Weight and Resistance Training - muscle fatigue and prevention

View Full Version : muscle fatigue and prevention

05-21-2012, 01:19 PM

I'm relatively new to weight training. I amped up my calorie intake to nearly 1,440 calories (from 1100), and added weight lifting to my cardio regimen (making sure to consume more calories to make up for a calorie deficit), and I HAVE SEEN GREAT RESULTS.

However, I'm unsure of my form, and recruited my husband to help with my form (his body is very Zeus-like, hence... he knows his stuff). He always works out at a starved state, but I opted for some easily digestible carbs for my pre-workout nutrition (a couple tsp. of frozen, blended fruit cocktail).

THE PROBLEM: using correct form as he suggested resulted in major muscle fatigue, making it extremely difficult to complete my routine (post flyes).

here's my routine (Jamie Eason's 12-week program, day 1)
3 sets of 12 reps of each
-Wide pushups (I do girl pushups since I'm a wuss)
-Dumbbell Bench Press
-Flat Bench Cable Flyes (this exercise was done with 12 lb. weights instead of the cable, without reaching muscle failure; however, I could not do a single pushup thereafter-- I couldn't even hold up my own body weight)
-Narrow pushups (these turned into "small pulses," followed by attempting to lift my body off of the ground a few times)
-Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension (last week I could do 20 lb. weights, this week, could only handle 15 lb. weights)
-Triceps Pushdown (45 lbs.)


Is this okay??
I was able to complete my workout, but everything after the flyes went downhill. I'm pretty sure that my triceps did not get the workout that they deserved, and I'm concerned that I was HARDLY able to complete my narrow pushups. Should I lift less weight on my flyes, or eat a bigger meal before my workout to ensure that my muscles have enough energy to last the entire workout? Maybe I need to be patient and realize that I'll get better at this??

Having rested about 5 hours, and eaten two more meals since this time, I'm now able to do about 3 good pushups-- but no more. Should I chalk this up as a good workout, and that I will most likely see an increase in strength for next week; or should I be concerned that I've compromised the rest of my workout to complete my flyes strong? P.S. I probably haven't done flyes in over a year.

05-22-2012, 09:38 AM
Yes, chalk it up to a good workout with great form... It is amazing how good form will change a workout... In a few weeks you will probably, but not necessarily, be back to your normal weights...

05-22-2012, 10:39 AM
All seems well...
I woke up earlier this morning (4:20), ate a bigger pre-workout meal, and got through my biceps and back exercises just fine.

My chest hurts like none other, and my triceps only a little, but I'm glad. I can say that my workout should effectively cause an increase in strength (at least in my chest) =)

And I was able to lift my back heavier, so I assuredly didn't work TOO HARD yesterday.

So, I guess I'm chalking this up to a successful day in the gym two days in a row...

I found that I had more endurance today, and I'm not sure if it's because I ate a bigger pre-workout meal, or because my husband wasn't checking my form the entire time ;)

Either way, I'm sure my form will neaten up once I gain a little bit more strength. I seem to go downhill after the first 3-4 exercises no matter what. I'm glad I go early, otherwise I would feel pitiful for having to do preacher curls with 10 pound weights- I just COULD NOT LIFT ANY HEAVIER having it be the second to last exercise! Sheesh I'm a wuss! :P

05-22-2012, 11:22 AM
Now, I am a novice at weight-lifting, and un-Zeus-like (or should I say, un-Hera-like). And I'm not familiar with Jamie Eason's program.

I have borrowed the P90X routines, with some modifications, and I have noticed that the sequence of exercises in those routines hit alternating muscles. In following them, I've found that I never do a bench press immediately after a pushup. Instead, I do a bench press, then in-&-out lateral raises, then a bench dip, and only then, after those other two exercises, do we come around once again to a bench press or pushup. I imagine the intervening exercises allow time for muscles to recover a bit before hitting them again.

I don't want to intrude with your routine or cause you to mess with it, but I did wonder, is that the exact order you're supposed to do them in?

05-22-2012, 11:42 AM
Well that's a good question. I did them in the order that she lists them, so I think I'm doing them in the correct order.

Jamie Eason is a fitness competitor/ fitness model. She has a specific page on bodybuilding.com that includes her 12-week program, which is supposedly the same routine she uses to prepare for a competition.

day 1: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer-phase-1-day-1.html

Hence, it's a bit intense. Mon-Thurs, you do 3-4 workouts per muscle group(2 muscle groups per day), so you're supposed to work your muscles to fatigue; as opposed to a P90x routine, wherein you try to maintain high energy and muscle endurance.

I guess maybe the workout was simply doing what it was meant to do :P

...Take me to muscle failure in order to build muscle. I'm in the first phase, which is muscle gain.

I guess I was just wondering if I was over-working the muscles by lifting too heavy at first, or if I could prevent muscle fatigue with a proper pre-workout meal.

I'm gathering that a lot of exercise and dieting isn't a silver bullet, and what works for one person may not work for another. Phooey...

05-22-2012, 11:52 AM
Well... light bulb... I wasn't waiting a minute between my reps. I was waiting 5-20 seconds... oops

05-22-2012, 12:14 PM
-Wide pushups (I do girl pushups since I'm a wuss)

Just a suggestion: you are much better off doing push ups on an incline rather than on your knees. You can use the bar of the Smith machine, or a bench or any other thing laying around your gym. Because the 'proper' push up relies heavily on core muscles as well as all your pushing muscles, doing them at an incline will enable you to gradually increase your strength so that you can work up to regular ones. You don't get that when you do them on your knees.

And yes, don't forget the rest between sets!

05-23-2012, 12:26 PM
ohhh, you mean an upward incline! I was thinking to myself... if I can't do a regular push up, how the heck will I be able to do a push up with my legs ABOVE MY HEAD??

This makes so much sense! I didn't even THINK to use the smith machine for pushups. Thanks so much for the advice! My arms are by far the weakest part of my body, and I can't wait until I start seeing some real strength gains :D

The guys stare at me funny when I struggle with light dumbbells :mad: but I don't care what they think... I can't wait until I shock men when I lift weights... kind of like their expression when I back a dually truck into a parking spot, and then jump out looking pleased with my work ;)

I've always longed to be just like my brother (even though I'm a wimp and I suck at sports), and he's a drill instructor, so... I think weight lifting might be my niche once I gain momentum!

Thank you everyone for your advice :D, and feel free to give me random pointers & comments on how you accomplished strength gains, or sped up muscle recovery, etc.

05-25-2012, 12:26 PM
I did some more research, so...
saef, you make a valid point.

Some experts suggest doing Chest & biceps instead of tri's with chest, because chest exercises may inadvertently work the tri's.

I'm planning on doing the program a couple of times, and the second time I cycle through it, I might consider switching bi's with tri's on monday & tuesday. OR, I might decide half way through my workout on Monday that I require the switch, NOW :p

05-25-2012, 06:06 PM
Sounds good to me.

Finding and adopting a lifting routine takes a lot more initiative than doing cardio, doesn't it? You've gotta do more homework. I remember when I determined that I was going to work with weights, and then went looking high and low for routines, and for good illustrations of forms accompanying these routines. Then there is the whole thing of learning them, watching the mirror to check form and tracking your progress.

I hope your sequence works for you, in whatever order you do your exercises.

07-07-2012, 02:37 PM
I need to start lifting weights more. I've never liked using my arm muscles to do weight training.

Plus right now I have tennis elbow and there are certain lifts that really hurt when I attempt to do them :(

Oh well, I'll figure something out!