I am currently trying to learn more about the signals my body is giving. One question I stumbled upon recently is the following:

Is there any information to be gained from muscle soreness at different time intervals after a workout? For example, I was doing an extended set of pull-ups 34 hours ago. The soreness in my latissimus dorsi peaked around 14 hours ago; the soreness in my chest peaked around 8 hours ago. Does that give away any information? Is my latissimus simply better adapted to the exercise? Worse? Is it not related at all?

I know that the scientific evidence on muscle soreness in general is rather limited. Let alone this specific question. Still, if anyone has heard of any studies on the topic, I'd be curious to get to know them.

  • 1
    You should search this site for "DOMS". There are plenty of posts on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
    – rrirower
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:20
  • 1
    @rrirower - Do you know of a specific duplicate for this question? I can't remember having read it.
    – Alec
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 8:56

2 Answers 2


If you adhere to a stead workout regime, after a few weeks, months is some cases the soreness starts to dissipate.

When you're first starting out, soreness is the result of lactic acid buildup in the muscles and can generally be interpreted as you having an effective workout that will improve whichever muscle groups are worked out and sore.

I find it very hard to get sore after a workout after 2.5 years of weightlifting at least five days a week and cardio at least as many, usually more.

When you stop getting sore, don't fret. As long as your strength is increasing and your muscles are growing you're still making progress. That being said, sometimes a shakeup in your routine will allow you to experience more progress than your regular workout for a given muscle group, and might even lead to soreness in muscles that haven't been sore in workouts for some time.

Hope that helps...

  • Yes, very good point. After a few month of training, I hardly ever have DOMS anymore (unless if I work new muscle groups, of course). And in retrospect, this (my) question seems not so relevant for a good training program after all. Still interesting, though, from a biological perspective. Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 8:42
  • You should research DOMS. Then, please provide evidence of some of your claims. For example, soreness as indicator of an effective workout.
    – rrirower
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 16:35

Muscle soreness (and the time after workout it takes to feel the soreness) is referenced by the term DOMS, which stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

You are asking about any relationship between the time in feeling the soreness, which from my knowledge/experience doesn't say much in regards to your personal health. Only the intensity of the soreness will usually correlate to how well you worked out that muscle.

However having a delay of 12 hours in one muscle group and 24 in another does not say much regarding the training or status of those muscles.

In my case, I feel muscle soreness in my chest the day after I trained it, but will always feel soreness in my legs two days after. However, this information doesn't relate to the strength of those body parts or the intensity of the training.

  • Hi Mat, thanks for the answer. That's a very good point. Do you have any references (some link or study) to support your claim that the timing is unrelated to workout intensity/muscle growth. Would be very interesting for me. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 23:40

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