Muscle Fatigue

Hey friends! Happy Mardi Gras (and Fat Tuesday) :) Anyone celebrating today?? I kinda celebrated with the husband and little bro on Sunday by having bites of this from a party:


I don’t like peanut butter but I like Peanut M&Ms (once in awhile, I get sick of them easily)–I told you, who am I? So I had some yummy treats to celebrate….but I am sure I can find something else to do to celebrate today. Any suggestions? I don’t live in New Orleans and no I am not going to fly there, so those are out 😉 But any other ideas are welcome!

Okay, on to MUSCLE fatigue. As you know I adore BodyPUMP. I teach it quite often and as such, get to work my muscles to pure fatigue, a lot. (My husband calls it “perma sore” in case you’re wondering how I feel during the week. ha) Muscle fatigue: you know, that feeling when you can NO longer do one more rep and your muscles say “NO can do” (this is different than your MIND saying “NO can do” by the way). Well, why do we want to do this to our muscles? We want to be fit, we want to be lean, we want to lose weight, we want more tone, and the list goes on and on. What is YOUR reason for doing weight lifting? I want to share with you some research on weight lifting and why muscle fatigue is so important.

But first this guy:

my hottie

I digress. Sorry! He just often distracts me….. in a VERY good way :)

Research and studies did show that heavy weights and low reps was the best way to build muscle; Meaning lifting 90% of a person’s best just a few times (5-10), as that gets to fatigue. Studies have now proven that it is all about muscle fatigue and thus, lifting 30-40% of a person’s best several reps in a row (around 24 or more) can build just as much muscle if not more as compared to the heavy weight + low rep regimen. WOW. This is WHY BodyPUMP works. Why you get stronger, fitter, leaner, etc from going to those classes. Cool, eh?

Even neater is that while the researchers noted changes in the muscles of both groups (high weight + low rep AND lower weight + HIGH reps), the changes were sustained for longer after the workout in the low-weight group!! You could sit around all day afterward and would burn more calories & have a higher metabolism, than if you had only done cardio that morning. COOL. More muscle means a higher metabolism, as muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. One pound of muscle burns 30-80 calories per day, whereas one pound of fat burns only about 5 calories per day.  That higher metabolism kicks in and those muscles you’re strengthening will burn fat ALL DAY LONG. This is why weight training is an incredible way to lose body fat. Those muscles are fueling your body, revving up the metabolism, and using energy from fat–thus shrinking fat cells and a reduction in body fat is seen.

my arms/upper body is SO much stronger now!

Steady-state Cardio is not bad (and I love it), but it is not the most ideal way to lose body weight because after the workout is done, the body hasn’t necessarily increased its fuel-burning machinery, if you will, and thus throughout the day, the calories burned during the cardio workout do not “last.”After doing weight training/resistance training the muscle breakdown and building process causes the body to burn energy as it shrinks fat cells all day long (after the workout!!) to fuel those growing, strong muscles. Muscle fatigue is how you get to really breakdown those muscle fibers (cells) and build them up again….revving your metabolism and body the entire day.

To get to muscle fatigue it IS a game of mind over muscle. It always will be. But, you ARE stronger than you think. You can do hard things and your thoughts are extremely powerful. You can lose whatever body fat you want. You can get lean, fit, and healthy. Muscle fatigue is the way to go :) If you have any other tips, please comment! I have personally seen this happen in my own body, and I am leaner, fitter, and much stronger. I totally attribute this to teaching BodyPUMP, but also because I really focus on doing every rep to GET TO muscle fatigue. My clothes are looser and I feel better and stronger! I encourage you to try it out for a few weeks and see for yourself what I am talking about. Don’t be afraid of weight training, by the way, you will not bulk up (this is a huge fallacy among women). You will only get leaner and fitter if you stick with it. Let me know if you have questions, and have a happy MARDI GRAS :)

What is YOUR favorite way to achieve muscle fatigue? Is it a class, your own workout, a DVD?

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  1. Alicia Baer says:

    My favorite way to achieve muscle fatigue is going to a class! I do not like DVD’s–boring to me! Thanks Annette!

  2. Thanks for the info. It was really helpful. I must admit that I am defiantly one of those people who probably focuses to much on the cardio aspect and not enough on the strength training part. I need to learn to bring it all together.

    • I just try and get those sessions in (2-3 x) and it does the trick. I promise you’ll see changes and love it! Don’t be afraid to bust out of an exercise rut :)

  3. This was a really interesting post, particularly regarding heavy weights and low reps vs lighter weights/high reps. I tend to go somewhere in the middle (15 or so reps at about 70% of what I could lift in just one rep). I need to pick a side!!

  4. I’ve lost all of my weight by working out to DVDs so that is my gig. I’ve got few DVD’s in which the workouts are strength training with a resistance band. Last year I did the DVD’s 2-3 times a week in combination with running every other day. I was never thinner and more toned then when I was doing that.

    I totally agree that it’s a game of mind over muscle…My mind sure does try to tell me that I can’t do anymore but you’re absolutely right…we are stronger than we think!

    Fantastic post Annette!

    • wow- I am impressed. I usually get bored with many DVDs…. thanks for the shoutout, I was pleased with the result if it too :)

  5. That study is really interesting. I always like to mix it up with my weight workouts and do a variety of endurance and heavier workouts. I’m actually planning to go back to Bodypump for the first time since giving birth tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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