34. Does Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Mean a More Effective Workout?, with Raphael Bender and Cloe Bunter
Play • 1 hr 20 min

Does Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Mean a More Effective Workout?, with Raphael Bender and Cloe Bunter


In this episode, we’re talking about the question of ‘no pain no gain’ and whether the old saying is true. Is it really important to get sore during and after your workout to have an effective workout? And if you don't suffer from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) was your exercise even worth doing? We discuss strength training and muscle damage, and why DOMS isn’t muscle damage but is related to that damage. I (Raph) also look at the evidence into why it’s essential to ensure that you have enough protein in your diet to repair your muscles after exercise. 

What You Will Learn:

  • Why feeling Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness isn’t an indicator of how effective your workout was
  • How Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness slows the speed of muscle repair because of energy expended repairing the damage that you caused by working out.
  • Why it’s such a common misconception that muscle growth equals damage
  • The importance for building strength of having sufficient protein in your diet
  • Why Cloe’s thinking has done a dramatic shift and how she plans to change going forward

No Pain No Gain

On the show, we dive into why this myth is still at the forefront of people’s minds when they are evaluating how effective their workout is. We discuss what exactly Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is, how long they last, and why there is no correlation between muscle soreness and post-exercise cell damage. Raph also explains the anatomy of our muscles and how their make-up affects efficient strength training. 

Strength and Diet

We want to debunk the common misconception that muscle growth equals damage. Which is why you need to counteract that by eating protein after your workout. The relationship between strength and conditioning training and eating the correct diet is also vital to understand. If you work out effectively there is muscle protein synthesis, the building of proteins within the muscle increases. The more actinomycin you pack inside your muscles, the wider the cells get, and the more contractile force you can generate because you’ve got more units.

Muscle Repair

It’s pretty clear that it’s better to exercise and get muscle soreness, than not to exercise at all. When you work out it stimulates your muscles to get stronger, so when you get sore after exercise it’s a good indicator that there was muscle damage. In getting stronger, you have to build more proteins within those fibers but current scientific thinking is that the process of repair is actually slowed down by Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

Pilates instructor links

  • Exercise-induced muscle damage, when it is only moderate, may contribute to hypertrophy, or then again maybe it doesn't here
  • Mechanical tension is the main stimulus for muscle strengthening, not activation here
  • Training to failure does not enhance strength more than stopping before failure here
  • Stopping as soon as you start to slow down gives the same strength gains as pushing closer to failure here
  • Fatigue is not a necessary stimulus for strength gains here
  • In fact stopping before you hit failure leads to greater strength gains here
  • The duration of soreness after a workout is not an indicator of whether you're recovered or not, here
  • DOMS is caused by unaccustomed exercise including longer muscle lengths or eccentric components here
  • DOMS probably interferes with strength gains here
  • DOMS is not a good indicator of whether your workout was effective here
  • The repeated bout effect means that as you get used to a particular workout it causes less and less soreness here
  • Protein supplementation is protective against DOMS here
  • Ice baths don't reduce actual fatigue, but they make you feel better. Oh, and they may reduce strength gains from training here
  • Massage is the most effective way to reduce DOMS once you have it here

Raph's Q&A: Stop faking it And Really Know Your Stuff

  • Tuesdays 6:00pm US-PDT / Wednesdays 11:00am AEST
  • Register for the weekly live session here


About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

Cloe Bunter, Training Manager, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives. 

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community.  Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. Close has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Raphael and Cloe:

Our Pilates instructor training is 100 percent online, so you can study from anywhere in the world. 

Earn recognition: Your Breathe Education Pilates qualifications are recognized by the Australian Government, Exercise & Sport Science Australia, and all major insurers.

Build your skills: with our pilates instructor training, you’ll learn the original Contrology exercises created by Joseph Pilates. Plus, you’ll learn the most current, science-based ways to cue and program those exercises, how to work with injured and pregnant clients, and nurture beginners.

Gain confidence: Learning is fun and easy when you engage with our state-of-the-art online learning system, filled with straightforward, relevant content and structured to guide your training as you build skills and confidence.

Feel supported: You’ll learn world-class problem-solving skills, not just a list of answers. Our student success team and trainers will provide you with all the guidance, challenge, and support you’ll need to become what you want to become.

Take your first step to becoming a certified Pilates instructor by scheduling a 20-minute Discovery Call with us here.



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