If you’re following a tough training schedule to build lean muscle, you may experience muscle fatigue (or workout fatigue) as you churn out your last few reps. According to an article on MensFitness.com, muscle fatigue is brought on by one of two factors, and sometimes they happen simultaneously: either a lack of nutrients being delivered to your muscles, or a buildup of metabolic waste in your muscles. Muscle fatigue has often been defined in the scientific community as a motor deficit—an exercise-induced reduction in the ability of muscle to produce force or power and whether or not the task (i.e. your bicep curl) can be sustained during contracting function. Here, we’ll tell you how to prevent it from happening and how to push past it.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR MUSCLES ARE FUELED PROPERLY. If your workout fatigue is occurring because your muscles don’t have enough nutrients, you need to make sure you focus on pre-workout nutrition so your muscles have a supply of nutrients to use during your strength workout. Have a combo of carbohydrates and amino acids (like 20 ounces of Gatorade with 5-10 grams of branched chain amino acid powder) to increase both blood flow to muscles and muscle growth, according to the article on MensFitness.com. That increase in blood flow will help prevent your muscles from tiring early during training.
2. CONSIDER TRYING PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS. When you’re following an intense weight training routine, it causes a quick build-up of intra-muscular toxins with every muscle contraction. “This accumulation triggers a decrease in the pH level of the muscle tissue interfering with the muscle’s ability to release calcium,” according to an article on BodyBuilding.com. The article looked at two studies on high-intensity anaerobic exercise (strength training) and the effect that supplementing with Glycine-l-arginine-alpha-ketoisocaproic acid calcium before the workout had on the study subjects’ performance. Conclusions were made that, “fatigue toxins can be controlled and that strength and endurance can be immediately increased” by taking this supplement combination. Both studies mentioned in the article found that this particular supplement taken 30 to 45 minutes before a strength workout led to significantly increased levels of athletic performance in the subjects when compared to subjects who took a sugar pill. Research noted in the MensFitness.com article written by Mike Russell, Ph.D., suggests that taking the amino acid derivative citrulline malate as a precursor to arginine can accelerate the clearance of metabolic waste, preventing your muscles from getting fatigued, and making them work harder and longer for you. This supplement may also decrease muscle soreness after your workout.
3. DON’T HIT THE IRON FOR HOURS ON END. Keep your weight training workouts to around 60 minutes to optimize your anabolic hormones, suggests Roussell in the MensFitness.com article. If you’re struggling to make it through weight training sessions in the 1.5 to 2-hour mark, you could be hurting your body more than you’re helping it.
4. DIVERSIFY YOUR WORKOUT. Changing up the specific exercises you do to work a muscle group and varying the weights could help reduce muscle fatigue at the end of your reps. Researchers at the University of Northern Iowa found that even subtle variations in the exercise task can be associated with marked differences in the muscle’s time-to-task failure. Their study concluded that the intensity and type of load supported during a muscle contraction seems to involve differences in the balance of motor neurons in the brain and leads to corresponding changes in the time to task failure. So change up your boring bicep curl exercises with alternating hammer curls, concentration curls, barbell curls, and be sure to occasionally add in drop sets, as well as vary the length and intensity of your workouts. The Gym – Daphne’s Affordable Fitness Center With affordable fitness classes taught by educated and trained coaches and professionals, state of the art equipment, and clean facilities, we are dedicated to keeping the Eastern Shore healthy and in shape.