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Friday- Lactate Clearance

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WOD- Friday 9/29/2017

Skill Session
A. Front Squat (8-8-8-8)
-Build to 8RM
B. Ring Dips (3-3-3-3)
-Build to 3RM
C. Toes-To-Bar (5-5-5-5)
-Get warm/practice skill.
CrossFit Games Open 13.4
Complete AMRAP in 7 minutes of:
-3 Clean and Jerk  (95/135)
-3 Toes-To-Bar
-6 Clean and Jerk (95/135)
-6 Toes-To-Bar
-9 Clean and Jerk (95/135)
-9 Toes-To-Bar
-12 Clean and Jerk
-12 Toes-To-Bar
-15 Clean and Jerk
-15 Toes-To-Bar
-18 Clean and Jerk
-18 Toes-To-Bar
-21 Clean and Jerk
-21 Toes-To-Bar
*If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.



Lactate Clearance

by: Coach Tyler


Basic Physiology

As everyone has felt during an intense workout, your body begins to fatigue and your muscles start to feel like they are on fire.  The mechanism that causes this muscular sensation is the buildup of lactate and various other metabolites within the muscle as it is used.  Lactate initially only builds in the muscle being used, then transfers to nearby muscle groups, and eventually works its way into the bloodstream.  As the body creates this lactate, it is simultaneously being put through various aerobically charged chemical reactions and converted into energy.  However, during high intensity workouts the body is unable to flush the lactate out of the bloodstream at the same rate that it is being produced.  This point is known as the lactate threshold.  Once this point is reached, the rate of exercise can no longer be maintained as the lactate builds and muscles begin to fatigue and produce drastically less power.  The lactate threshold can be increased by teaching the body how to more efficiently clear the lactate from the bloodstream.  This is known as lactate clearance.

Lactate Clearance

In order to train the body for more efficient lactate clearance, you must first flood the muscles with lactate by producing a large amount of fatigue, and then clear the fatigue within an active movement.  The clearest way to show this principle is through a workout:

  • 5 Rounds:
    • 12 Seconds max pushups
    • 48 Seconds lying on back going through slow push-up motion with a PVC pipe

First, a 12 second sprint of pushups is done in order to generate a high amount of lactate within the body.  Then, for 48 seconds as your body is flushing out the lactate that was just produced, you slowly move through the push-up motion.  Rather than simply laying down for 48 seconds and letting the body naturally clear lactate, you teach your body to flush out the metabolites while performing a specific movement.  Now that the body has become slightly more efficient through clearance of lactate in that specific movement, you will take longer to fatigue when performing it.  This process takes time as huge results take time, but this ideology may be used on weaker movements to develop efficiency.  

Also, this process is not limited to local muscle groups.  For example, here is another workout:

  • Perform a scaled version of Fran (must be less than 3 minutes to keep intensity high)
  • Slow PVC pipe strict press until recovery

Performing a version of Fran within a 3 minute time domain is going to produce large amounts of lactate.  Once this lactate has been produced, it enters the bloodstream.  By actively putting your body through the motion of a press with the PVC pipe, you are teaching your body to clear the lactate buildup within that specific movement despite not performing that movement during the fatigue inducing work.  This is possible because the lactate is not localized to specific muscles, but travels throughout the body within the bloodstream.  


If there is a movement that you notice particularly challenges you or you fatigue quickly, try this method after a fatiguing workout.  The recovery process might take slightly longer, but will promote positive changes in the long run and develop your ability to clear your body of lactate.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask any time!