The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    what causes muscle fatigue and failure?

    So what actually causes failure during a workout? Is it the bodys ability, or lack there of, to supply the muscle with oxygen thru blood flow? IE: the muscle is demanding more oxygen than is being supplied so there for it gives in? I know this may be only part of it, so what else is a factor?

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  3. #2
    Rollin Dubs HORNEDFROGS07's Avatar
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    The main factor is the amount of ATP within the muscle cells. ATP is the substance that muscles use for energy in contraction, so when the supply of ATP is used up, i.e. in a set to failure, the muscle is unable to contract until the supply has sufficiently regenerated. The only way that creatine is useful is in the generation/regeneration of ATP, as it supplies more phosphate for the muscle to use in making a supply of ATP. The oxygen supply is somewhat of a factor, as it is needed in the reaction, and in most other chemical reactions throughout the body. I could go into the whole lecture about aerobic reactions vs. anaerobic ones, but that isn't the point here. (sorry, first day of class today, got me feeling really smart again, plus it made me remember some of this stuff from high school)
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  4. #3
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Re: what causes muscle fatigue and failure?

    Originally posted by mailman21108
    So what actually causes failure during a workout? Is it the bodys ability, or lack there of, to supply the muscle with oxygen thru blood flow? IE: the muscle is demanding more oxygen than is being supplied so there for it gives in? I know this may be only part of it, so what else is a factor?
    First of all, you have to differentiate fatigue and failure. They aren't entirely the same thing.

    Fatigue, as noted above, is largely an acute depletion of ATP levels. This can occur for a variety of reasons, however. When the muscle contracts above about 50% of its maximum, blood flow is totally occluded to the muscle, a state called ischemia. At that point, the muscle is entirely dependent upon glycogen to sustain its work. This is most apparent in isometric contractions, as auxotonic work has brief rest intervals that allow some blood flow.

    Additionally, there's quite a bit of metabolite accumulation that can play a role: lactate/H+, Ca++, and a whole variety of ion channels that, due to muscle-fiber damage and electrochemical stimuli can cause the contractile apparatus to cease functioning.

    Failure is defined in this thread. The neural processes described there are the end result of a large number of muscle fibers undergoing fatigue.
    Last edited by PowerManDL; 08-29-2003 at 10:14 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Thanks for the response and link. Its sounds a little more complicated than I can quite understand. I guess ill spend more time working to failure, and less time wondering why.

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