Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 73 - 77

Research article
Lactate Kinetics during Multiple Set Resistance Exercise
Nicolas Wirtz , Patrick Wahl, Heinz Kleinöder, Joachim Mester
Author Information
Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, and The German Research Centre of Elite Sport, German Sport University Cologne, Germany

Nicolas Wirtz
✉ Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 03-06-2013
Accepted: 11-09-2013
Published (online): 20-01-2014
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Intensive exercise like strength training increases blood lactate concentration [La]. [La] is commonly used to define the metabolic stress of an exercise and depends on the lactate production, transportation, metabolism, and elimination. This investigation compared multiple set training of different volumes to show the influence of exercise volume on [La]. Ten male subjects performed 3 sets of resistance exercises within 4 separate sessions: Arm Curl with 1 or 2 arms (AC1 or AC2), and Leg Extension with 1 or 2 legs (LE1 or LE2). Each set was performed at a standard velocity and at a previously determined 10RM load. Blood lactate samples were taken immediately before and after each set (pre1, post1, pre2, post2, pre3, post3). Maximum [La] was significantly higher after LE2 (6.8 ± 1.6mmol·L-1) and significantly lower after AC1 (2.8 ± 0.7mmol·L-1) in comparison with the other exercise protocols. There was no difference between AC2 (4.3 ± 1.1mmol·L-1) and LE1 (4.4 ± 1.1mmol·L-1). Surprisingly, [La] decreased during the 3rd set (for AC exercise), and during both the 2nd and 3rd sets (for LE exercise) and increased only during the recovery phases. In contrast to our expectations, blood [La] decreased during the 2nd and 3rd exercise sets and further increased only during recovery phases. However, from the increases observed following the first set, we know that lactate was produced and transported to the blood during our exercise protocol. We speculate that lactate is taken up and metabolized by distal muscle fibres or organs. In addition, as the decreases occurred within a short period of time, blood volume shifts and/or the muscle-to-blood gradient may account for the rapid decreases in [La].

Key words: Muscle-to-blood lactate gradient, metabolism, strength training

           Key Points
  • Blood lactate concentration [La] decreases during the 2 and 3 set of a resistance exercise program of the leg extensor muscles.
  • [La] decreases during the 3 set of a resistance exercise program of the arm flexor muscles.
  • A significant increase of [La] only appears during the first set, during rest periods and after the last set.
  • The decline of [La] during sets becomes larger over the course of exercise.
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