What happens to your body after a weight training set?
Posted Sep 28 2010 4:16pm
The Aftermath of the "set".
After your set, the acidic environment caused by lactic acid is buffered mainly by bicarbonate, thus rapidly diminishing or eliminating pain before your next one. Simultaneously, fat is burned to produce ATP, which donates a phosphate to creatine and restores creatine phosphate levels, giving you quick energy for another set. The spike in lactic acid levels at the end of your set signals your body to release GH, which enhances fat burning and initiates muscle regeneration and growth. Likewise, testosterone levels have risen during the set, which will further aid the process of muscle regeneration and muscle building.
Cellular damage has also caused the muscle to flood with proteins which further break down the damaged structures.
This starts an inflammatory cascade of white blood cells that serve numerous functions, such as the removal of broken-down muscle tissue so that new and stronger tissue can be built up in its place. That process takes a few days to complete; 24 to 48 hours after your workout, if you suffered enough damage, you will likely feel the effects of calcium and prostaglandins, which build up in the muscle fibers, sensitizing nerve cells that signal your brain and thus providing the lingering ache known as delayed onset muscle soreness.
Postworkout, consume 40 g of whey protein and 60-100 g of fast-digesting carbs to enhance muscle recovery and blunt DOMS. Taking 5-10 g of glutamine can help increase GH levels. A massage may speed recovery, as can low-intensity activities (such as walking, cycling and swimming).