After a weight session or heavy workout , no doubt you have felt a little achy or sore after. This can be known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
The feeling may start to occur a few hours after exercise and can start to peak around 24-48 hours after the workout.
When working out, micro tears in the muscles occur (more so in eccentric muscle contraction), which can indirectly help muscle development. Our bodies though have a remarkable ability to adapt to the demands and stress placed upon it.
When our muscles get damaged our bodies will try and adapt-.
Over time the body will get more efficient at dealing with muscle damage associated with training and will adapt to help reduce the feeling of pain. The more you train at a high level the more your body will adapt, even though you will still be causing those micro tears.
However you don't want to be constantly smashing your body so that you feel so sore that that you struggle to walk or to wash your hair etc. This can be counter productive and effect the body's ability to repair the muscle damage and the muscles ability to grow. You can also effect future workouts if you are too sore.
There is a point of diminishing returns and if you are sore from the previous workout(s) it can decrease force producing capacity for that upcoming workout.
Muscle damage is one of a number of contributing factors in muscle hypertrophy, but not really a good indicator of a good workout. There are also other contributing factors for muscle hypertrophy and the process for muscle development is complex. A good hypertrophy workout will have a good mix of metabolic stress and tension on muscles as well as some muscle fibre micro damage.
There are positive and negative effects of DOMS after a workout. Even though many people believe that being sore from a workout is a good indicator of progress after a workout it is not the really the case. Trying to strive for improvements, progression and trying to reach goals each session is a better indicator of a good workout. You may experience some DOMS along the way which may indirectly benefit muscle development.
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK Fitness Personal Training
Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Training