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Weight Lifters Need Endurance

Weightlifters compete by lifting the heaviest weight possible only once. Why then do they have to lift heavy weights repeatedly in practice to become very strong?

Muscles are made up of thousands of individual fibers. To become very strong, you have to strengthen as many fibers as possible. The first time that you life a heavy weight, you lift only around one percent of your fibers. As you continue to lift the weight over and over again, you bring in more fibers. Then lactic acid starts to accumulate in muscles, causing a burning in your muscles, and fewer muscle fibers to contract at the same time. Weight lifters have to train by repeating multiple repetitions with heavy weights to strengthen as many fibers as possible. In practice they lift heavy weights, three times, six times and even 15 times in a row, even though they lift heavy weights in competition only once.

Checked 8/9/08

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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