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Old 04-17-2006, 04:28 AM
jth16 jth16 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 521
Default Re: Failure Training

I've actually thought about this a good bit before.
I define 'failure' into different categories.
1. A point reached during a set in which you can't do a repetition with correct form.

2. A point reached during a set in which to perform a repetion you must 'cheat'

3. A point reached in a set in which you are assisted on the concentric portion of the lift and only do the eccentric either by yourself or with some assistance.

4. A point in a workout reached in which you can't perform a certain movement with or without assistance and without a prolonged rest peroid.
Say for example at the end of a strip set or austrian blitz.


The benefits of going to failure are that you know the muscle fibers being trained are exhausted completely. Which results in the most hypertrohpy/ hyperplasia.

The negatives would be failure is a pain in the butt to reach, and when you perform a set in the hypertrophy range (6-12+ reps) and achieve failure within the set, you aren't acquiring any central nervous system adaptations. It isn't that you won't become stronger, but your one to five rep max won't go up much.

I personally believe that the positives outweigh the negatives, for bodybuilders especially whom which aren't concerned with one rep maxes. In the words of Shawn Ray, "How much I can bench is irrelevant to me, as long as my muscles are growing and improving. When I'm up there on stage, it won't matter whether I can bench 100 pounds or 500 pounds."

I can't say I remember been around a strength coach and them saying to do or don't reach failure.
Although, I would guess it is that same as with bodybuilders, but opposite. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Only train in the 1-5 rep range range without reaching failure, and a resting period of 3+ minutes. Because, strength athletes aren't concerned with muscle size.

I'm going to have to disagree with you book. I think failure should be reached every set, at least in one of the forms I defined, after doing a 1-3 sets of warm-up and stretching.

I implement both strength and hypertrophy geared sets into my workouts. I always do the strength sets first, because as book pointed out failure training causes more fatigue.
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