Building additional muscle mass is beneficial not only for bodybuilders and strength athletes, but also for those who want to improve their posture, burn excess fat and improve their performance in a sport or everyday life.
Muscles relieve the strain on the joints and are responsible for straightening the spine in the opposite direction to gravity. Muscle tissue is active tissue and capable of burning body fat.
To build additional muscle mass, we need to stimulate the body through targeted training stimuli to increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS), so that the anabolic processes exceed the catabolic processes in the muscle fibers.
Two different methods have proven their worth in this respect:
Mechanical load: strength training with weights and resistances in the range of 60-80 percent of the maximum force produces an increased mechanical load and tension in the muscle fibers, which are “translated” into chemical signals and set an increase in MPS in motion.
Metabolic Fatigue: Another way to increase MPS is to train in the area of metabolic fatigue, which can be done with relatively light training weights in the range of 30-50 percent of maximum strength and is ideal for people who do not tolerate high mechanical stress.
Who suffers from problems with the joints or the spine, has no heavy weights available or fears to be injured by heavy strength training, can achieve equivalent results by training with metabolic exhaustion.
Ideal is a combination of both forms of training, which complement each other optimally and enable maximum results in muscle building. In this article I would like to explain the training in the area of metabolic exhaustion in more detail.
Metabolic Fatigue – What is it exactly?
Training in the area of metabolic fatigue puts strain on the target muscles at their fatigue or exhaustion limits, so that the body gets the impulse to increase its current strength and fatigue resistance. This is done by the muscle fibers forming more contractile proteins and increasing the number of mitochondria.
If, for example, we perform push-ups until no further repetition is possible, i.e. until we can no longer push ourselves up from the ground on our own strength, the state of concentric muscle failure is reached and the body has reached its current metabolic limit in this movement.
To make the muscle fibers stronger, the body activates satellite cells that are located in the immediate vicinity of the muscle fibers and that add more nuclei to the fibers. The more nuclei a muscle fiber has, the more contractile proteins it can form, making the fiber stronger and more efficient. As a result, the individual muscle fiber increases in thickness and weight and the entire muscle becomes stronger, stronger and more efficient.
When training in the area of metabolic exhaustion, it is necessary to perform an exercise to the point of concentric muscle failure, otherwise the body does not feel compelled to activate the satellite cells. During heavy strength training in the area of mechanical tension, the relative resistance produces the required tension on the muscle fibers, which causes the training stimulus. Training in the area of metabolic exhaustion is mainly about exhausting the muscle to concentric muscle failure.
In contrast to mechanical stress, the height of the training weights and the height of the training resistance only play a subordinate role. Training in the area of metabolic exhaustion can be done with relatively light weights!