Exercise fatigue and Increasing Performance
For a long time athletes from all sports have known intuitively that exercise fatigue is something more than just physical exhaustion but they are not the scientists that need to have factual data pointing to a specific mechanism.
Much research is popping up suggesting that fatigue is actually not…
a physical limitation that appears when limits are reached but more a safety mechanism in the brain when sensors flag up that fuel is running low. Effectively putting the breaks on your performance.
“Noakes proposed that the brain is wired to protect itself by pre-emptively shutting down your muscles before any part of your body reaches total failure. If your muscles are being depleted of oxygen and your heart is working too hard; or if you are becoming dangerously dehydrated; or if your core temperature is rising excessively; or if you are climbing a mountain and the amount of oxygen reaching your brain drops significantly—in all of these situations, a “central governor” in your brain acts to slow you down or stop you before you do irreversible damage. You stop not because you can’t physically go any farther, but because your brain thinks you shouldn’t.”
“Albertus-Kajee’s experiments illustrate how the brain applies the brakes before your muscles fail.”
“In essence, his brain is betraying him by requesting fewer and fewer muscle fibres in his leg to contract.”
“our brains pick up distress signals from the muscle fibres and stop demanding contractions long before the fibres fail—an arrangement that just might leave us with some wiggle room.”
These are just some of the abstracts from a great article linked below.
Here is the full article that puts it far more eloquently than I.
In short; if you are looking for a winning performance then you better get a handle on your thoughts and learn to relax and know that the limits your brain sets are outdated and can be glided on past.
Be mindful of your thoughts and you may just surprise yourself and your peers.
Your Epsom Personal Trainer,
Richard Ham Williams