Wait a second! Why would anyone want to produce lactic acid?
Is not that the waste product that you need to flush out of your system or it will make you sore? Here's where I want to set the records straight. Lactic acid production in exercise is a good thing, in fact a great thing, for your overall state of health and fitness.
So what, actually, is lactic acid? For one, it is not a waste product, and it does not make you sore. Soreness is caused by tiny breaks in your muscles. The truth is, lactic acid is a pure, condensed form of fuel – a kind of power bar – that your body is not able to process quickly enough to use for the task at hand. As soon as your body catches a break, so to speak, it goes to work feeding this high-octane fuel to your organs and muscles, which gain from its rich ingredients.
No doubt about it, the health benefits of lactic acid are huge. First, your body uses extra calories for as long as six hours after you stop exercising, just to process the stuff. Once absorbed, lactic acid acts to firm up your muscles and increase your aerobic capacity. In subsequent workout sessions, your body gets better and better at processing this excess fuel, and you gain athletic stamina and a higher metabolic rate. Also, your heart and lungs are now able to send more oxygen through your veins to get rid of fat (which needs a good supply of oxygen to be burned as fuel). Last but not least, the more you "feel the burn" during exercise, the more growth hormone (HGH) – an almost magical substance that helps keep us youthful – your body will make. So: cook up some nice, fresh lactic acid during your workout and you're on your way to becoming your dream "lean, mean, fat burning machine!"
Let's take one more look at lactic acid's many body-slimming benefits:
1. Your body uses extra calories to absorb lactic acid.
2. Every workout session triggers a lengthy post-exercise calorie burn-off, melting away extra calories for hours after you stopped exercising.
3. Once lactic acid is absorbed into your muscles, they become firmer and stronger, increasing your metabolic rate.
4. Your body develops "lactic-acid tolerance", or the ability to work longer before your muscles give out. This added stamina enables you to work harder during exercise, burning more and more calories along the way.
5. Your body gains aerobic capacity, making it both more efficient at burning fat during exercise (Remember, your body needs oxygen to burn fat).
6. Lactic acid stimulates your endocrine system to produce our bodies' own natural anti-aging serum, human growth hormone, staving off the withering effects of aging and keeping your metabolic rate high.
Interval training helps us produce this totally natural weight loss product. With interval training, you can work above your "lactic acid threshold," the point at which your muscles become so fatigued they give out, for brief intervals! After each "full-out-effort" set, you work at a slower pace to give the lactic acid a chance to work its way though your system. Then onto another intense, "feel-the-burn until-you-drop" interval. Your body virtuously explodes with energy in the heat of these intense, go-for-broke moments. Your muscles draw energy from every source available, namely the fat and carb stores under your skin and in your belly, and also from within your muscles themselves.
This incredibly intense way of working out generates a huge quantity of lactic acid. In contrast, on a run you have no choice but to stay at or slightly below your "lactic acid threshold." Pit interval training against long distance running in a lactic acid making contest, and minute for minute, interval training wins hands down.