Variations in training volume and methodology as well as individual characteristics can impact a client’s ability to fully recover from training sessions. Muscular adaptations to exercise vary depending on the individual’s gender, biological and training age and the nature of exercise engaged. A common occurrence following a bout of unaccustomed physical activity is the delayed sensation of skeletal muscle discomfort or pain, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The discomfort associated with DOMS is often characterized by muscle stiffness and tenderness. It is generally accepted that DOMS follows an inverted U-shape curve over time, in which the intensity of discomfort increases during the first 24 hours following the cessation of exercise, peaks between 24 to 72 hours, then subsides and eventually disappears by 5-7 days post-exercise. Eccentric exercises are primarily cited for evoking DOMS as the nature of the contraction as well as the potential for greater loading promotes more muscle damage than concentric or isometric contractions.
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