Role of metabolic stress for enhancing muscle adaptations: Practical applications

World J Methodol. 2017 Jun 26;7(2):46-54. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v7.i2.46.


Metabolic stress is a physiological process that occurs during exercise in response to low energy that leads to metabolite accumulation [lactate, phosphate inorganic (Pi) and ions of hydrogen (H+)] in muscle cells. Traditional exercise protocol (i.e., Resistance training) has an important impact on the increase of metabolite accumulation, which influences hormonal release, hypoxia, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and cell swelling. Changes in acute exercise routines, such as intensity, volume and rest between sets, are determinants for the magnitude of metabolic stress, furthermore, different types of training, such as low-intensity resistance training plus blood flow restriction and high intensity interval training, could be used to maximize metabolic stress during exercise. Thus, the objective of this review is to describe practical applications that induce metabolic stress and the potential effects of metabolic stress to increase systemic hormonal release, hypoxia, ROS production, cell swelling and muscle adaptations.

Keywords: Exercise; Metabolic stress; Muscle mass.

Publication types

  • Review