Why are your muscles sore after a strongman competition?
I have experienced the worst muscle soreness and stiffness in my joints and muscles after completing the Brisbane fitness expo strongman competition. Definitely, I had some temporary soreness that lasted few hours immediately after the events, but I still felt some soreness and tenderness in my whole body. This residual soreness is called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it appears later and can last up to 4 days. DOMS has several possible causes: slight tears in connective tissue, damage to muscle fiber, accumulation of fluid, uncontrolled contractions of muscle fibers, or lingering effects of metabolic by-products (Creatine kinase, myoglobin and troponin I (the muscle-specific marker of muscle fiber damage)). Contrary to what many may think, lactic acid, is eliminated within an hour an hour after your workout.
The precise cause of muscle soreness still remains unknown. The degree of discomfort and muscle tenderness depends largely on the intensity and duration of effort and type of exercise performed. The magnitude of active strain imposed on a muscle fiber precipitates muscle damage and soreness. Eccentric and, to some extent, isometric muscle actions generally trigger the greater post exercise discomfort.
Strongman events are unconventional lifts and epitomize maximal dynamic, eccentric and Isometric strength, which therefore induce the worst DOMS you could have in any other strength sports. During the show, we had to carry the 140kg farmers’ handles up to a 40 meters track. Farmers’ walk is great for overall full body strength and muscular conditioning. By only picking those handles up and walking with those, you will strengthen your traps, hips, legs and ankles, and handgrips. Because of the eccentric nature that happens while walking with unstable heavy loads, farmers walk is the most likely exercise that could have cause the worst DOMS I have ever endured after a strength competition.