Many of you will have experienced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), the pain and soreness felt in your muscles after an intense workout.

Symptoms usually present within 12-24 hours after training in the form of soreness – a feeling that can be likened to the sensation of muscle bruising. Discomfort is at its most intense 24-72 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the muscles during exercise appears to be the primary catalyst, as this activity causes micro tears to the skeletal muscle fibers resulting in DOMS. The risk of suffering and the acuteness of DOMS are typically most prevalent when exercising for the first time, or after an extended break from exercise.  The pain response is your body’s way of telling you that your muscles are in the repair process and you need to take steps to help alleviate the soreness.

Although there is limited research on how to reduce the severity of DOMS, Vitalstrength training expert Robert Hammond recommends a combination of the following techniques that have delivered great results for Robert and for his clients:

  • Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) supplements, taken during and after exercise;
  • L Glutamine supplements immediately after exercise; and,
  • Compression Gear worn during and after exercise.

Robert finds that supplementing with BCAA’s during and after weight training, as well as after high intensity sport and running reduces the severity of DOMS. While L-Glutamine accelerates the muscle recovery process and assists in reducing the symptoms of DOMS after a weights-based training session.

Robert also recommends wearing compression gear during all types of training including weights, running and sport to reduce the severity and onset of DOMS. (We like ISC Compression) Wearing compression gear after training is completed, further reduces the effects. After a heavy leg session or long run many athletes will also sleep that night wearing compression pants.

Each individual’s body will react differently to working out. Different types of exercise, intensity, training history and other factors will all play a part in how we individually experience DOMS.  If DOMS is slowing you down, find which strategy works best for you and get back to the gym faster!

Robert recommends the supplement regime to reduce severity of DOMS:

Vitalstrength Supplement
Amino Betadex During Exercise 1 scoop (10g)
BCAA 4:1:1 Within 30mins of Exercise 2 level teaspoons
L-Glutamine Within 30mins of Exercise 2 level teaspoons


*This is to be used as a guide only please consult a fitness or health care professional for further advice on serving sizes and frequency.