In fancy words, Lactic Acid is a byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis. In normal speak: when we’re challenging our muscle endurance we’re going to create Lactic Acid. Muscular endurance is not the same as cardiovascular endurance, you might remember from a recent blog we wrote last week. If you haven’t read it, go back and check it out. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now that we’re all caught up, remember that muscular endurance means that we aren’t relying on oxygen for energy. Our bodies are instead transforming carbohydrates stored in our muscles into energy. No oxygen needed. That process of changing carbohydrates into energy (called anaerobic glycolysis) creates Lactic Acid, or Lactate, as a waste product. If you remember back in that other blog I mentioned how in a muscle endurance exercise that muscle group is going to burn. Well, that BURNING sensation is because of Lactic Acid.
Lactic Acid builds up in your muscles, and, after a point, the build up creates that BURN we all know and love. The longer you do that exercise the more it burns because Lactic Acid is still building up more and more AND MORE until you quit.
Why am I telling you this? Because of a little thing called LACTATE THRESHOLD.
Lactate Threshold is a fun little measurement that is the intensity of an exercise where Lactate begins to accumulate in the blood faster than it can be removed. Basically, it is the point where your muscles start to burn. What makes it fun is that THIS CAN BE TRAINED!
You can IMPROVE your Lactate Threshold! Think back to when you first started FIRE, you probably experienced that burn much more than you might now! And that’s because the more you experience that burn, the better your body gets at managing it. Your body is learning to remove that Lactic Acid quicker, which means you can keep going and don’t have to give up an exercise, which means YOU GET STRONGER!!
Let’s break it down. You hold an air chair. Your legs burn after a set amount of time, you get X amount of benefit of holding that air chair for that amount of time. A few months of regular FIRE Camps go by and you hold an air chair again. This time you can hold it longer! Guess what, you got MORE out of that air chair this time because you were able to hold it LONGER.
YOU GOT BETTER THROUGH TRAINING!!
What does this mean for you? At FIRE there are certain exercises that are designed to give you that BURN. DON’T QUIT EARLY! You need to hold those exercises for longer than what’s comfortable! The longer you hold that exercise the more you get from it, the BETTER you get from it!
It all comes back to; you get as much out of your workout as you put into it. So put in everything you’ve got every day!