Most of your fellow gymgoers view DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as an inconvenience of training. Yet as a bodybuilder you revel in it because you know it means you trained with enough intensity to incur some decent muscle damage, and that will lead to growth. Many bodybuilders think that the only way to increase the amount of muscle damage they can incur is by using heavier weight and techniques such as negative reps. Yet new research shows that simply cutting rest time down between sets can be another effective way to increase muscle damage. Brazilian researchers had subjects perform four sets of biceps curls to failure with their 85% RM on the curl, which is a weight that limited them to about six reps per set. In one workout they rested three minutes between sets, and in another workout they rested just one minute. They found that when they rested just one minute, markers for muscle damage were significantly greater than when they rested three minutes. Similar results were reported in subjects resting just one minute between sets of leg presses using their 10-rep max. So consider using shorter rests between sets. If this method doesn’t boost DOMS, then you may be genetically predisposed to experiencing less muscle damage in the gym. The researchers found that some subjects are “low responders” to bouts of exercise that cause muscle damage in most others.
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