How many people have done chest press exercises or chest flies and once you’ve gotten to that “last rep” you feel your arm completely give out on you, and you know for a fact that that was your last rep.
You told yourself before starting the rep that you were really going to push your body, and push pass your max. Has this ever happen to you? How did that make you feel? Were you like me and felt defeated, weak, and wanted to say (or have said) a couple of few choice words to describe how you’re feeling? All of these are natural emotions, and it’s understandable why you might feel the way you do, but understand that there’s a lot more going on under the surface than you might think. Think about all of the workouts and intense pushing you’ve done before this point. You’re exhausted. However, more importantly to consider is that your MUSCLES are exhausted, and this muscle burnout is completely normal. This is call muscle failure.
What Is Muscle Failure?
“Muscle failure is the point when your working muscle is fully fatigued to the extent that it can no longer complete another repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics.” - www.menshealth.com
This is a very pretty and fancy way of saying, that muscle failure is when you’ve busted your chops so much in the gym that your body can’t take it anymore and says, “I’ve had enough!”. Like I’ve said before, this process is completely natural, and let’s face it, your body can only take so much, but it’s the progression of constantly pushing yourself is where you see the results. Most people hear the word failure, and think of the negative connotation that’s more commonly associated with it, but let’s look at the other side of the token when it comes to muscle failure. When you get to that level, instead of getting down about, say to yourself, “hey I’ve pushed and stretched my muscle to the highest level possible. I didn’t think I could before, but I’ve proved myself wrong”.
What To Do After Muscle Failure?
Before we talk about your next step in this process, let me first tell you CONGRATULATIONS, you’ve just survived your first experience with muscle failure. This means that you never settle with the bare minimum, and you’re always striving to be the best at whatever you do. Now that you’re sore and complaining about how badly your feet feel, here are a few things I’d suggest you do to help cope through this process.