Proper HIT and DOMS

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Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  sgsims1 on Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:21 pm

After 2 1/2 years of a once per 7 day protocol, my fatigue and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is still brutal and utterly predictable. Workout at 4pm; a bit fatigued the next morning and day, then at almost exactly 24 hours serious DOMS sets in with an overall body fatigue, lasting for the next 24 hours or so where it diminishes gradually....

I may save a lot of gym time with my HIT training, but I pay for it with a brutal 24 hours every single time..... Evil or Very Mad Razz

What are your HIT experiences with DOMS? Are they consistent, or do they change?
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  Turpin on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:33 pm

Very similar to my experience , soreness in my case is more prevalent at 48 hrs post workout and dissipates gradually over 4/5 days , before Im ready to go again at around 7-9 days ( usually ) T.
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  thebiggfella on Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:08 pm

It's at it's worse for me a couple of days after my workout and I tend to get it worse in legs than upper body. I used to do a double pre-exhaust: Smith squats > thigh extns > Smith squats and that generated the worst DOMS I've ever experienced. I could barely go down stairs two days after the workout and the DOMS took about a week to go.
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  FiremanBob on Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:51 am

DOMS is my guide as to whether I have truly worked to failure at maximum effort. If I'm not sore the next day, that's proof that I chickened out on the workout.

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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  fantombe on Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:50 am

I like to follow Arthur Jones old protocol for getting over DOMS early on, which is working the whole body 3 days in a row, pushing through the DOMS in those first few days to get it over with.

I sometimes split the body up over 5 days using indirect work to work through the DOMS so it's not quite so painful. This also works well, but unfortunately "not quite so" is still fairly excruciating... Shocked

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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  sgsims1 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:15 pm

I'm with Bob and the "chicken out" theory.....funny though, my biceps, which have always been my best developed feature, rarely get it.

As for your technique, Fantombe, I've heard many swear by it but I just can't square it with the need for recovery. I'd love to hear others thoughts on "working through" DOMS.
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  fantombe on Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:36 pm

Normal routine frequency has a lot to do with it too though. If you work out different muscle groups (or indeed your whole body) once per week or less (give or take), you're probably going to get DOMS after each workout anyway, in which case, there's no point working through it in an attempt to get it over with, whether you use classic HIT style to do so or not!

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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  Paulus on Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:13 pm

fantombe wrote:Normal routine frequency has a lot to do with it too though. If you work out different muscle groups (or indeed your whole body) once per week or less (give or take), you're probably going to get DOMS after each workout anyway, in which case, there's no point working through it in an attempt to get it over with, whether you use classic HIT style to do so or not!

That sounds like a very reasonable statement to me. I think I remember Mark mentioning that he had a noticeable increase in DOMS when he switched to once weekly training. I can't really say for myself as I train twice weekly and I only notice a very mild soreness when I get up the next morning after a training day. It lasts about as long as staggering to the shower Smile
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  coomo on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:01 pm

Hits me the next day.Usually only upper body.Thighs always fine, but sometimes my arse gets a bit sore from deads.

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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  fantombe on Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:18 am

Paulus wrote:That sounds like a very reasonable statement to me. I think I remember Mark mentioning that he had a noticeable increase in DOMS when he switched to once weekly training. I can't really say for myself as I train twice weekly and I only notice a very mild soreness when I get up the next morning after a training day. It lasts about as long as staggering to the shower Smile

Same with me. If I work out on a split (like now for example when I'm in the middle of a blitz cycle), DOMS is massively increased. On my usual frequency though, I get much milder DOMS the next day or so, and sometimes if I do something a little bit different hard DOMS in those specific muscle groups for a few days.

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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  thebiggfella on Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:06 am

It's interesting to read about other folks experience with DOMS. It's possibly alleviated somewhat by more frequent training but as we all know, frequency along with volume and workout structure has to be properly managed and tweaked. Having said that, during my HVT days when each muscle was getting git far more frequently, I still got DOMS.

Going back to when I was doing the double pre-exhaust: Smith squats > thigh extns > Smith squats. As I said the DOMS was REALLY bad. Now I just a single set of Smith squats to failure and the DOMS is nowhere near as bad, but I still continue to make progress even though only do each exercise once every four weeks or so.

I feel now that the double pre-exhaust was a step to far, even doing it once a month, considering that I've still seen progress dropping it for a single straight set of squats to positive failure. I think that with the with the double pre-exhaust, I was simply doing more than I had to for the same amount of progress. That obviously impacted on recovery ability and ultimately, if I'd have carried on with them, progress.

Anyway, I quite like the DOMS feeling. Whilst at the end of the day, it may not mean anything in terms of muscle and strength increases, it certainly has a positive mental effect.
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  Turpin on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:47 am

I feel now that the double pre-exhaust was a step to far, even doing it once a month, considering that I've still seen progress dropping it for a single straight set of squats to positive failure. I think that with the with the double pre-exhaust, I was simply doing more than I had to for the same amount of progress. That obviously impacted on recovery ability and ultimately, if I'd have carried on with them, progress.

I think this is where many trainees fail in their progress Glynn , many ( too many ) are afraid to drop an exercise or two fearing regression/atrophy will ensue as a result. And yet they never realised progress for long periods whilst performing the aforementioned anyway !
As you know I have not performed any direct arm exercise for around 8 yrs or so , and like many I was seeing little/no progress in both resistance used/repetitions performed and appearance (as well as stagnation in my push/pull movements for larger exercises). Since dropping the direct work for arms I saw immediate increase in my poundages on the compound exercises with a corresponding betterment in appearance of my arms and overall body composition.
I personally dont buy into the idea that some can `get away with` omitting direct arm work whilst others cant. My thoughts are that if one is training intensely enough whilst performing direct arm work ( or any work ) but witnessing no progress , then they are performing more than is/was neccessary either in volume or frequency.
In the case of the arms I believe adequate ( & fairly direct ) stimuli is had by underhand/palms up chins/pulldowns and dips/presses. Im more than positive you will come to similar conclusion in the absence of preachers in your new routine.

Best wishes , T.


Last edited by Turpin on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add text)
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  thebiggfella on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:09 am

Turpin wrote:Im more than positive you will come to similar conclusion in the absence of preachers in your new routine.

I am heading down the path you describe more and more T. I'm still battling in my mind to drop the preachers but I will. Initially, as I've said, I'll drop the frequency, maybe do them once every second or third workout (WO1 probably) and depending on what happens, then drop them altogether whilst closely monitoring progress all the while.

I never had such mental battle with dropping the partial deadlifts, Nautilus incline bench or thigh extns when I recently re-vamped my routine and they are bigger exercises.
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  sgsims1 on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:46 pm

The psychology is funny, isn't it? As I mentioned, I've rarely been able to get DOMS in my biceps, and when I have, it has generally been from extremely heavy preachers. I dropped direct arms in Jan. in lieu of the pulldowns and presses, and also have felt irrationally that I've deprived my biceps and triceps...but guess why? No "pump"! Embarassed In the last week or two I've seriously been considering sneaking in an extra day of bi and tri isolation moves, but Turpin's comments(and his pics!) may have saved me from succombing to that fate Smile
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Going to agree with Mentzer

Post  HDHITman on Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:40 pm

I think on this topic I am going to have to agree with Mike Mentzer that soreness and DOMS are not good indicators of a good workout. As Mentzer said in many of his books that he rarely got sore after workout, unless he was coming off a lay-off. I think that I fall into that as well because I know that I have had a great workout by my training journal and the numbers I beat week to week. I have a slight discomfort and tenderness in the muscles trained but nothing like I use to get. I believe that dealing with the soreness thing is an adaptive response as well, because as you progress your body learns better and more efficient ways to elminate the lactic acid and other by-products of intense training so that you less sore, and it takes less days to elminate that soreness. In my opion this should not be a gage of whether you had a great workout beating your numbers should, to back up that statement I say to you have any of you ever changed an exercise in your routine and got really sore after that workout, I think all of us have, so is that because you had a great workout because you are sore, or because that is a response of the body because you made it use muscles it hasnt used in while. All movements become easier after the body has learned what is needs to know to make the exercise productive, efficient, what muscles to activate, and the fibers in that muscle it going to need to complete the task. The bodys' adaptive response is great and encompasses alot of things that it can adapt to so it is my opinion go by the numbers and you cannot go wrong.

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HIT and DOMS

Post  Fitness Scientist on Sun May 02, 2010 12:41 am

Before I make my statement about HIT and DOMS I have to admit that I did not read through each post in this forum.

I imagine everyone will think I am daft or worse!

In my experience, it is not HIT protocol that creates DOMS.

I believe the cause of DOMS, is not HIT or any other free weigh exercise protocol.
What I believe is that muscle soreness comes not from the contraction of muscles, regardless of how heavy the weight is or how many reps are performed.

The cause is during the lowering of the movement that causes the issue. I believe that the soreness comes from an slight over-stretch of the muscle fibers, tendons and\or ligaments in the extended arm or leg position. I think it primarily may come from a very slight micro-tear in whatever muscles are being used for the exercise.

Having owned a number of HIT facilities, everyone who mentioned "extreme" muscle soreness, solved the issue when they paid attention to over stretching of the position when the joint meaning: extreme stretch in the elbow in a preacher bench curl, or using straight elbow joint doing chest flying motions, over-stretching during straight leg deadlifts, ect.

HIT folks who follow the dogma of attempting a "slight pre-stretch prior to lifting any weight during free weight training, or HIT with machines. I've never know of anyone becoming sore from the contraction of any muscle.

But, I could be wrong.


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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  thebiggfella on Sun May 02, 2010 9:40 pm

Fitness Scientist wrote:I think it primarily may come from a very slight micro-tear in whatever muscles are being used for the exercise.

Joe, it is my (maybe misguided) understanding that it is the repair of these micro-tears that constitutes muscle growth. If that's the case then would make DOMS a prerequisite for muscle growth which I didn't think it was.

I could be off the mark here as I don't worry too much about what goes on inside my body to make itself stronger and more muscular, I just provide the quality stimulus to try to cause the positive adaptions. Feel free to put me right!
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Re: Proper HIT and DOMS

Post  Ciccio on Wed May 05, 2010 2:22 am

Fitness Scientist wrote:Before I make my statement about HIT and DOMS I have to admit that I did not read through each post in this forum.

I imagine everyone will think I am daft or worse!

In my experience, it is not HIT protocol that creates DOMS.

I believe the cause of DOMS, is not HIT or any other free weigh exercise protocol.
What I believe is that muscle soreness comes not from the contraction of muscles, regardless of how heavy the weight is or how many reps are performed.

The cause is during the lowering of the movement that causes the issue. I believe that the soreness comes from an slight over-stretch of the muscle fibers, tendons and\or ligaments in the extended arm or leg position. I think it primarily may come from a very slight micro-tear in whatever muscles are being used for the exercise.

Having owned a number of HIT facilities, everyone who mentioned "extreme" muscle soreness, solved the issue when they paid attention to over stretching of the position when the joint meaning: extreme stretch in the elbow in a preacher bench curl, or using straight elbow joint doing chest flying motions, over-stretching during straight leg deadlifts, ect.

HIT folks who follow the dogma of attempting a "slight pre-stretch prior to lifting any weight during free weight training, or HIT with machines. I've never know of anyone becoming sore from the contraction of any muscle.

But, I could be wrong.


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Hey Joe,

in my experience (with myself only), soreness is realized mainly with the eccentric portion of the rep, be it full range (with pre-stretch) or partial mid-range. If you know Bill de Simone's work, you know what I mean.
At present I experiment with static contraction in rest-pause mode in the mid-range and there is (almost) no soreness. I still have to lift the weight an inch or two (for some holds more) to get into position and I suspect that without that small eccentric movement to set the weight down, ther would be no soreness at all.
I get positive results from such workout and don't believe anymore that DOMS/damage to fibers has anything to do with muscle hypertrophy.
Also, what a lot of people call "Systemic fatigue" and some others "CNS fatigue" (wrongly!) is much less, almost non-existent, with this static contraction mode as well. Which reinforces my opinion that "CNS fatigue" indeed is just the body's reaction to the DOMS/inflamation the days after a workout with lots of eccentric loading (damage), especially if it's a fullbody workout. And like with all things, some folks are more prone or sensitive to this then others.

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