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Do my muscles really need to burn while exercising?

Ein Mann macht Bicep Curls
Content Editor & Certified Trainer
Lisa studied journalism and is a certified fitness and health trainer, as well as a meditation coach! She spent many years working for different lifestyle and fitness magazines, and she writes articles for us on the topics of working out, fitness, lifestyle and mind.

Train until it burns!? In many fitness studios, the burn is what it’s all about when people are pumping iron: muscles should be worked until they hurt. So many people assume that it’s only then that a workout really has an impact. But is it really true? And is muscle burn actually required to build muscle?

One thing is certain: the harder you work, the more important recovery is. And you can make this easier by providing your body with all the important nutrients it needs, for example with Recovery Aminos, your best friend for the hours after your workout.

Why do muscles burn when you’re training?

Anyone who has ever been active in sports is sure to be familiar with muscle burn. It’s noticeable almost right away, especially after a long break in training or when you’re doing new exercises. It makes it hard for you to hold a position or to do the last rep cleanly, as the muscle you’ve been working is so exhausted that it really burns.

But how does this pain come about? The cause lies is lactate. This is the lactic acid salt that the body produces when it generates energy. The higher the load during training, the sooner we run out of breath. If the oxygen being inhaled is no longer sufficient, the body switches to what is known as anaerobic metabolism . This means that it releases more lactate than it can break down. And this lactate excess ultimately leads to acidosis, which we perceive as muscle burn.

If you’d like to delve deeper into this, you can read more here: Energy supply in muscles: the most important facts

What is the difference between muscle burn and muscle soreness?

If your muscles burn during a workout, many people suspect that the universally hated muscles soreness (DOMS) is already setting in. However, muscle acidification also occurs independently of DOMS and is a sign of maximum exhaustion.

Muscle soreness can leads to tears in the muscle tissue; the affected cells die off and then rebuild, which can be a painful process. However, this repair work does not occur during training. Instead, it happens afterwards, specifically during regeneration.

The specialist when it comes to regeneration is our L-Glutamine. It supports your body’s repair processes and can be particularly beneficial after intensive sports sessions.

Is muscle burn good or bad during training?

Muscle burn is neither good nor bad. Whether acidification occurs or not can depend on your training level, and the intensity and regularity with which you repeat your exercises. If you go back to the gym after a long break or start a new training plan, you are likely to have to deal with muscle burn. On the other hand, the sooner muscles get used to a stimulus, the less likely it is that they will burn while you’re exercising. And the more progress you make in your workouts, the higher your anaerobic threshold, in other words, the point from which your body can no longer break down lactate and starts to acidify the muscles.

How can you tell if your workout was effective?

Muscles don’t necessarily have to burn during training; a workout can also be effective without you having to feel pain. Ideally, you shouldn’t feel any pain at all during a training session. It’s always a signal that you’d better stop.

Essentially, muscles can become stronger and more powerful without that familiar burning sensation. But it’s also true that a muscle has to train until it is exhausted to the point of hypertrophy, which will cause it to grow. After all, it’s only when it’s fatigued that the body begins to store more protein structures in the muscle tissue, enlarging it.

And muscle fatigue, which we often perceive as muscle burn, is no guarantee of muscle growth. Growth involves a lot more than mere fatigue, for example a protein-rich diet.

This means that you shouldn’t measure how effective your training was by how much burn you felt in your muscles. Instead, record your training progress and see how your scores change over time. If your performance is increasing, then you’re on the right track!

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