Bodybuilders are constantly exposed to
various types of training loads, reps, and sets, some of which can often
exceed their threshold of tolerance. As a result, the ability to adapt
to the desired bodybuilding training load decreases, thus affecting the
bodybuilder's overall performance.
When bodybuilders drive themselves beyond
their physiological limits, they risk going into a state of fatigue.
Basically, the greater the level of fatigue, the greater the training
after effects, such as low rate of recovery, decreased coordination, and
diminished power output. Fatigue experienced in training can often be
increased by personal factors, such as stressful conditions in social,
school, or work situations.
Muscular fatigue is commonly associated with exercise-induced muscle
damage. This is a very complex physiological and psychological
phenomenon. Although much research has been devoted to muscular fatigue
neither the exact sites nor the exact causes are well known.
In order to improve muscle size and
strength, it is important that training loads be as high as necessary to
provide a stimulus for adaptation. In order for the adaptation to take
place, training programs must constantly incorporate periods of work
with rest, while alternating different levels of intensity. These
factors will result in a good balance between work and rest. It is
important to avoid large increments in training loads.
The exposure to heavy loads far beyond an
bodybuilder's capacity, or miscalculating necessary rest, will result in
decreased ability to adapt to the new load. Failing adaptation triggers
biochemical and neural reactions that take an bodybuilder from a state
of fatigue to chronic fatigue, and ultimately to the undesirable state
of overtraining. Irrespective of its definition, it is certain that
fatigue results from physical work that reduces the capacity of the
neuromuscular and metabolic systems to continue physical activity.
Researchers have attempted to identify sites of fatigue and,
consequently, performance failure, through a conventional simplification
of complex phenomenon with many unknown elements. The focus of this
section, however, will be on the two main sites, the neuromuscular and
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