Manipulating the Second Wind
Posted on July 24, 2020 by Mason Miller, One of Thousands of Health and Fitness Coaches on Noomii.
In this article, I teach you how the second wind phenomenon works and how you can strategically manipulate it to push past all of your limitations.
Everyone has heard of a “second wind” and probably experienced it. It’s when your body feels extremely fatigued, and you don’t think you can go any longer. Then, suddenly, you get a burst of energy and can breathe again. Why does this happen? The second wind phenomenon is the shifting of metabolic pathways in the body from glycogen to fatty acids and protein. For the non-science people, in normal healthy individuals, a person burns glycogen stored in the muscles and breaks them down into glucose, also known as sugar, for energy. The glycogen stored in the muscles comes from the carbohydrates that you eat in your diet. Muscles can only store so much glycogen, and when these stores are depleted, a different metabolic pathway kicks in to use fatty acids, commonly called fat, and protein as a source for energy. This is the “second wind.” Another way the second wind can happen is during intense exercise when the body cannot burn or metabolize glycogen fast enough to keep up with the energy requirements from the exercise. The body will turn on the secondary metabolic pathway to burn fatty acids and protein for more energy. Along with this other pathway, the body increases its oxygen usage efficiency. During exercise, lactic acid is produced in the muscles which creates the feeling of fatigue. Lactic acid is normally removed from the muscle but requires oxygen to do this. Fatigue is felt when lactic acid is created faster than oxygen is supplied to remove it. The second wind happens when the body adjusts to use oxygen more efficiently in the muscles by diverting it from areas that don’t currently need it like your intestines. This balances the lactic acid production and decreases fatigue. The second wind usually occurs around five to ten minutes into fatigue. With that being said, in order for someone to push past their wall of fatigue and make it to that next level, they must only hold out for five to ten minutes when they feel fatigue. As most athletes will say, reaching the second wind feels like you have an unlimited source of energy and could go on forever. Pushing past your limits only requires you to be strong and mentally tough for a maximum of ten minutes. Once you reach that level, you will see extreme gains both physically and mentally. In other words, push yourself and trust your body to do what it’s meant to do.