I decided to write on this topic as it plays a significant role in continually making gains in the gym and one’s performance. Quite honestly, it took me quite some time to really understand this concept. In the beginning, most weight trainers will train to gain mass, but really do not have a rhyme or reason as to what they are doing. Initially, a lot goes on in order to achieve a prized physique and the repeated bout effect plays a significant role which I will expand on.
What is the repeated bout effect? After performing an unaccustomed eccentric exercise and exhibiting severe soreness, the muscle rapidly adapts to reduce further damage from the same exercise. So if you perform the same exercise on the same day every week with the same weight with little or no change, this will become ineffective for you eventually. The body will adapt to this and protect itself. This is why it is important to keep things fresh and constantly change rep schemes, frequency, duration, weight, angles , etc. Now comes the DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness or muscle fever. This is from the eccentric damage caused to the tissue, the swelling and little micro tears. Eventually you will not get sore anymore as much as the first bout. Did you ever notice this? I’m sure most of you have.
For those looking to make gains, change-up your routine and be creative to make progress. For those of you who do not like to get sore and think of it as a “negative” then continue to do the same routine, however don’t be disappointed when you look the same a year later.