Most people who have just begun their fitness training at the gym have experienced this sensation: a sudden inability to go further, to take one more step on the treadmill or to do one more push-up or crunch. It is called muscle fatigue and it can occur even among professional athletes. Therefore, since it is such a common problem for people training intensively, it is worth our attention.
Muscle fatigue is an insidious condition, in the sense that it does not give you any warning signs. In other words, your body does not give you specific hints to slow down your training. It just stops obeying your commands at a certain moment. There are several causes which favour muscle fatigue, and they are all simple and easy to correct. Thus, we decided to have a talk with professional trainers and find out their best tips for preventing muscle fatigue.
What we found out was rather encouraging – it is in everyone’s power to take the necessary steps to fuel and strengthen their bodies adequately, and to increase their endurance for intense training. Therefore, without further delay, these are the top recommendations from professional trainers to avoid muscle fatigue:
- Fuel Your Body Properly
Adequate nutrition is the key to everything you do – from the ability to focus on complicated tasks at work to your body’s endurance during fitness training. A well-balanced diet includes lots of fruit, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are of a particular importance. They help your muscles store glycogel, which is depleted during training, leaving you with the sense of fatigue.
If you are planning to start fitness training, you should change your nutrition habits 10 days to a week before you hit the gym for the first time.
Yes, once again we touch on this subject because it is as critical as proper nutrition. We will never tire of reminding amateur and professional athletes that the human body is made of 70% water and it loses lots of it through sweating during intense physical training, along with essential minerals and electrolytes.
Staying hydrated involves drinking water and sport drinks before, during and after training and avoiding at all costs the sensation of thirst. The moment you feel thirsty, your body already experiences dehydration, your muscles are prone to cramps and fatigue and you will not be able to complete your training schedule.
- Use the Correct Posture
One of the reasons why people feel muscle fatigue, especially at the beginning of training, is the fact that they do not maintain an adequate posture on the treadmill, on the elliptical bike and during weight training. The first consequence of a wrong posture is the fact that one group of muscles takes the brunt of all your efforts, while others are not properly exercised. It also means that you will develop an unnatural posture, unless you correct it, with long terms effects such as a predisposition for injuries and chronic pain.
- Build up Lung Capacity
In most cases, muscle fatigue is accompanied by shortness of breath. This means that your lungs are not working efficiently to deliver oxygen to all the cells in your body during training. The best way to correct this is to start your fitness training with a series of exercises which are meant to improve your aerobic capacity – that is, the quantity of air you intake with each breath. In many sports, learning how to breathe in and out and synchronise your breathing with the movements of the body are the main keys to pushing your endurance and performance further.
- Do Not Skip the Rest Day
For beginner athletes it is very tempting to push themselves to the maximum capacity. They will go to the gym every day of the week, ignoring the trainer’s recommendation for a rest and recovery day after each two days of training. The result of pushing yourself too hard is suffering from dead leg, muscle cramps and losing your enthusiasm in the training, due to the soreness you will have to endure at the end of your first week of fitness.
Rest days are important, even for professional athletes who win Olympic medals. The human body is a fine tuned machine, which needs time to recoup and regain strength. If you keep the machine working for too long without a break, something will snap sooner or later.
Now that you know what you need to do to keep your body working properly, you can certainly avoid any further muscle fatigues by sticking to a healthy and balanced diet and training regime.