Adaptation And Doms

In order to increase strength sufficently over long periods of time it is important to constantly change the stimulus so that the body never has a chance to adapt. This is why the conjugate system works well.

Soreness usually occurs when you do a new exercise your body is not used to and then your body adapts and you are no longer sore from the same exercise. My question is wouldnt you always be getting sore if the goal is to make sure the body doesnt adapt in order to get stronger?

I think DOMS is a good indicator that you provided your body with a good stimulus for positive adaptation and/or strength gains, but I don’t believe it is a requirement for a few reasons. For one, different muscles will have different levels of perceived DOMS. My lateral delts, for example, rarely ever get sore, and if they do, its always minor. Despite this, I have never had a problem increasing the size or strength of my lateral delts. I’m not entirely sure why my shoulders don’t get sore - perhaps because of less innervation within the muscle as compared to other muscles. Secondly, even in muscles that do get sore regularly, I have experienced gains past when a given workout no longer causes DOMS. It is also clear to me that DOMS and strength gains do not have a direct and concrete relationship because I could always do a workout that would leave me extremely sore but would do very little or nothing for me in terms of strength gains - even if I was paying attention to recovery.

Some other thoughts: let’s assume for arguments sake that the DOMS is caused by damage/trauma/breakdown/whatever you want to call it to the actual muscle tissue. If our primary goal is strength gain and therefore CNS adaptation, why would we place the primary concern on what happens to the muscle tissue?

With all that being said, I still think DOMS should be a very important consideration in exercise selection mainly because of what you already said - DOMS correlates with a new training stimulus and the bottom line is we know we have to constantly provide new stimuli to continue making gains.

With Charlie’s system the different components to training are there all the time, but the emphasis or focus is different depending on where in the season the athlete is at. This way there is no “new” stimulus and soreness will not result. There is therefore more improvement over the long term and less chance for injury.

New stimuli does not mean improvement.

I meant “new” in the sense of not quite the same as before, like changing the weight, speed, volume, intensity, order, or actual exercise that still targets similar muscle groups, etc., not necessarily “new” in the sense of completely foreign to the body or something not even close to anything you have done before. Maybe “slightly altered” is better wording than “new”.

So I agree new stimuli does not automatically mean improvement (one’s definition of “improvement” can vary), but how do you force the body to adapt without a slightly different stimulus? If you kept all the variables in your routine EXACTLY the same, the organism eventually adapts and the routine becomes the norm and a general maintenance of body systems results, correct? Even the rotation of, or emphasis and de-emphasis of all the same factors is still relative “new” stimuli to the body otherwise it would have no reason to adapt.

I did forget that Charlie’s system aims to limit or even eliminate soreness, but is it the actual limitation of soreness that creates more improvement over the long run (in other words soreness is counterproductive to improvement in the short term as well) or is it that the limitation of soreness allows for more effective and proper training, and the proper amount?

For bodybuilding, I believe you should shoot for getting sore at every workout. For speed training you have many more important considerations than in bodybuilding, like flexibility, range of motion, higher shock force absorption and production, etc. all of which would be hampered with sore muscles. I was under the impression that the limitation of soreness was in the interest of the balancing act of many factors, not because DOMS in and of itself was counterproductive to making gains - I’m not sure this is what you meant, however.

good posts guys.

I have found that soreness almost always accompanies a new/altered exercise.
So how can it be avidoed in Charlies System? Maybe I am lifting too heavy?

Also how about the conjugate/WSBB system? Since the goal is to keep changing the exercises and break new records isn’t soreness unaviodable?

The amount of mechanical work performed when performing new records is minimal hence the soreness is minimal.

all’s i know is i get sore all the freaking time…ALL the time, i dont remember when i went through a week without gettin sore, i make gains normally, i dont know why i get sore all the time though. Even if i do the same excercise for weeks still sore, and i eat properly getting nutrients and stuff, i read this forum enough to understand this.

I am kind of the same exact way. That is why I started this thread.

DOMS is not muscle. it’s connective tissue. it has absolutely no role in determining muscular or nervous stimulation/progress other than through indirect means. but those indirect means are very little understood.

a few remedies to DOMS: you may be training too infrequently, you may be less-than-optimally nourished pre-during-post workout (not to mention all other times of day), you may be too overreached and heading into overtraining, and post-workout contrast showers work well for me to avoid DOMS.

i hypothesize that DOMS should be completely avoided except, perhaps, at the beginning of a cycle (not CFTS, but something like Metal Militia); and that DOMS may be evidence of overreaching if it develops sometime after the initial DOMS appeared (if this happens at all it should be near the end of a cycle); and possibly that DOMS can be avoided with optimal connective tissue and low-intensity strength.

Correct me if i’m wrong herb but my undersanding for charlies system and explination is each specific system that is target has a peroid of adaptation into it correct? Therefore you woulnd’t want to constnatly changing the stimuls right? That would prevent a effective adaptation. And with Charlie’s system peroids of adaptation are taken into account to reduce sorenes and fatigue to allow for higher quality training and gains at the same time

DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

LOL now dont i look like teh tard. actually, i know what DOMS stands for…

AFAIK, nobody actually knows if it is muscular microtrauma or what; that’s only hypothesized. if that’s true, then the CT hypothesis seems a little more relevant.

sometime before hearing the idea of DOMS actually being CT related i noticed what i considered to be a curious DOMS feeling in my anterior deltoids. that is, when relaxed i could press my finger on the soreness and feel the soreness, but when flexed i couldn’t. this only aided my thoughts on it being CT related. i dont know how, but it just seemed that if it was muscular it wouldn’t happen that way.

besides, i thought it was understood that DOMS is incorrect nomenclature due to the fact that it was beginning to be believed to be CT related.

but i dunno.

I think DOMS is both soreness of muscle tissue AND connective tissue. They both get highly stressed during intense workouts, so why wouldn’t it happen to both (whatever happens to cause the DOMS)?

I am not just trying to pick you apart (its easy to sound like a dick when arguing points on the forum :slight_smile: ), but what does it matter whether DOMS affects gains indirectly or directly? My point is that there is a correlation. And if you want to get nitty gritty, I’m not sure anything we do has a DIRECT affect on gains. You don’t get a little stronger with every rep, or a little faster with every stride - these things just stimulate the physiological processes that create the gains. You are absolutely right that the means are poorly understood, which is why whenever I break things down to the most finite, individual facet I come full circle back around to looking at the big picture - we are a system, an organism - nothing happens completely separate from everything else and our body systems are designed to operate in conjunction with one another.

In my opinion, DOMS should be limited but not completely avoided. Like I mentioned before, its a balancing act. The perfect little gray area should be sought out to maximize the big picture, taking into consideration as many things as possible. I think DOMS is critical because its a natural response by the body and correlates to intense training. If you reduce or eliminate DOMS too much, how much are you reducing or eliminating the indirect effect DOMS has on making gains? For instance, I’ve read numerous times that taking an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen, etc. can drastically reduce protein synthesis. Does this happen because eliminating the inflammation/soreness eliminates its effect on protein synthesis, or does it happen through other means (either way, its not worth the risk)? On the flipside when does too much DOMS hinder overall gaining? I believe its best to make DOMS happen to a degree, then do your best to get rid of it as quickly as possible through recovery protocols and proper nutrition. But I don’t believe you should prevent DOMS from happening by avoiding training that causes it.

You make some great points, wufwugy. Good, fun argument! :smiley:

I have noticed my DOMS to be like you describe above, as well as what I would consider muscle tissue related because it hurt to flex or contract the muscle, but it always feels better to repeatedly contract the muscle, in other words perform some light work - maybe this it the body’s way of telling you that you need to be doing recovery workouts and following recovery protocols. I 100% agree with you that there is a CT component, because I have felt soreness from training specifically in CT, like behind my knee at the base of the hammies, opposite the elbow at the base of my biceps, or at the insertion point of my pecs into my armpits. Again, I don’t mean to play lawyer and pick apart little details of your post, but you say you noticed a “curious DOMS feeling” when you try and illustrate an early rationalization you had for your DOMS=CT theory. Does “curious” mean it was out of the ordinary? If it didn’t feel that way all the time, might it not always be CT that is sore?

I think we should call it DOCTMS (Delayed Onset Connective Tissue & Muscle Soreness), or better yet, MSH (My Sh*t Hurts :smiley: )

Interesting study done in 2004 suggesting that myofibril remodeling caused DOMS instead of myofibril damage.


Very interesting. Makes more sense, because why whould you get a delayed sensation of pain from damage? Unless its like when you get kicked in the balls and feel it 6 seconds later :eek:

Now, if we assume the study is right, does preventing DOMS from ever happening cut down on the myofibril remodeling? Does getting rid of the perception of DOMS cut down on the myofibril remodeling? To fit it into my hypothesis, I would still think you would want to cause DOMS to happen, then get rid of the perception of DOMS as quickly as possible, not only to allow for more training, but with the idea that you are clearing the muscle of the remodeling by-products, wastes, and maybe even substances that initiate the remodeling (which cause the pain).

Not saying this necessarily 100% applies to strength, explosive training, etc., but most bodybuilders know how effective eccentric training is for causing DOMS (like the authors of the study knew) and putting on mass.

From a practical standpoint when training for speed, one needs to avoid DOMS. Why? Well, DOMS usually occurs 48 hours after training (I have found that the worse the DOMS, the longer it seems to take to appear…anyone else have similar experiences?)

This means that if your speed workout on one day is the cause of DOMS, then the DOMS itself will actually show up on your next scheduled speed day (assuming a MWF speed training routine). And it probably does not need to be mentioned that DOMS is not compatible with speed training and likely predisposes you to other injuries like pulled muscles.

So, if you are bodybuilding, perhaps some DOMS might be ok, but for optimal speed training, you should avoid it if at all possible.

I find tempo greatly reduces the impact of doms. If I ever do speed and weight work without doing tempo the next day, I feel like a useless mess.

Good point. That low intesity work to get the blood flowing does wonders!