By Dave Patania
Question: I have been lifting weights for about 2 1/2 weeks but am getting frustrated because my muscles burn so badly that it makes me want to stop. What is wrong with me? What can I do?
Answer: As a beginner, what you are going through is very common and nothing to worry about. When you lift weights, you are causing muscle fatigue, using phosphates (ATP) as well as blood sugar (glycogen) stored in your muscles to perform each movement. The burning sensation is what's called a lactic acid burn: It's a sign you're burning sugar, at least temporarily.
Some studies have shown that this lactic acid is also your muscle's last source of energy for the last few repetitions that you perform. When you are new to lifting, your muscle endurance will not be very high, but if you stay consistent, you will notice that the burning sensation will significantly lessen and you won't feel fatigue as quickly as you did when you first started.
I have had numerous clients who have had the same frustrations with early muscle fatigue/lactic acid burn and who felt like quitting. However, they stuck with the program and are now at very high levels of strength and conditioning. I am positive that if you keep plugging away, you will look back and be very proud of yourself for staying the course. If you slowly and methodically work your way up to higher levels of training, you will actually look forward to and accept nothing less than that burning sensation. Do not worry or quit, because you will be rewarded for consistency.
Your nutrition should also be of high quality, because how well you are eating makes a big difference in how well you lift and recover from lifting.
Contact personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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