the contrary, I would say that the majority of blokes who train with weights will never bench 100kgs!

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Try playing football almost every single day - sometimes more than once - as I did through much of my twenties and thirties, then you'll have no idea which particular session that pain relates to.

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1 hour ago, Rave said:

I also used to get the most severe DOMS on day 2 after a session. If I stopped lifting for even a couple of weeks the first session back would provoke severe DOMS again. Some days I could barely get up a flight of stairs. But I'd still go in the gym and do another session, and once you've yowled your way through the first set it actually improves markedly. So I definitely recommend just pushing through, as once your legs are used to the idea you'll have no bother for a while.

I eventually got to a stage where I was lifting such heavy weights that I couldn't ever fully recover, and felt stiff all the time. But it took a while; cross that bridge if and when you get to it.

How heavy were these weights? I am struggling to bench press anything over 105KG and have been at that point on and off for months and months.

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43 minutes ago, eight said:

Try playing football almost every single day - sometimes more than once - as I did through much of my twenties and thirties, then you'll have no idea which particular session that pain relates to.

I hate football, always have done. Playing it, watching it, everything. xD

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Right, did about 20 tricep dips tonight and couldn't do any more, so think it's safe to say that they're my weak spot in terms of bench press.

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1 hour ago, spunko said:

How heavy were these weights? I am struggling to bench press anything over 105KG and have been at that point on and off for months and months.

Yeah my heaviest bench ever was 104kg. It was my weakest lift by a long way. I tried an intensive program to try and get over the hump and screwed up my shoulders for ages. Just think I'll have to accept that I'm never going to be a bench monster. I suspect I have long monkey arms which doesn't help at all in leverage terms. I never got any coaching mind, it is possible that I could do better with some help.

105kg is by no means a trivial amount of weight, it's over 16 stone! Probably double what most untrained men can manage, so don't feel bad about it.

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19 hours ago, spunko said:

When I first started going to the gym I used to get really bad so-called delayed onset muscle atrophy/soreness (DOMS) i.e. muscle pain the next day, as is normal. But for some reason in my legs, now that I've started to focus on them at the gym, I get this after 2 days. Today my legs are killing me.

I've Googled it, but can't seem to find an explanation why my legs are fine after 1 day and only hurt on the 2nd day.

Other muscles are always the next day, only. Are my legs fucked? O.o

Remembered that apparently ginger is good for reducing DOMS - worth a shot:

 

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5 hours ago, spunko said:

Not comparing myself to anyone, my gym is pretty deserted, I just thought 100kg was a low ish figure and most people (men anyway) within a few months of weights could do it. 

Nope. As I say it was my weakest lift, but even so it took me a long time to get to 100kg. I was squatting 180kg+ and deadlifting 200+ at the time. Take it from me and others, 100+ kilograms for multiple sets is really good. If you can do 105 for 5x5, then you're probably knocking on 120 for a 1RM.

Are you not doing barbell rows, looking at your workout detailed above? I'd be inclined to add them in if not, otherwise it seems to be you'll have a big chest and a correspondingly under-strength back. That might up your bench a bit, because you might be able to brace a bit better. But ultimately I really would say that if you're struggling to progress beyond 105kg on 5x5...then it's time to move on from 5x5, for the bench at least. 5x5 is a beginner strength program, and you're no longer a beginner. Try Madcow or 5/3/1. You need to push yourself beyond the weight you're currently lifting to progress, but trying to do multiple reps of really heavy weights is risky, as I found out- I once managed a set of 5x171kg on squats, but my form broke down so badly on the last rep that I tweaked a spinal erector, and it gave me gyp for literally years afterwards. From that point I never did a set of 5 at top weight again, used to do doubles and triples instead (so at my top weight I'd do 3 sets of 2, rather than trying to get one set of 5 reps and risking injury as my form broke down). I still did 5 reps for the ramping warm up sets, but that was well within my capabilities. You need to be smart about it and not push yourself until you get hurt; take the neck injury as a warning!

 

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14 hours ago, Rave said:

TBH 5 sets of 105kg with 90 seconds rest is pretty beastly. I would try extending your rest periods and/or doing Madcow ramped sets instead of 5 sets at top weight as per Stronglifts. I was nowhere near as good as that, think I might once have managed one set of 5 at 100kg with a belt, maximum leg drive etc. I think my pecs are my limitation, I could easily do sets of 10+ dips with a 20kg plate tied round my waist.

As for benching without a spotter, I used to bench inside my power cage with the catch bars set at neck height. If I couldn't make the lift I'd drop it back onto my chest and roll it down to my neck, then wriggle out from underneath it- the bar would touch my neck, but I still had plenty of space to breathe. You have to be careful at 100kg+, for sure.

I haven't lifted for many years, going to get back into it this winter, though I won't be shooting for my previous highs, as I don't want to get too bulky for cycling. A bit more bulk won't slow me down when I do the Megavalanche again though, I hope!

I agree. For a natural bloke with a regular life (as opposed to a fitness-as-a-job life), successive sets of 100+kg benches for reps is pretty beastly. I don't know where you train, but if you are comparing yourself to others and coming up short, I would suggest that they may have "assistance".

I reckon a substantial proportion (maybe more than half) of guys in the gym these days are using; back in my student days, a 100kg bench was quite something, even for the biggest rugby players. These days, it seems three plates (140kg) is the benchmark, pardon the pun.

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Napoleon Dynamite

I get DOMS if I do too much too soon.  For example trying to get back to where I was after a break.

Try dropping the weight and building up to it over a few sessions 70%, 80%, 90%.  Think you'll find when you build back up and train regularly you won't get DOMS unless you've really pushed it hard.

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10 hours ago, Rave said:

TBH 5 sets of 105kg with 90 seconds rest is pretty beastly. I would try extending your rest periods and/or doing Madcow ramped sets instead of 5 sets at top weight as per Stronglifts. I was nowhere near as good as that, think I might once have managed one set of 5 at 100kg with a belt, maximum leg drive etc. I think my pecs are my limitation, I could easily do sets of 10+ dips with a 20kg plate tied round my waist.

As for benching without a spotter, I used to bench inside my power cage with the catch bars set at neck height. If I couldn't make the lift I'd drop it back onto my chest and roll it down to my neck, then wriggle out from underneath it- the bar would touch my neck, but I still had plenty of space to breathe. You have to be careful at 100kg+, for sure.

I haven't lifted for many years, going to get back into it this winter, though I won't be shooting for my previous highs, as I don't want to get too bulky for cycling. A bit more bulk won't slow me down when I do the Megavalanche again though, I hope!

I wouldn't say it's beastly, I'm not particularly built, I just have a large chest/ribcage. I'm aiming for 120KG on all the exercises from Stronglifts, then I'll probably switch to something else. BTW I should have said, with Stronglifts if you fail any 5 reps then you wait 180s rather than 90s, which does help a lot.

Bench Press
Overhead Press (currently at 80KG...!)
Dead lift
Romanian Deadlift (will probably never get above 100KG on this)
Squats

Anyone tried dead hanging? Basically hanging in mid air - I'm aiming for 2 minutes, but anything over 1 minute is bloody difficult.

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15 hours ago, jm51 said:

According to an episode of Tomorrows' World, it isn't lifting weights that causes the muscle pain, it's the lowering of the weights.

The never to be seen again invention was a device with variable friction in either direction. Lift up = hard. Pull down = easy.

idk if there's any truth to what they said. A lifter could have a spotter do the lowering on a tough set and then see who gets to feel the pain.

I'm not sure if that's true really, when I started out with Stronglifts I got DOMS every time, and I never dropped a weight for weeks and weeks.

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6 minutes ago, The XYY Man said:

Gyms. Muscly men. Tight short pants. Sweat. Mirrors. Cocoa butter.

What could possibly being going on...?

;)

 

XYY

Stop it, im getting all flustered. o.O

 

 

xD

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22 hours ago, spunko said:

How heavy were these weights? I am struggling to bench press anything over 105KG and have been at that point on and off for months and months.

If you’ve plateaued – change.  

If you’re doing flat bench do decline or incline.  If it’s focused on BB then do DB.  If you’re doing low reps, moved into the 45-60 second range.  
How involved is your back, how engaged is your core, what is your leg position like.  You can’t lift heavy flat bench without recruiting other parts of your body.  Also what is failing first arms, chest, shoulder, cardio? 
 

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According to an episode of Tomorrows' World, it isn't lifting weights that causes the muscle pain, it's the lowering of the weights.

The never to be seen again invention was a device with variable friction in either direction. Lift up = hard. Pull down = easy.

idk if there's any truth to what they said. A lifter could have a spotter do the lowering on a tough set and then see who gets to feel the pain.

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10 minutes ago, feed said:

If you’ve plateaued – change.  

If you’re doing flat bench do decline or incline.  If it’s focused on BB then do DB.  If you’re doing low reps, moved into the 45-60 second range.  
How involved is your back, how engaged is your core, what is your leg position like.  You can’t lift heavy flat bench without recruiting other parts of your body.  Also what is failing first arms, chest, shoulder, cardio? 
 

I was doing flat bench but switch to small incline but this proved the same or even harder, do you think I should drop the weights?

I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 with 90s rest between.

One thing I found was to widen my grip which helped me move from 95 to 105kg.

I did 5x5 105KG last night, well I would have except, I think @Rave jinxed it because I did my neck in. Not sure how, but think I'll have to skip any neck-related exercise for a few days.

How does one know what fails first...? I suspect it's my triceps/arms as I just don't have the strength to fully extend them once I get above 105kg. And my triceps aren't particularly muscular, much to my annoyance, for some reason I find it harder to gain muscle in upper/mid arms than chest, shoulders or back.

Without a spotter, you always have to be that little bit cautious and not push to 100% I find, or risk the bar coming down and probably? killing you.

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9 minutes ago, spunko said:

I was doing flat bench but switch to small incline but this proved the same or even harder, do you think I should drop the weights?

I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 with 90s rest between.

One thing I found was to widen my grip which helped me move from 95 to 105kg.

I did 5x5 105KG last night, well I would have except, I think @Rave jinxed it because I did my neck in. Not sure how, but think I'll have to skip any neck-related exercise for a few days.

How does one know what fails first...? I suspect it's my triceps/arms as I just don't have the strength to fully extend them once I get above 105kg. And my triceps aren't particularly muscular, much to my annoyance, for some reason I find it harder to gain muscle in upper/mid arms than chest, shoulders or back.

Without a spotter, you always have to be that little bit cautious and not push to 100% I find, or risk the bar coming down and probably? killing you.

Sounds like you’re doing a powerlifting / strength lift routine which is fine if you want to increase your max.  Suggest you switch to bodybuilding / muscle fibre recruitment routine for 4-6 weeks.  

Drop the weight go and 12 - 15 reps, but make sure that you’re in the 45 – 60 second range for the set.  So power up on the concentric as normal but work on a 3 second eccentric. Use a stop watch.   Shock your body again.  

Triceps, do dips.  Lots and lots of dips.  

 

 

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