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  • Posted On: 09-17-15, 11:29 am (EDT) #1

    Training to failure

    September 17, 2015, 11:29 am

    Greetings, Nation!

     

    Training to failure - it seems there are as many opinions on this as there are trainers. "You have to rain to failure so you can grow?, Train to failure? are you nuts? you have to leave something in the tank." ,"Sometimes you have to go past failure - that's why you should always have a spotter." and all points in between.

     

    I don't usually train to failure as I do my lifting sessions in the AM and have a job that I go to for 8 hours. Still, I value your counsel.

     

    Thanks.

  • Posted On: 09-17-15, 11:49 am (EDT) #2

    Training to failure

    September 17, 2015, 11:49 am
    Posted by: jcgadfly

    Greetings, Nation!

     

    Training to failure - it seems there are as many opinions on this as there are trainers. "You have to rain to failure so you can grow?, Train to failure? are you nuts? you have to leave something in the tank." ,"Sometimes you have to go past failure - that's why you should always have a spotter." and all points in between.

     

    I don't usually train to failure as I do my lifting sessions in the AM and have a job that I go to for 8 hours. Still, I value your counsel.

     

    Thanks.

    I have decided to avoid going to failure especially on heavy compound movements since that can be dangerous. I just push myself through progressive overload.

  • Posted On: 09-17-15, 12:08 pm (EDT) #3

    Training to failure

    September 17, 2015, 12:08 pm

    In part, I think semantics are involved. Seems like everyone defines failure differently. I perform most exercises to momentary muscular failure. Meaning that I still perform that rep with quality form. If I was to perform one more rep I may be able to get it up, but my form would be a bit sloppy. Some would consider that leaving a rep in the tank... but that wouldn't be a quality rep. Some believe that training to failure is when you have a spotter to help you force out extra reps. This is beyond momentary muscular failure.

     

    I spent some time this year leaving a rep in the tank. Mainly because I kept hearing a lot of coaches and YouTubers preaching this advice. Frankly, it didn't benefit me at all and I feel like it held me back. I perform much better, feel better, and pregress better by training to momentary muscular failure. But, that's just me. You know your body better than anyone else does.

     

    This month my workout partner and I have been forcing out a rep or two on the last set of each exercise. We're freak'n loving it. All other sets are to momentary muscular failure, but that extra push on the last set feels amazing... and we don't feel beat up from it. This isn't something I would want to do all the time, and certainly not for every set. But once in a while it can really fire you up.

     

    By the way, last year there was a study done comparing a group that left a rep in the tank and a group that trained to momentary muscular failure. The MMF group experienced greater gains. There was also a rest-pause group in this study who left a rep in the tank, rested for a few seconds, then performed as many more reps as they could. This group also experienced greater gains than the group that just left a rep in the tank.

     

    Here's the study...

     

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=The+effects+of+low+volume+resistance+training+with+and+without+advanced+techniques+in+trained+participants

     

    I recorded a video about this not too long ago...

     

  • Posted On: 09-17-15, 11:23 pm (EDT) #4

    Training to failure

    September 17, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Personally, I think there are many ways to train a muscle to failure. I agree that for bodybuilding, training to failure/exhausting the muscle is key to growth. I employ several techniques in my training to achieve this: supersets, drop sets, rest/pause - cluster reps, German Volume Training, and giant sets. The sheer volume destroys the most amount of Type 1, Type 2 and 2A muscle fibers and depletes the local muscle glycogen stores. You don't have to reach failure with each set but by the time you finish a superset or a set of cluster reps, your muscle should be at failure.

     

    John

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