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Why do I always feel sore 2 days after the workout?

We’ve all seen the countless “Leg Day” memes. Funny tributes from movie clips to dance videos, displaying anything from leg numbing to hip shaking, to trouble walking – each one reminiscent of the pain and suffering we go through every leg day. Feeling sore is that certificate of training success. The acknowledgement and reward that you not only trained hard, but that it counted in your quest for physical supremacy. A sign that your body is rewarding you by making sure every physical thing you do reminds you of what body part you trained. However, the funny thing is, we usually don’t feel that burn till days after you trained.

Ever wonder why you train legs on Monday and after waking up on Tuesday thinking “Hey, this isn’t that bad”, you wake up on Wednesday only to feel as though you’ve been hit by a truck?

Yes, your body is working just fine. Actually it’s very normal to feel the pain of a brutal workout 2 days later. That feeling is DOMS (Delayed onset muscle Soreness), which starts about 6-8 hours after training. That feeling peaks at about 48 hours later. DOMS can happen to beginners and top athletes alike and is triggered by an unfamiliar stress to the muscles. The human body will usually adapt to a pattern in 10-14 days. That means we usually feel DOMS when deciding to switch up your program or by adding a few more exercises to your existing routine. And, though usually felt most prominent after a leg workout,  DOMS is not limited to your lower body. You can experience DOMS after any workout.

So, remember, even though you may hate that feeling of having to take 30 seconds to squat down on the toilet bowl, feeling that soreness is actually something you should always be striving for in the weight room. If you feel like you haven’t been sore for a while, try altering your program, or the rep/set scheme. Sometimes, just switching the order of exercises is enough to elicit a response strong enough to cause that sore feeling.