Category: Exercise

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.

Dumbbell Pullovers: Why So Many People Love Them

Published / by Daniel Jacks

xdumbbell_pullover_main-jpg-pagespeed-ic-vdt5sofi14They won’t ever be as glamorous as curl movements or as popular as bench presses.  However, they are among my favorite exercises, and I want to be sure they don’t become completely forgotten.  I am referring to the dumbbell pullover.  It’s a staple exercise from Arnold’s era, and it’s one of my favorite unique gym movements.  For some reason, this fabulous exercise appears to have fallen away from most people’s regimens.

Perhaps in these times of new-age workouts and fancy machines, it’s just too easy to forget.  However, I want to strongly encourage you to not follow that kind of thinking.  This exercise shouldn’t be forgotten because when you add the dumbbell pullover as part of your routine, you will give yourself the opportunity for some noticeable improvements that can’t be created by any other movement.  Think about it this way: if it was good for Arnold to do, then certainly it must be good enough for you as well.

The dumbbell pullover cross-bench version was made popular during the Gold Era of 1970s bodybuilding, and particularly by Arnold, who used it frequently as a brutal and effective finisher in his world-famous double-split routines.  The benefits of this movement were always raved about by Arnold.  He even used to state that his rib cage was expanded by the pullover.

I’m really not sure about the science available for that specific benefit in terms of pullovers.  However, I do know that there is a long list of items which make it an effective tool as part of your arsenal.  When performed properly, everything is hit, from your triceps, lats, abs and pecs.  All of these muscles are worked in a unique and beneficial way.  Given all of this, why is everybody not doing pullovers?

I came up with one theory- maybe it’s too effective for your whole upper body.  Since it hits so many areas, maybe people are unsure of where it fits into their workout routines, so they just leave out.  It usually is not the norm to train big muscle groups such as the back and chest together.  So there is a dilemma regarding pullovers.

Here’s an easy solution and what I recommend that you do- just pick a day to do pullovers.  The key is just to incorporate them into one day and then get the work done.  The thing that has worked the best for me when were aren’t doing pull/push workouts (back and chest together) is making sure to do it on my chest day.  Then I make sure my reps are kept high, frequently 12-20 reps.  For every set, I really focus on getting a deep stretch, and I usually perform 3 or 4 sets.

It really has made a significant difference to my physique.  It has improved areas that can be difficult to target and made them into strong points instead.  I have much deeper serratus muscles that really stand out.  I believe it comes from doing pullover work for many years.  It has conditioned my lats at the same time, creating some great muscle and lines.  When I started adding pullovers, I started to pop and those two areas became strengths for me.

In terms of this movement, there are a couple of major keys:

Many people rush through the exercise and don’t focus on achieving a proper stretch.  You must feel a deep stretch with this exercise.  Keeping your head and hips down is very important.  It ensures that you don’t just swing the weight.  When you keep your hips down, you will be able to really feel that your lats are working and you will see gains from it.

When you do it properly, you will feel the muscles in your triceps, lats and upper abs working hard and providing you with a pump that is hard to re-create with a different movement.

Any reason you might have not doing this exercise right now isn’t a good one.  Throw them into your routine.  Do the right thing and don’t allow the dumbbell pullover to go out of style.

How To Improve Your Muscle Fitness Using Weight Training

Published / by Daniel Jacks

86505171_xsNowadays, many people prefer attending weight training programs as their main method of gaining body fitness. Free weights and other common loss weight machines are used during these sessions. This program and other workout exercises leave one with the improved physique and toned muscles. If you are entrepreneurs, consider starting such a program. The program can be a great source of income.

Workout programs can be described as a form of strength training that entirely depends on weight manipulation. It provides the muscles with the required stress that makes them get stronger and adapt to heavy duties. Thus, we can say it works in the same way just as aerobic conditioning which strengthens your heart. It can be performed using weight machines or free weights like dumbbells and barbells.

How it works is not important. In fact, we donít necessarily consider how long one spends on the program. For best results, you really donít have to overdo it. A couple of sessions a week are recommended and should be able to give you the desired results.

Ensure that each weight training session last for twenty to thirty minutes. Thus, two of them are enough for a week. Attending the weight training sessions twice per week is suitable for all adults. This is because it keeps them healthy and gives them enough time (one hundred and fifty minutes a week) required for the moderate working of the aerobic process.

These programs are very efficient in helping one lose extra calories if they are done in a proper manner. However, it may be detrimental if done wrongly since it may result in injuries like strains, fractures, and sprains.

If you want to be successful, you need to consider the following tips for best results in weight training programs.

Use Proper Techniques.

If you are attending the program for the first time, it is advisable that you contract a specialist or a trainer so that he can teach you appropriate methods. Failure to do so, you may end up with unnecessary injuries.

Do Sets Of Repetition On A Single Step.

Research shows that a single set of twelve repetitions using the correct weights is sufficient for burning calorie. It gives better results compared to any other method you may choose to use.

Stick On Correct Weights

Choose on weights that are not too heavy but they should be heavy enough to tire your muscles in twelve to fifteen repetitions. Correct weights should not allow you to exceed fifteen repetitions. In normal cases, you should get it difficult to complete the final round.

Begin It At A Slow Rate

If you are new to such a session, you should first try a few pounds before gradually switching to heavier ones. This ensures that you donít hurt your ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Adjust to newer weight whenever you discover that you can complete 12 repetitions of a certain weight with little or no difficulties.

Take Enough Time To Rest

Ensure that you rest for a day between two consecutive days of exercising. This makes your muscles set for the next exercise. Prepare a schedule for working on major muscles groups. Schedule to work on each weight at least twice a week.

If you consider the above tips, be sure of burning those extra calories. However, make sure that you avoid injuries during the session. This program is very good for weight to lose and at the same time dangerous. At the end of the program, you will attain great joint flexibility, better weight management and increased bone weight.

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