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John Robert Cardillo

John Robert Cardillo

John travelled the world to learn the best training and nutrition principles and trained alongside top pro bodybuilders at Gold's Gym California. He was a student of Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and Medx Fitness machines, and the pioneer of hi-intensity training. John developed the HIT3 Training System, which transformed his physique to win countless bodybuilding competitions at just 18 years of age! He was also the first bodybuilder to utilize Faradic Electric Muscle Stimulation in his training and intermittent fasting during his competition prep. John’s SHREDDED Nutrition Diet helped him build one of the most shredded physiques of all time. His diet program incorporates fasting and nutrient timing to help athletes build lean muscle while losing body fat.

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Can Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness Be Avoided? By John Robert Cardillo

Muscle soreness is a result of muscle damage. After a high-intensity workout, there is delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) because of the neuromuscular damage caused to the nerves connected to the muscle fibres stimulated. Therefore, soreness is experienced one to two days later, usually peaks on day 3 and then starts to subside by day 5. By day 7, the muscles that were sore should be totally recuperated and ready for another workout.

DOMS is related to an influx of immune cells, which is the inflammatory response that occurs after training. They stimulate the neurons (nerve cells) to send feedback to the brain that micro-injury has occurred. Your body then responds to this damage of microscopic tears by increasing inflammation. This is what leads to a delayed onset of soreness in the muscles.

A common myth is that DOMS is from a buildup of lactic acid, but this is entirely false. Lactic acid buildup actually occurs during exercise. It’s the burning sensation you feel during exercise, not the soreness afterward.

Also, don’t confuse sharp or extreme pain during exercise for DOMS. This pain is usually an indication that an injury has occurred. Stop immediately if this occurs! Sharp pain, severe swelling, muscle spasms, and/or numbness and tingling are different from the dull ache of DOMS. Talk with your doctor immediately if you feel any of these symptoms after a high-intensity workout—or any workout, for that matter.

Symptoms of DOMS:

  • muscle fatigue
  • muscles that feel tender to the touch
  • minor swelling in the muscles you worked out
  • reduced range of motion due to minor pain and stiffness

DOMS isn’t something that can be avoided after a good high-intensity workout. In fact, it’s exactly what you want after a high-intensity, growth-stimulating workout. It’s a feedback mechanism that indicates that progress has been made. DOMS is the signal that muscle growth and strength gains are on their way, provided that enough rest and recuperation time is taken to allow the muscle to fully recuperate.

What to do to lessen the effects of DOMS:

  • Warm up before working a body part: Make sure to warm up before you begin training. This is imperative to avoid injuries.
  • Massage: I believe that a deep tissue massage is one of the best things you can do to help the recuperation process and counteract the effects of DOMS. Massage improves circulation, which helps a muscle recover faster.
  • Keep moving: This may help ease sore, stiff muscles. Try gentle, easy movements throughout the day. It won’t accelerate recovery, but it might lessen the soreness.
  • Drink a lot of water: Make sure you take in a lot of fluids before, during and after your workout. Stay hydrated!
  • Sleep! Make sure you get at least eight hours of good sleep.
  • Increase circulation: Another great way to increase circulation is to simply take a warm bath. You can also add Epsom salts, which are absorbed through the skin to help decrease soreness and boost muscle function.

All that said, DOMS is the single most important indicator that the muscle has been stimulated to grow. That’s why I refer to days after workouts when DOMS kicks in as “growth days.”

DOMS is the reward for a job well done—growth stimulation!

For more info on John Cardillo, check out his website at johnrobertcardillo.com or right here at Muscle Insider at John Cardillo.

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