Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

Advanced training techniques: Failure

22 Make training as simple as possible (2)

This technique is mostly over used by so many people in the attempt to gain more muscle and get “the pump”.

Training to failure means that you can´t hit another rep, your muscles are completely depleted and don´t have enough energy to lift the weight for one more rep. Most fitness experts and guys training in the gym take every set to failure which I consider to be taking it to the limit.

You do not need to take every set to failure and not all rep ranges are suited for this technique, if your goal is strength you should not be using failure, if your goal is hypertrophy then it´s an awesome tool to get more gains but you don´t need to overdo it.

Failure training is commonly used on 12 to 15 reps, when you are using this rep ranges both muscle fibers are used, you start using slow twitch muscle fibers and when you hit failure you´ll be using the fast twitch muscle fibers to be able to do 2 or 3 more reps until you can´t do one more rep. When this happens your central nervous system gets a lot of work and it takes more time for it to recover, if you over do this technique and your central nervous system is not able to recover you´ll end up over training.

There are people that go beyond failure and do some dropsets to push even harder, this is not necessary if you are training with the right  intensity and lifting on your goal rep range. Not all exercises are recommended for failure training, if you have a training partner he/she can help you hit failure in almost any exercise but if you´re training alone you can hurt yourself trying to get all exercises to failure this is why some people use dropsets.

If you´ve been training intense it may not be necessary to use this technique but if you want to try it I recommend using it only on one exercise per muscle group, you can use it with isolation movements where you are lifting lighter weights.

The goal you are working for will also determine if you need to hit failure or not, for low reps on a myofibrillar hypertrophy and strength in the 5 to 8 reps it´s not recommended to hit failure, for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy when you´re working for the pump around 12 to 15 reps it´s you can go to failure.

People do this to get more results as faster as possible but it takes time to build muscle and overdoing it can cause more harm than good to your body, techniques like progressive overload, increasing volume and frequency works amazing, the best option is to keep playing with volume and frequency while making sure that you are progressively overloading the muscles and add failure to some exercises or take only one set to failure.

What I recommend is that once you have your goal clear use all the techniques to add variation to your workouts, don´t overdo it trying to use all of them at high intensity because you´ll end up over training and you can get injured.

Some people like to hit failure with every set and every exercise, I don´t think this is necessary, you can hit failure on your last set for each exercise and get results. This also depends of the frequency and volume, high frequency, high volume and going to failure on every set of every exercise may be too much, the workout programs need to be balanced in frequency, volume and training techniques to give the muscles the right stimulus to grow.

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