Exercise! - Working a muscle to the fatigue point...

02-14-2004, 06:54 PM
Hello, here's a technical question. I know that to make progress, a muscle (or group of muscles) needs to be worked to the point of fatigue. Without having a personal trainer to yell at me to keep going, it's hard for me to tell what point that is :D

I have experienced fatigue where I feel that I just can't do one more lift, as there just isn't any strength left in the muscle...and I have felt the "groaning pain" as I call it :devil: - it isn't a sharp pain, it's the "oh man the burning my butt's on FIRE" sensation, haha.

Should I be working to the point of the "burning" sensation, or is that too far?

02-14-2004, 08:58 PM
Holly -- I like to work a muscle to the point of failure, especially on the last set -- that is, when you can't do another rep no matter what. Like you're doing bicep curls and you get half way up and that's it -- it's physically impossible to get the DB up any higher (unless you have a spotter :D ). I was confused when I first started going to the gym because there they think failure is a GOOD thing instead of a bad thing. :lol: But in weight-lifting, failure is a very good thing.

The burning pain is more of a lactic acid buildup in your muscles, I think, and it's perfectly OK to work through that. Some exercises burn like crazy -- leg extensions being #1 in burning for me, also abs -- and I try to push through that feeling to true muscle failure.

My suggestion is to pick a weight that will get you to failure in 10 or 12 or maybe 15 reps and do 2 - 3 sets like that.

Hope that helps!

02-15-2004, 08:47 AM
:strong: Thank you for the quick input, Meg!