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Thread: Training to failure page

  1. #1
    Vick's Avatar
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    Training to failure

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    Let me start by quoting Mark's home page today.

    "When you lift heavy things, heavy enough to “threaten” your body, you are sending the message that the affected lean tissue must adapt. Muscles adapt by adding fibers; bones adapt by ossifying."

    I consider "threatening" my body as training to failure. You have to experience the feeling to understand what it is like to train to the point that you can't move until a few minutes pass. It truly is a time of helplessness.

    I then rest and give my body time to heal adapt and grow.

    Why do so many fitness gurus consider this wrong?

  2. #2
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    Yep, you have to force the muscle to change, give it a reason to adapt, and then give it enough time to recover and repair.

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    Not entirely sure Grok would have exercised to the point of not being able to move for a few minutes...doesn't seem a great strategy for survival from predators!
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    I can't quote any fancy studies or anything...and am basically just trying to remember stuff I've read...but if I recall correctly training to failure is actually detrimental to muscle growth and development in a very similar way chronic cardio is... the distructive hormones you trigger kills, or at the very least limits, the positive benefits of your training...

    from a metaphorical standpoint... if grok where to train to complete muscle failure he would make an easy snack... it doesn't make much sense for any creature to put itself into a state in which it can create no defense (whether running or fighting)

    that being said I do at participate in a weekly push-up competition that goes to failure ...but that is the only time in which I push myself that far...

    I generally stick to the 'grease the groove' technique... or 'leaving strength in the bank'... ..

    still...just my two cents...

  5. #5
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    if grok where to train to complete muscle failure he would make an easy snack
    Mmm... but of course grok wouldn't train at all.

    The way I see it is training to proper physiological failure is akin to just surviving a fight or attack by an animal. Which then becomes a survival issue for the organism - which has to adapt to be stronger next time or risk death.

    Of course, that's just one of those neat retro-fitted evolutionary type theories and it might be a load of pants.

  6. #6
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    I've read / heard on podcast that you can train to failure once every other week to promote growth but you absolutely shouldn't do it more often than that. You should also alternate between high reps/low weights and low reps/high weight and throw in a "train to failure" every once in a while. Tony Horton and others called it muscle confusion.

  7. #7
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    How do you define failure though? I could train to failure with 100kg back squats then say strip the bar off and do 20kg back sqauts again...

  8. #8
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    I usually train alone, and training to failure with weights is a bad idea in my opinion, unless you have ones made for it that can be dropped, like some of those rubber covered ones used for some Olympic lifts...but these are hard to find and can't be used for all exercises, and can still be problematic. (Ever drop a rubber bottom Kettlebell on your toes? :-) ) I do push it to the point that I cannot do one more rep but still safety reload the rack/set down the weight. Depending where I am at in my set, I may rest and go again until I reach that point again. Growth is a result of a combination of intensity, volume, and duration...so if you can't max one component of growth safely, max another one then.

    The only exception that I think is safe to train to failure (without a spotter) is bodyweight exercises, since you can put down the weight (yourself) in a fairly safe manner. These I do train to failure.

  9. #9
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    I have personally had good results training to failure, especially on bodyweight exercises. I wouldn't train the same body part to failure every day though, once or twice a week is plenty.
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com


  10. #10
    Vick's Avatar
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    I do one exercise per week. I define failure as failing to complete the last positive rest. I use machines for safety.

    This is my 6 week cycle.

    1 chest press.
    2 row
    3 leg press
    4 shoulder press
    5 lat pull down
    6 leg press.

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