Lactic Acid Training for Muscle Growth
Lactic acid has a direct relationship with muscle growth, it can be rather complex so we're going to simplify it to basics. All your skeletal muscle tissue consists of 70% water. While you're training there are plenty waste products that get released directly into the working muscle, one of these waste products is lactic acid.
Bodybuilders call this lactic acid build-up "the burn", which obviously leads to complete muscular failure. Lactic acid released into the working muscle tissue will always be in direct proportion to the cortisol that's also being released into your muscle tissue. It's the cortisol that's actually breaking down muscle tissue wherever it gets released in the body.
Your body is genetically designed to immediately start a muscle repair process as soon as cortisol levels get too high. The body then adapts the muscle tissue back to the state it was previously and then growing the quantity of muscle-tissue you have just a little more than your body had previously. Sports scientists argue that increasing your tolerance of lactic acid build-up will lesson cortisol that's released into the muscle and breaks it down.
Scientists tell us that muscular failure can actually change the PH balance of the blood in your muscle fiber, stopping the muscle group from recruiting any important high threshold fibers. We get stronger and lift more weight or do more reps because there's an increase in both the water and the blood volume in your muscle fibers.
This increased blood and water volume in the muscle tissues immediately allows the body to be able to tolerate a much greater quantity of the lactic acid pouring in, before it reaches complete muscle failure. This means more weight or more repetitions would then be needed to allow enough lactic-acid entering the muscle tissue to cause muscle failure.
After failure there's rest, which achieves two objectives:
1) It'll rejuvenate your ATP levels as well as your glycogen levels so that you can do it again.
2) Rest gives some time allowing oxygen to flush your waste products and lactic acid out the muscle tissue. When doing a second set training to failure will still result in more lactic acid being released, increasing your cortisol levels in muscle tissue and increasing muscle tissue breakdown.
The problem is that the body is only able to repair itself to a certain point. After that it's just over-training and losing precious muscle. Sports science did a study to prove this on people who train with weights. They got volunteers to perform a 10 X 10 squat protocol that showed all the subjects in the study losing muscle tissue, below are a few reasons why they lost muscle.
Muscle is lost because of so much cortisol released that any anabolic response will get completely overwhelmed by a massive catabolic response, losing muscle. In conclusion there are a few important points that we can consider when adjusting our weight training sets, reps and frequency to maximize muscle size.
Training builds up lactic acid levels which will always lead to an increase in cortisol.
Cortisol tears muscle tissue apart. The body then has to repair and it grows once it's healed itself.
The larger a muscle the more lactic acid it can handle before it reaches the point of failure.
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