Why does lactic acid build up in muscles? And why does it cause soreness?

Published / by Daniel Jacks

1427449604746Panting is caused by strenuous exercise and you always do so in order to pay back the oxygen debt you owe to the muscles. The most preferred form of respiration is aerobic which involves using oxygen as one of the reagents by the bodyís power house. Some exceptions cannot be handled by aerobic respiration such as heavy lifting or evading a jaguar. In this case, the body may not be able to deliver the amount of oxygen the muscles need to deliver the enormous amount of energy which forces the muscles to use anaerobic respiration.

Glycolysis is the process by which glucose is broken down in a series of reaction to form pyruvate. In cases where there is plenty of oxygen in the body, pyruvate is further broken down to increase its efficiency or rather its energy output. Under low supply of oxygen, the pyruvate is broken down to lactate, a substance that breaks down glucose and in the process releasing energy. This process is sustained for periods of about 3 minutes. Lactate will keep on accumulating in the muscles and reaches a very high level.

Lactate disrupts other metabolites and scales up the level of acidity in the muscles and therefore results in a number of side effects.  This means that anaerobic respiration may slowly decay due to high levels of acidity making it virtually impossible to breakdown glucose to energy. This process is somewhat counterproductive because the muscles are the largest producers of energy yet it produces substances that block its energy production process. It doesnít matter what you think about it but the fact is, nature designed the muscles with that mechanism so that it can prevent damage of extreme exertion.

Lactic acid or simply lactate is not actually the chief perpetrator of muscle soreness as most people claim after a strenuous exercise. The burning sensation is always caused by a combination of a lactic acid with other dozens of metabolites though it is not clear which exact metabolites are responsible. The reason why you feel so much pain is because the body forces you to stop so that it can recover and also protect itself from being overworked.

The soreness of the muscles that is always felt even after some few days was found to be less affected by the lactic acid as researchers examined the pain levels in relation to lactic acid level. In some cases, severe muscle tenderness and a drastic decrease in energy and motion range is caused a condition known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which reaches up to a maximum of 24-72 hours after a strenuous exercise.

Muscular damage and excess release of metabolites might be attributed to the cause of DOMS, though it has not been scientifically proven. However, the soreness, inflammatory-repair response, and swelling are a result of the responses to the extreme damages done to the muscles. A key factor to the development of DOMS is the nature of muscle contraction. Muscle eccentricity occurs when the muscles stretch or lengthen, such as lifting a load. This process tries to contract the muscles but a failure could occur.

Research has shown that eccentric contractions are a major source of muscular damage compared to the concentric contractions. Concentric contraction is where the muscles shorten like in the case of releasing a load. This observable accounts for the severe DOMS experienced when you try to run downhill.

As the problem of delayed-onset muscle soreness continuous to cause havoc amongst people who perform extreme physical exercises, physiologists, on the other hand, are burning the midnight oil to come up with a solution to this menace. The researchers are now focusing on the development of anti-inflammatory drugs and even come up with some supplements to help prevent muscle soreness. A treatment to the problem could also be a breakthrough.

But for now, the muscle soreness still remains under active research with no available recommendations yet. Remember the inflammation of the muscles can be significantly reduced if you take some anti-inflammatory drugs which are available at your local chemist. The anti-inflammatory drugs may also help to reduce muscle soreness. Unfortunately, the reduced muscle soreness would spell some negative effects on the muscle cell repair and may end up taking a few weeks to normalize. You have an idea now on what happens behind the scenes.

Beginner’s Guide To Strength Training

Published / by Daniel Jacks

4290-strength-training-and-endurance-a-beginners-guideYour first time ever experience is always memorable. It could be when you benched 225 pounds the first time, or when you set a new personal record on the squat, or even when you had to get a larger size of jeans as your thighs became too big, the special feeling of vanquishing the new challenges motivates you to keep on working hard to achieve your goal in the gym.

However, the fit and strong body won’t happen overnight and the toughest thing is actually maintaining it. as a matter of fact, once you passed beginners stage, it is easily and quickly stalled. And that is exactly the right time to move on to your first strength phase. So, letís start to get strong, as strong as Hercules or Hulk!

You can follow the simple steps below and build your own strength training routine.

Know Your Maxes

To begin with, it is important you know your maxes. Do you know your present bench, deadlift and squat IRM (one-rep maxes )? If you donít, find it now. You can test your IRM in two different ways.:

1. By Working Up To 3 Heavy Sets And Approximating

You should be enabling to lift 90 % of your 1RM for 3 to 4 sets. If you can do 3 sets of 225 pounds, divide 225 by 0.9 and you will get your 1RM about 250 pounds.

2. By Testing

Just test your 1RM by lifting the heaviest single you can without losing form. Make a test period as a week and lift on a different day.

You can choose whichever suits you, understanding your maxes helps two crucial training aspects: setting achievable goals and planning your training routine.

Set Your Realistic Goals

Generally, strength cycle lasts between 12 and 16 weeks. For the beginner, gaining 5-10 % on your taxes during a cycle is the general goal, so if your can best bench press 225 pounds at best now, aim at moving the bar up between 235 and 245. Still, the progress may not continue at this rate all the time. As you keep on training many years, every pound you added to the bar is a sweat and tears victory. Think about it when you set your first goal, aim to increase your lifts by 5 %.

You also use taxes when you decide your training loads. Take your ultimate max and decrease it by 5-10 % and you get your training max. It’s for ensuring that you can plan enough training volume without overdoing. The aims here are more quality reps without failing, the right amount of loads that your body can handle with better technique.

Practice Your Form

A novice to strength training should take a practice first strategy. You may feel discouraged to go back and do the basics, however, that’s exactly what a long lasting training career needs. Go back to the beginning and you’ll get angry and frustrated at first then your training nose dives. Because you won’t gain the required skills to advance.

Focus on mastering the lifts: bench, squat, overhead press and deadlift. You’ll be stronger consistently during your training period. Don’t get trapped on your one-rep max, and concentrate on becoming a skilled lifter.

Choose A Simple Strength Scheme

By the grace of the Internet, you have an unlimited access to lots of great programs provided by reputable experts. There are so many to choose from. However, just better to avoid them.

Westside is tempting and you may find it is had to resist the attractions of Smolov squat routine. However, they are all quite complicated and require a huge and solid training bases such as fitness and skill. And they are not what you need right now anyway. They are not the only ones, there are millions of complicated training programs all over.

What you need right now is simplicity. The perfect routine for your main lift is 5 sets in the 70-85 % range and 3 sets in the 75-90 % range. For assistance lifts sets in the 5-8-rep range, maintaining a couple of reps left in the tank at the end of every set. As it is not a bodybuilding, you wonít get muscle failure.

Choose Your Exercises

You can do multi-joint lifts with dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells. You donít do any machine training and only do a little bit of single-joint training in order to achieve absolute strength development. You only need a simple training.

What You Focus on:

Deadlift and its variations,such as Romanian deadlifts, sumo deadlifts and rack pulls.

Bench press and its variations,such as floor presses, dumbbell bench presses and incline bench presses.

Squat and its variations,such as box squats, front squats and goblet squats.

Overhead press and its variations, such as dumbbell overhead presses, seated military presses and kettlebell overhead presses.

Planning your routine by combining them should be quite simple. As your main lift, use a full-range bench press, squat or deadlift and repeat sets of 3 or 5, and choose a variation for each as your assistance training. For example, floor presses with bench press, rack pulls with deadlifts and so on.

Developing a Well-rounded Fitness Program with 5 essential Elements

Published / by Daniel Jacks

fitness-goal-735x400Everyone, from the most die-hard fitness fanatics to the greenest rookies taking their first steps toward improved physical condition, can benefit from a well-rounded training program for physical fitness. To maximize the efficiency of your time and efforts be sure to include these following five elements to give you a well-balanced routine.   

–    Aerobic Fitness

Commonly called cardio or endurance activity, aerobic exercise is the single most important element of a training program. Aerobic training elevates your breathing rhythm, causing faster deeper breaths that fill your blood with oxygen increasing stamina.

The higher level of aerobic fitness the better jobs your heart and lungs can do distributing life and energy-giving oxygen to all parts of your body. This will make it easier to take up the challenge of unexpected physical demands like sprinting to your car in a downpour, or jogging up 3 flights of stairs if the elevator is out.

There are many ways to get good aerobic exercise, any activity that requires movement of the large muscle groups and accelerates heart rate and breathing is an aerobic activity. Walking, dancing, biking, swimming, jogging and of course water aerobicsóor cleaning the garage, vacuuming the house, snow shoveling, you name it.

For a healthy adult aerobic activity is vital, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests a minimum of 150 minutes of reasonable aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. A combination of the two is equally effective. It is also suggested to space your time out evenly throughout the course of the week rather than jam it all into a weekend.

–   Strength training

Another important element to a fitness program focuses on muscle strengthening. A twice a week program of strength training can greatly improve the conditions of your skeletal and muscular condition. While in the thick of a weight loss program, strength training can maintain strong muscle mass while the fatty tissue is burned away.

Going to the gym will provide you with a plethora of devices to target every muscle in the human physique from barbells and resistance machines to free weights and fitness balls. You donít have to pay up for a gym membership to begin a successful program of strength training, however.

Soda bottles filled with sand or water make excellent and inexpensive home-made weights. Resistance bands wonít cost you an arm and a leg for good results. And never forget the power of dynamic tension and the use of your own body weight in exercises like push-ups, crunches, and the leg squats.

–    Core Exercises

The muscle groups pertaining to the abdomen, pelvis, and lower back constitute your core muscle group. These core muscles are responsible for supporting your upper body and coordinating your upper and lower body movements. Core strength is an essential part of a well-rounded exercise program.

Core training gives you a solid center that allows you to balance your upper body better and use your lower body muscles more effectively. What are the core exercises? Anything that focuses on the trunk of the body without support, various abdominal crunches as well as many core exercises are done with a fitness ball.

–    Balance training

It is of vital importance to regularly practice balance training, especially for older adults. The reason this is so important is that balance will eventually begin to deteriorate with age this can result in accidents and injury as bones get more brittle.

But it is never too late to begin essential balance training to improve the condition of the core muscles. Standing still with your body weight balanced on one foot is an excellent balance exercise. Traditional Tai Qi exercise routines can also be very beneficial.

–   Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is very important to maintaining physical condition but more important to the prevention of sprains, pulled muscles, and other injuries. Some activities like gymnastics and dancing require a more flexibility than others like jogging. Flexibility can be improved by regular stretching exercises, allowing for more strenuous activities and eliminating the tendency for muscles to cramp up or get strained.

Stretching exercises are also great for relieving stress; this makes them even more important to a well-rounded exercise program.

Warm up before you stretch with ten minutes of your favorite low-intensity activity or just a walk around the block in the clean morning air. Then stretch again after you work out when your body is warm and your muscles are more inclined to being stretched.

If you are not in the habit of regularly exercising yet, it may be best to stretch more than 3 times a week to maintain flexibility in the muscles.  Yoga activities are a tremendous way to improve flexibility.

–   Cover all the Bases

Whether you employ the services of a qualified trainer or would rather design a program for yourself it is best that your exercise routine incorporates a piece of all these elements to make you strong as well as flexible and energetic. It is not necessary to try and fit each element into your daily routine however including them regularly will guarantee you a long and happier life with reduced risk of injury and best of all the strength and vitality to enjoy it all.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons