SHAKY MUSCLES? WAY TO GO!
Annemarijn Glasbergen is a Vitality Advisor and Lifestyle Coach. In her monthly column, SHE TRAINS, she addresses common exercise myths to help you get the most out of your workout.
In the previous issue, I already recommended: Pushing yourself to the limit! Challenging yourself, and making it a tough training!
When you push yourself in a good way during your training, you will notice that your muscles start to shake. Because strength training, high-intensity weight training, and intense routines are more likely to trigger shaking, we’ll focus on these types of training in this article.
So shaky muscles: why do we shake and what’s in it for you?
A little theory
When working out, your muscles become tired: energy resources become depleted and the pressure of the contracting muscle fibers reduces the blood flow to the capillaries. The cause of muscle fatigue during or after exercise is not entirely clear. The evidence is compelling that the traditional view of lactic acid as a cause of fatigue is flawed. Lactic acid does not cause fatigue and instead provides some protection against other fatigue-inducing compounds and environments. As you understand it’s a complex theory, so let’s make it more practical.
Our bodies give off many signals to let us know that we are working hard and creating change – shaking is just one of them. It’s good to remember that when you are at this point of fatigue it means you are reaching your limit and that is a really powerful place to be! What we’re aiming for is to get the most out of our workouts and the time we spend on sports by training as effectively as possible. Therefore, it is advisable to define your boundaries and one sign of those boundaries can be shaky muscles.
Define your boundaries
Make a baseline measurement: determine how many kilograms you can lift (e.g. a dumbbell) 5 times in a row, for instance as a biceps curl, but you can test this with every type of strength exercise. These 5 times should not be easy lifting, and the fifth must be a really a tough one! Once you have determined this baseline, you can start to train! Keep on using the same weight until you are able to do more than 15 repetitions in a row. Once you’ve achieved this, increase the kilos. Next month I will talk more about how you can increase the amount of weight you train with.
Practical training tips:
Check your alignment: you should be able to maintain proper alignment and form while breathing through the shaking.
Breathing: make sure you can consciously slow your breath to keep yourself calm and actually enjoy the shaking.
Good pain: muscle shaking does not feel like muscle cramping.
If you find yourself losing control of the position or movement or the way you breathe – take a quick break, reset and start over.
Keep in mind
If you don’t shake it does not mean that you’re not working hard enough! We are all unique and our neuromuscular systems are wired differently.
Stay well hydrated both during and after a training session and consider adding a pinch of salt to your drink to replenish fluid lost through sweating.
Finally, remember that rest is as important to muscle conditioning, as is training hard. So give yourself a day off when you need one.