DOMS (Leg DOMS specifically) after strength training - how to remedy?

So I get the most debilitating leg DOMS after doing squats and deads at the gym. The day after is generally ok but then the day after the day after (like today) walking, stairs and even sitting down on the toilet is hard work! :smile:

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for prevention, remedy or cure?

Are you having anything after your workout?

I was getting the worst DOMS when i first started, then i started having a protein shake after and I have been fine the day after ever since - Still get the odd days where i’m achy, but it’s rare

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Invest in a foam roller if you haven’t already. Oh yes, there will be tears.


Do more squats :wink: I’ve tried various ways to work strength sessions into my program and one thing i noticed was that when doing squats once a week i’d always get DOMS. Now i do squats more frequently, say 2-3 times a week and it’s fine.


I’d agree with the ‘do more regularly’ bit. If I ever restart any type of lifting I get hit by DOMS, it soon goes for me as the body gets used to the movements.

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Yeah I always have a protein shake afterwards.

I would love to but unfortunately I only get time to hit the gym once a week now.

If you’re used to resistance exercise and you still get DOMS it’s probably nutrition. Squats/Deads deliver training stress to some of the biggest muscle groups in the body…it takes days to recover from those types of workouts…if you slip into negative nitrogen balance over the course of the first few days you will develop DOMS. Maintain positive nitrogen balance. At least 1g protein/kg bodyweight. Not just right after the workout but over the course of the next three days at least.

Also, consider your goals. Do you really need to be crushing yourself with deads/squats to that extent? If you’re like me when the weight starts going on the bar it’s hard to stop yourself! One trick I use with cleans/deadlifts is to do them on a thick (2") bar. That way grip limits how much weight I can put on the bar (and still clean it).

As a cyclist I find grip workouts to be a neglected resistance regime, anyhow. Heavy squats and deadlifts are probably overdone when they are done.


In that case just try to get as much as your recovery on point as possible, protein post workout, foam rolling, maybe an easy leg loosener the next day, i have used Taku in the past just to loosen up a bit and help with active recovery.

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DOMS is a mechanical disruption of your muscle fibers. This implies you’ve put such a force through your quads for such a period that you are microtearing fibers. There is no cure for this and it will typically abate in a couple of days to a week. Protein shakes, rolling etc will not prevent it from happening as it is directly related to forceful contractions. The more regularly you lift the less likely it is to occur, however really hard sessions can recreate it for you. Understand what causes it will allow you to plan on what and how you should be lifting the the future.


Sorry if this is bad news but lots of doms=you’re overdoing it. You gotta lift a bit easier. Your body will adapt but it might take awhile, maybe a long while, especially if you aren’t young.


Learn to love it as much as you love suffering on the bike!

I would up the protein intake day of and after. Also not sure what type of weight training you do… Hypertrophy (higher rep 8+) usually makes me more sore than strength (low rep 5x5) higher weight.

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Hence the D in DELAYED Onset Muscle soreness :wink:

Diet has a large impact on recovery so don’t overlook this, adequate protein for muscular repair as well as plenty of foods rich in vitamins & minerals.

Additionally the volume & intensity of your sessions, if progressive, will continue to deliver DOM’s. If this stagnates then you should find that as you become conditioned to handle those loads and that volume you’ll experience less. DOM’s are partly a response to a new level of stimulus.

A little bit of SMR and restorative blood-flow will help speed to the recovery process too.

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I dialed my weights back, just ever so slightly and included a post workout protein shake. That combined with consistent foam rolling has really helped myself, without any losses in strength.

DOMS will go away as you continue with the routine. The only way to avoid it is to build up the weight slowly and not overload, even if overload is not “heavy”.
I get a brutal set of it every fall when off-season starts and i head back into the gym. Just have to persevere for two weeks and it settles down and i can begin adding more weight. I write-off any on the bike workouts during this time as they simply cannot be done. Diet and rolling do not seem to make a difference.


Workout 2 days after the first is the key. This is when DOMS is the worst. If you can’t get to the gym, do a couple sets of 50 squats (no weight), or whatever you can handle. It sucks at the time, but you’ll get rid of the DOMS much faster this way, and the first set will be the hardest.


I went to the gym last Saturday, the first time in 9 months or so, and stupidly overdid it on the legs. I already missed my both weekend workouts, I’m still walking like a 90-yr old, today’s workout (Berryessa) is looming and I’m not sure what to do. Take it easy, or will I be fine once I start the workout?

I’m thinking of maybe switching to either sweet spot or something like Baxter at high cadence, to get the blood flowing. I was planning to do a recovery workout yesterday but honestly the thought of sitting on the bike was already quite distressing. What do you guys think?

Last winter I lost a few weeks of quality training because of this. I’m usually not a cramper but with strength training I could induce cramps in following cycling workouts. I have a tendency for cramping in running, therefore eccentric contractions seem to be an issue with me. My love for trail/mountain running is really impaired by this because there is always the uncertainty if it hits me while descending. This has been issue for years, any attempt to adress is failed.

With regards to strength training I’d say one has to start really, really conservatively. I know, cyclists/triathletes have often a Type A personality but here I’d say really dial back. HOwever, I actually did, still hit me. Probably one the things where you have to try and see.

Turns out Baxter at high cadence fixed me. To the point that I did Baxter around noon and was feeling so good that I went to the gym in the evening. It’s always a good sign when legs feel better after the workout than before.

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If your heavy lifting is hindering your ability to become a faster cyclist, you stop doing it.

If you just want to cycle for fun, you pick your poison and accept that DOMS is mostly likely what you’re going to have to endure to get stronger in those lifts. Leg DOMS is some of the worst ever