Do Muscles Have to Burn to Get Results?

Posted On Apr 15, 2014 By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist

lactic acid and muscle burn

That muscle burn … it hurts so good, doesn't it? It almost feels like someone lit a match inside your muscle. Exercises, such as the leg extension, are notorious for this.

Many folks look for the burn in their workouts because it lets them know the exercise is working. For some people, it's an indication of the muscle burning fat. For others, it tells them their muscles are being stimulated and they will get better results.

But is this really true? Does the burn mean we will get better results? And why do those leg extensions burn more than other exercises? Is it a buildup of lactic acid or something else?

In this video, I discuss why the burn doesn't guarantee better results and that it likely has more to do with the muscle cross-bridges than the lack of oxygen causing a lactic acid buildup. Particularly when you're talking about muscles that cross two joints!