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Baqai Institute of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine

How to delay fatigue


Submitted to: Maam Hina Submitted by: Zainab Siddiqui, 27026, final year DPT
Definition of fatigue: Fatigue is defined as, A failure of the neuromuscular system to generate desired or expected force during and/or following repeated or sustained contractile activity - (Edwards, 1978) There are at least 5 metabolic causes of fatigue, a decrease in the phospho-creatine level in muscle, proton accumulation in muscle, depletion of the glycogen store in muscle, hypoglycemia and An increase in the plasma concentration ratio of free tryptophan/branched-chain amino acids.

Proton accumulation may be a common cause of fatigue in most forms of exercise and may be an important factor in fatigue in those persons who are chronically physically inactive and also in the elderly: thus, the aerobic capacity markedly decreases under these conditions, so that ATP must be synthesized by the much less efficient anaerobic system. A marked increase in the plasma fatty acid level, which may occur when liver glycogen store is depleted and when hypoglycemia results, or during intermittent exercise when the rate of fatty acid oxidation may not match the mobilization of fatty acids, could be involved indirectly in fatigue. This is because such an increase in the plasma level of fatty acids raises the free plasma concentration of tryptophan, which can increase the entry of tryptophan into the brain, which will increase the brain level of 5hydroxytryptamine: there is evidence that the latter may be involved in central fatigue. Br Med Bull (1992) 48 (3): 477-495. Fatigue cant be defeated or overcome completely. But it certainly can be delayed by various methods. The methods that include in delaying fatigue are: Diet Consuming an adequate amount and ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein is paramount. Typically, endurance athletes require more carbohydrates (anywhere between 40 and 60% carbs) than strength athletes but slightly less protein (from 30 to 35%); whereas strength trainers (weight lifters) or those who regularly participate in sporting activities should consume equal or greater amounts of protein to carbohydrates on a daily basis (about a 40:40 ratio of carbs to protein). In essence, carbs are to the body like fuel is to a carthey provide the necessary fuel to maintain or sustain energy levels during workouts. In a study, physically active but untrained women (n = 7) and men (n = 9) completed one practice trial and two experimental sessions separated by 1 week. Sessions consisted of repeated 1-min cycling bouts on a

bicycle ergometer at 120-130% VO2max separated by 3 min rest until fatigue. Carbohydrate (CHO) or placebo (P) beverages (4 ml.kg body weight-1) were ingested immediately before exercise (18% CHO) and every 20 min during exercise (6% CHO). Plasma glucose and insulin were higher, RPE for the legs was lower, and time to fatigue was longer in CHO than P. Men's and women's responses were not different for any variable measured. These data suggest a beneficial role of CHO drinks on performance of intermittent, highintensity exercise in men and women. Int J Sport Nutr. 1997 Dec;7(4):261-73. Hydration Dehydration can lead to significant performance decrements, not to mention the risk of sickness and, in severe cases, death. Even a three to four percent drop in body water levels (signaled by thirst and fatigue) can decrease your muscular contractions by 10 to 20%. To combat this, at least 10 to 12 glasses (eight ounces each) of water (this doesn't count sodas, coffee, or juices) should be consumed dailyalways including during and after events when your body is perspiring. Recovery Adequate rest is very important for delaying premature fatigue. Inadequate rest during training (i.e., between sets) and between workouts can cause unnecessary fatigue. A great rule of thumb for resting time between sets is just long enough to catch your breath. Squats take a little longer to recover from (maybe two to three minutes) because you're training such a large muscle group. For smaller muscles, like biceps, you would need a much shorter restmore like 45 to 60 seconds at most. Recent research that studied the effects of enhancing recovery between sets showed that keeping intensity high after completed sets allowed weight trainers to perform more reps in later sets compared with those who passively recovered (sat) between sets. This means we need to keep moving during rest periods, so instead of sitting down to rest, walk around or go to another exercise for a different muscle group. Trapped by our "more is better" mentality, many of us seem to think if we train longer, harder, and more often, we'll multiply our results. Nothing could be more detrimental to your efforts to put on muscle and gain strength than training muscle groups too frequently. In fact, over-training can significantly impede the body's ability to properly recover and rebuild itself. Only through enough rest (which includes proper sleep) and an adequate number of days in between training, will the body be able to recover and rebuild itself. The most common signs of over-training are lethargy, chronic fatigue, continued muscle soreness, insomnia, and a decrease in strength. If you sense any of these coming on, try taking off a day or two more in between training sessions and see how you feel. For adequate recovery times between workouts (of the same muscle group), consider this: the smaller the muscle group, the faster the recovery; the more intense (speed of workout), the longer the recovery; and the higher the volume (i.e., the number of reps) and lower the load (weight), the faster the recovery, and vice versa of course Supplements There are many supplements that can help today's athlete postpone muscular fatigue. Endurance athletes may benefit greatly from carbohydrate/electrolyte beverages. These contain precise ratios of carbohydrates and electrolytes (vital salts and minerals) that can replace those lost during prolonged exercise, as well as enhance the body's ability to sustain long-term energy. Nutritional stimulants such as caffeine (or its herbal counterpart guarana) can help delay fatigue for two reasons. First, it stimulates a cascade of hormones that cause a release of free-fatty acids into the

bloodstream, causing the body to burn fat while sparing carbohydrates to use as energy. Second, it affects the CNS, thus postponing central fatigue and decreasing the perceived difficulty of the exercise. However, if you can't handle the jittery, nervous-type feelings you get from stimulants (such as caffeine), you might give supplements like tyrosine or Ginkgo biloba a try. These supplements are not stimulants, so they do not affect your central nervous system (which causes the nervousness). Rather, they help increase your mental alertness and delay central fatigue (in the brain), thus helping to crank up your workout intensity. And, creatine monohydrate, which has been scientifically shown to aid short-duration, high-intensity exercise, such as weight training. It increases the body's creatine phosphate stores needed to replenish ATP, thus delaying the onset of glycolysis. In other words, creatine helps quickly replenish energy stores within the muscle cells, allowing you to work out longer and harder, which may lead to increased strength and muscle gains. Reference: Expert Training, Muscle Fatigue: How to Blast Through the Dreaded Muscle Failure that "Hits" Us All by Harley Pasternak, M.Sc., H.Kin., ACSM, Expert Physical Trainer