No DOMS after negatives


New Member
I've done 2 WOs of negatives but have experienced absolutely no DOMS. My intensity levels are very high on these...I'm not dogging it in anyway. In nearly all exercises my 2RM is NOT enough to challenge my eccentric strength so I've even upped the weights from there...some substantially (40% increase or more). I try to do 3-4 sec negs for 5-6 reps until I can no longer control the speed of the eccentric motion. I have some joint aches, especially at a couple of old-injury locations.

What might I be doing wrong?

Am I doing ANY good during this phase if I don't get DOMS?

There is a thread in the FAQ on DOMS. It is not a requirement for growth, nor is it something that necessarily indicates a good workout. A mild type of stretch or soreness deep within your muscle bellies is the feeling you're looking for. If your joints are starting to ache, it is time to do SD.
How is it possible your 2RM not to be good enough for eccentrics ? You do 2 reps, you can't do a 3rd, so you just lower the weight... Perhaps you're using too heavy weights and so a smaller number of muscle fibres get activated ?
Randy, did you do your eccentrics immediately after doing your 5's? If so, I wouldn't EXPECT much DOMS, if any.

DOMS is most intense after multiple days of rest. After your decon, it's easy to get DOMS. DOMS is a sensation caused by stimulation of the nerve endings by chemicals produced during muscle tissue breakdown. If you've been lifting regularly (every two days), your nerves become accustomed to the chemicals, and stop overreacting. But it doens't mean you're not producing the desired effect in terms of your muscles; it just means you're accustomed to the "hangover."

If you're hitting a body part only once per week, you can get DOMS every time; during the day or two after, you're reacting to those chemicals, and then for four or five days, you drop back to normal -- so the nerve endings never get used to it.

The DOMS itself is strictly a side-effect; it does not produce growth itself, and it is not an indicator of growth. It's an indicator that you're not accustomed to the level of chemicals released after your workout. If you perform the workout frequently enough, the nerve cells in the area will become accustomed to it, even if that workout is still causing growth.

Of course, even when lifting every other day, you can still induce DOMS by hitting yourself significantly harder than you have been of late; such a workout would produce MORE chemicals than you've gotten used to, and therefore will still set off your nerves. . . but it's probably not wise to try to make each workout so much harder than the last that you get full-blown DOMS again every other day. You'd have to keep going so much harder each time that you're sure to get into over-work land quickly.
Thanks for the replies, guys.

edziu, I'm doing negatives as the program suggests...right after 2 wks of 5s. I'm working out Mon, Wed & Fri (switched from doing (2) 2-day splits/wk back in the 15s). Maybe that's what's happening...I'm conditioned to the point of not being sensitive to this chemical process.

I guess I had surmized from reading at this site that heavy negatives resulted in DOMS and that this was to be expected and so I was concerned that I had not experienced this. I have no opinion on whether or not there is some metabolic or physiological benefit to DOMS...only that DOMS didn't occur so I have to question my application of negatives. Apparently there are more than just Vince who strive (or atleast acknowledge) to achieve DOMS atleast sometimes, Jules and Kate to name a couple.

Blade, when you say "A mild type of stretch or soreness deep within your muscle bellies is the feeling you're looking for." Do you seek this feeling while doing the actual exercise or is this a resultant feeling the next day?

At 47, I frequently have a joint ache somewhere regardless of my activities so it's a bit hard to gauge when it's too much. If I were to stop at early signs of aches I wouldn't get through a cycle. I have dropped forearm work and leg extensions as I'm quite sure these have inflamed tendons in my wrists and the patellar tendon in my left knee (which was scoped a couple years ago). Tricep and bicep isolations don't seem to be bothering my elbows (even though I had a lateral release/anconeus transfer operation in the right elbow a couple years ago) so I'm continuing with those and calf work...all others are compounds.

micmic, my eccentric strength seems to be very high, meaning that my 2RM does not (in most cases) present much of an eccentric load for me. I don't know how else I can put that. As an example, my 2RM for weighted dips is BW +70lbs. After doing 2 normal reps at that weight, I used a step to get to the top of the movement and lowered (eccentric) myself using a 3-4 sec duration. I could have done this all day. I stopped and brought the weights up to 100 lbs and I was still able to control the eccentric easily...not sure how many more reps I did but it was way more than 5-6.

Thanks for the support.

Randy, if you're loading up your 2RM and doing boatloads of 3-4 second eccentrics and not getting sore, you're just not going to get sore.

It's common to be able to do many (assisted) eccentrics, so don't let that fool you.

You may get a slight sensation in your muscle bellies the day after. You should also have a "stretched out" feeling in your muscle bellies shortly after the bout of eccentrics. To learn to feel it, flex and stretch your muscles BEFORE the exercise to guage how they feel. Then do a good volume of eccentrics; after the exercise, then after five minutes, and then after ten minutes, flex and stretch your muscles again. That's the feeling you're looking for. It's harder to notice in your 5's, but you should be able to learn to detect it in the negatives pretty cleanly.