Wednesday afternoon I headed to the gym for my typical strength workout. It was a lovely leg killer featuring squats, lunges, front squats, leg press, the whole enchilada. In fact, I probably earned a couple of enchiladas after that one. As per usual for Monday, Wednesday, Friday lift sessions, I finished it off with a core workout. The workout typically resembles the circuit I mentioned in It’s Not “Abs”lutely Impossible. Blame it on the adrenaline from my leg pump, but I had the urge to mix it up. I had been thinking about doing “GHD Annie” ever since we completed the regular “Annie” a few weeks ago. The basic b*tch version involves 50-40-30-20-10 reps of double unders and ab-mat situps. The GHD version spices things up (still have enchiladas on my mind) by replacing the ab-mats with GHDs.
If you are unfamiliar with glute ham developers (GHDs), they are contraptions that lock in your feet, leaving your upper body to hang free. See picture above. While they appear terrifying, I love the ab workout they offer and do them frequently, so I felt prepared to tackle the workout.
Although I didn’t use a running clock, the workout took a around 12 minutes. NEVER have I been so dizzy from a workout. The constant back and forth motion of the GHDs coupled with the up and down from the double unders sent me into a case of vertigo. Once I finished, I sat on the ground for awhile, waiting for my vision to realign.
While I was suffering from the dizziness and nasuea, I was suprised another ailment didn’t pop up: sore abs. My coach warned me, it was on its way. When I woke Thursday morning, I twisted this way and bent that testing my body and still no ab soreness! I thought it must be a miracle or proof that I have a core of steel.
Enter the dreaded DOMS. When I woke this morning, I silenced my alarm, gave my arms a stretch, and then began sitting up. It wasn’t as simple as that though. I immediately got that kick of soreness in the gut. I suffered through getting dressed and dragged myself into the gym. I told Hal what i had done to myself, and he’s the one that noted, “You got the DOMS, hon.”
I had heard of DOMS before and have probably suffered through it prior, but it has never been so apparent. Intrigued, I decided to do a little reading up on the phenomenon, and found this great informational brochure published by the American College of Sports Medicine. Most know that regular soreness is caused by small tears in the muscle fibers caused by exercising or extending the muscles. We create these tears so that our bodies can repair them, making the muscled bigger and stronger. DOMS, according to the pamphlet, is our bodies response to this repair process and effects are felt 12-24 or 24-72 (like mine) hours following eccentric muscle action. DOMS strikes anyone at anytime, whether they are seasoned athletes or newbies. But, the good news is that it may actually reduce future soreness by creating a protective layer over that muscle!
Soreness is a part of the process, making it inevitable. However, your soreness should never be so extreme that you are unable to operate. If you experience extreme soreness after every workout, you may want to lighten your load. The soreness I have in my abs is nagging, but nothing extreme. I want this to serve as a simple warning: don’t get too ecstatic or boast too much if you avoid soreness after a crazy workout. DOMS maybe be lurking in the corner, waiting to pounce.
*photo cred: http://www.rogueeurope.eu/media/catalog/product/cache/5/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/g/h/ghd-2_3_1.jpg