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Getting sore from training is like sweating from training. It often accompanies training but can't effectively be used as a measure of the effectiveness of the workout. They are related, but not "correlated".

This does not stop people from using DOMS as their measure of the effectiveness of the workout. This is not a bad thing! Nor is looking for sweat a bad thing to do when trying to tell if you're working hard enough.

The problem comes when people change their workouts inappropriately based on signs of soreness. An effective workout doesn't necessarily lead to soreness. The effectiveness of a workout depends on what type of workout is imposed on tissue that is at a certain level of conditioning (i.e. resistant to damage).

I personally like to maintain a very slight level of soreness at all times. The kind of soreness that most people might describe as simple stiffness.

- Bryan Haycock
The DOMS that is felt the day after, or even not until 2 days after, is most likely a result of an inflammatory response. Prostaglandins are released in the tissue which hyper-sensitize the nerves. This is not the only reason but most research seems to agree that this is the most likely mechanism.

Microtrauma can occur with or without this type of soreness. At the same time, a certain degree of growth can also occur with or without microtrauma depending on how you define microtrauma. It isn't necessary to have major microtrauma. We only need to disrupt the membranes enough to get satellite cells activated and fusing with existing fibers. Without this step, the fiber may enlarge slightly, but it cannot grow significantly because of a fixed nuclear to sarcoplasmic ratio. Unless new nuclei are added from satellite cells, the volume of the fiber will not increase beyond rather small increments.

So my point is that although DOMS, microtrauma, and hypertrophy are all related, they are not entirely dependant on one another.

However, a low level of DOMS is a good indicator of what kind of stimulus you created for the tissue and usually indicates that you are in the process of growth if you can maintain an adequate stimulus over time. I like to be a little sore thorughout the entire cycle. When my training is too infrequent and/or my increments are too small, the soreness usually goes away and gains "seem" (this is subjective) to be slower. Then again, I have made good gains at times with little or no soreness...

- Bryan Haycock
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