What Does It Mean to Go “To Fatigue” in Exercise? Reader Question

What does it mean to go to fatigue?

That’s a recent question- and commonly misunderstood term – from our Flipping 50 community. So I pulled this one to respond to in the first of this short series of Q and A’s where I just address a question from you!

So if you’ve got a question about getting to fatigue, getting to sleep, or getting to your optimal energy that I can answer, please share it with me. 

In this brief episode I answer what “to fatigue” means and how you benefit or what you miss if you don’t reach fatigue. 

Lifting weights without reaching fatigue will fail you in the worst way. Without adequate stimulus the muscle doesn’t respond in a positive way by getting stronger or gaining endurance. You won’t recruit more fibers to create the improvements you’re looking for. 

To fatigue shouldn’t be confused with exhausting exercise or simply being tired at the end of a workout. It refers to the need for muscular fatigue at the end of each set. Once you’ve had an adequate rest period – usually 1-3 minutes you should be fine, in fact you don’t have to be sore to  know you had a good exercise session. You do however, need to struggle to do one more repetition with good form at the end of each set. 

After 50 this is more crucial than before. Mistakenly, many people- trainers included – will back off and do too light a weight to reach fatigue. 

You can get to fatigue with more reps of a light weight or fewer reps of a heavy weight. Just find it!

Then refuel with adequate protein (like a shake made with Flipping 50 protein). You want about 30 grams 1-2 hours after a challenging workout. 

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Looking for more information on how to exercise, recover, integrate your rest, sleep and eating to naturally support hormone balance? Click here. 

Fitness pro or trainer? Click here for details about the Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist. 

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2 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Go “To Fatigue” in Exercise? Reader Question”

  1. Hi, Does Debra have a “cheat sheet” for portion and how many grams are in for example, a half chicken breast? I am looking for an “at a glance” guide, so that I can start tracking my protein. I am a current Café member who had a question about what muscle fatigue, so found and just listened to this podcast. As, usual, Debra’s advice was very helpful, kind and concise! Thanks! Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa,
    If you haven’t done the Feb 2020 challenge – highly recommended. Simple calc is about 5 ounces of any animal protein. With your shakes- read labels. Use the shake and then hemp hearts, or nut butter, etc to reach at least the 30 grams. There’s no cheat sheet because it’s that simple.

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