Muscle Fatigue How To Blast Through The Dreaded Muscle Failure That Hits Us All

Muscle FatigueHow to​ Blast Through the Dreaded Muscle Failure that Hits Us All
If youve been working out for any amount of​ time, youre probably well acquainted with fatigue—that sensation of​ your muscles being done, cooked, toast. . . You know, the please have mercy before Im permanently trapped under this weight, or​ you might just have to​ drag me off the track because Ive collapsed feeling.
We typically use the term fatigue to​ describe general sensations of​ tiredness and the accompanying decreasing muscular performance. What this really means is​ we hit the wall and can no longer perform reps on a​ particular lift; we can no longer run any farther or​ harder; we can no longer produce the optimal output of​ muscular contractions as​ we did at​ the beginning of​ the set or​ workout.
What is​ Muscle Fatigue?
Fatigue is​ a​ very complex phenomenon in​ which multiple sites fail during muscular work. The underlying causes of​ fatigue fall into one of​ two categories central neuromuscular—the mind/central nervous system and local peripheral—the actual muscle site.
The central nervous system CNS acts much like an automobile engine regulator. Most cars are made with a​ regulator that causes them to​ shut down when the engine revs too high for too long. This mechanism protects the engine from overheating. in​ the same way, our brains attempt to​ protect our muscles from tearing by reducing the rate nerve impulses are sent to​ our working muscles. in​ most cases, youll experience central fatigue before local fatigue. in​ other words, when you think you simply cant do any more work because youre so fatigued, essentially whats happening is​ your mind is​ telling your body muscles to​ shut down. But in​ fact, youre probably able to​ continue for another couple of​ reps.
. . . when you think you simply cant do any more work because youre so fatigued, essentially whats happening is​ your mind is​ telling your body muscles to​ shut down. Local fatigue is​ related to​ local factors that limit the ability to​ perform muscular work. These include the energy systems ATPCP, glycolysis, and oxidation; the accumulation of​ metabolic byproducts such as​ lactic acid; and the failure of​ the muscle fibers contractile mechanisms. The energy systems act much the same way as​ fuel in​ a​ car or​ a​ battery in​ a​ flashlight. However, humans are different in​ that we have three energy systems within the muscles cells that are called upon at​ different times depending on the intensity and duration of​ an activity.
The first energy system is​ called the ATPCP system and is​ called upon during extremely short and intense bouts of​ exercise e. g. , weight training, sprinting, and jumping. it​ works by repeatedly breaking down ATP the basic currency of​ energy in​ the body and rebuilding ATP using CP creatine phosphate. During repeated maximal contractions, fatigue coincides with CP depletion.
The other two energy systems are called into play during exercises that last longer than 30 seconds. Known as​ anaerobic or​ glycolytic and aerobic or​ oxidative, these energy systems are very dependent on the availability of​ glycogen the stored form of​ glucose—sugar. as​ with CP use, the rate of​ glycogen depletion is​ controlled by the intensity i. e. , how hard you train of​ the exercise.
During sprinting, for instance, muscle glycogen may be used 35 to​ 40 times faster than during walking. Glycogen depletion and hypoglycemia low blood sugar limit performance in​ activities lasting longer than 30 minutes. Longdistance runners often speak of​ bonking or​ hitting the wall. This refers to​ a​ perceived fatigue usually related to​ glycogen depletion. at​ this point, the body begins to​ use other forms of​ energy, such as​ fat and protein which are not as​ efficient sources, thus making it​ harder to​ sustain energy levels.
During highintensity anaerobic exercise, such as​ sprinting and weight training, our bodies produce metabolic byproducts such as​ lactic acid and CO2. as​ these accumulate in​ our bodies, our ability to​ maintain the duration and intensity of​ exercise diminishes. And, when they finally reach a​ point of​ saturation, our muscle capacity comes to​ a​ screeching halt. This is​ often referred to​ as​ the burn, whereby the muscle feels like its on fire—signaling you to​ stop.
Got all that? I ​ realize it​ sounds like some fairly complex processes, which they are, so here are a​ few instances Im sure you can relate to​ that will help clarify how these energy systems work in​ our bodies, and more importantly, how we can assist our bodies to​ increase their output and delay or​ temporarily overcome the onset of​ muscle fatigue.
How Can You Overcome Muscle Fatigue?
While we cant completely overcome muscle fatigue, we can certainly delay it. But, sometimes this delay can be the difference between sprinters winning or​ losing in​ competition or​ allow weight trainers to​ push out a​ few more reps to​ produce new levels of​ strength and muscle gains. There are many strategies we can use to​ accomplish this goal, but here are a​ few Ive found over the years to​ be particularly effective
First, we must ensure your diet is​ optimized. Consuming an adequate amount and ratio of​ carbohydrates, fat, and protein is​ paramount. Typically, endurance athletes require more carbohydrates anywhere between 40 and 60% carbs than strength athletes but slightly less protein from 30 to​ 35%; whereas strength trainers weight lifters or​ those who regularly participate in​ sporting activities should consume equal or​ greater amounts of​ protein to​ carbohydrates on a​ daily basis about a​ 4040 ratio of​ carbs to​ protein. in​ essence, carbs are to​ the body like fuel is​ to​ a​ car—they provide the necessary fuel to​ maintain or​ sustain energy levels during workouts.
A common mistake made by many athletes is​ the failure to​ stay well hydrated. I ​ am not talking about drinking when youre thirsty as​ you may know, thirst is​ a​ sign your body is​ already slightly dehydrated. The importance of​ being properly hydrated cannot be overlooked. Dehydration can lead to​ significant performance decrements, not to​ mention the risk of​ sickness and, in​ severe cases, death. Even a​ three to​ four percent drop in​ body water levels signaled by thirst and fatigue can decrease your muscular contractions by 10 to​ 20%. to​ combat this, at​ least 10 to​ 12 glasses eight ounces each of​ water this doesnt count sodas, coffee, or​ juices should be consumed daily—always including during and after events when your body is​ perspiring.
Adequate rest is​ very important for delaying premature fatigue. Inadequate rest during training i. e. , between sets and between workouts can cause unnecessary fatigue. a​ great rule of​ thumb for resting time between sets is​ just long enough to​ catch your breath. Squats take a​ little longer to​ recover from maybe two to​ three minutes because youre training such a​ large muscle group. For smaller muscles, like biceps, you would need a​ much shorter rest—more like 45 to​ 60 seconds at​ most.
Another quick tip recent research that studied the effects of​ enhancing recovery between sets showed that keeping intensity high after completed sets allowed weight trainers to​ perform more reps in​ later sets compared with those who passively recovered sat between sets. This means we need to​ keep moving during rest periods, so instead of​ sitting down to​ rest, walk around or​ go to​ another exercise for a​ different muscle group.
One of​ the most common and fatal errors I ​ see with weight trainers, both beginner and advanced alike, is​ overtraining. Trapped by our more is​ better mentality, many of​ us seem to​ think if​ we train longer, harder, and more often, well multiply our results. Nothing could be more detrimental to​ your efforts to​ put on muscle and gain strength than training muscle groups too frequently. in​ fact, overtraining can significantly impede the bodys ability to​ properly recover and rebuild itself. Only through enough rest which includes proper sleep and an adequate number of​ days in​ between training, will the body be able to​ recover and rebuild itself. The most common signs of​ overtraining are lethargy, chronic fatigue, continued muscle soreness, insomnia, and a​ decrease in​ strength. if​ you sense any of​ these coming on, try taking off a​ day or​ two more in​ between training sessions and see how you feel.
Trapped by our more is​ better mentality, many of​ us seem to​ think if​ we train longer, harder, and more often, well multiply our results. For adequate recovery times between workouts of​ the same muscle group, consider this the smaller the muscle group, the faster the recovery; the more intense speed of​ workout, the longer the recovery; and the higher the volume i. e. , the number of​ reps and lower the load weight, the faster the recovery, and vice versa of​ course. in​ general, I ​ normally suggest not training a​ muscle if​ its still sore, and then once the tenderness subsides, I ​ say give it​ another day on top of​ that.
There are many supplements that can help todays athlete postpone muscular fatigue. Endurance athletes may benefit greatly from carbohydrate/electrolyte beverages such as​ Revenge, Gatorade, Ultra Fuel, and a​ great new supplement called GPush. These contain precise ratios of​ carbohydrates and electrolytes vital salts and minerals that can replace those lost during prolonged exercise, as​ well as​ enhance the bodys ability to​ sustain longterm energy.
Nutritional stimulants such as​ caffeine or​ its herbal counterpart guarana can help delay fatigue for two reasons. First, it​ stimulates a​ cascade of​ hormones that cause a​ release of​ freefatty acids into the bloodstream, causing the body to​ burn fat while sparing carbohydrates to​ use as​ energy. Second, it​ affects the CNS, thus postponing central fatigue and decreasing the perceived difficulty of​ the exercise.
However, if​ you cant handle the jittery, nervoustype feelings you get from stimulants such as​ caffeine, you might give supplements like tyrosine or​ Ginkgo biloba a​ try. These supplements are not stimulants, so they do not affect your central nervous system which causes the nervousness. Rather, they help increase your mental alertness and delay central fatigue in​ the brain, thus helping to​ crank up your workout intensity.
And, lets not forget creatine monohydrate, which has been scientifically shown to​ aid shortduration, highintensity exercise, such as​ weight training. it​ increases the bodys creatine phosphate stores needed to​ replenish ATP, thus delaying the onset of​ glycolysis. in​ other words, creatine helps quickly replenish energy stores within the muscle cells, allowing you to​ work out longer and harder, which may lead to​ increased strength and muscle gains.
Last Words
So there you have it. . . theres nothing fancy here. . . but enough to​ get you through that next workout with a​ little more flare and pizzazz! With the information at​ hand, youre now armed with practical, safe, scientifically sound methods to​ overcome muscle fatigue, so you can train harder possibly even longer and become stronger, both mentally and physically—making every workout that much better.

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