Push to failure? Yay or nay?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2011 6:01 PM GMT

    As above.

    I'm a very active and keep fit. I'm not new to working out, but I am definitely looking to kick-up my workouts a gear or two.

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    Re: Weight training. Objective: strength and size (lean) muscle increase.

    Do you recommend the usual amount of reps (6-12) to failure? Or less than (e.g. almost to failure/75%? or otherwise)? Why?


    Thanks in advance

    Deuces
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    I'm guessing you'll get a variety of conflicting responses here.

    I have seen more results by decreasing the amount of weight and increasing the number of reps and by doing super sets. I've noticed that after doing this for a while my strength has increased quite a bit, especially if I do a workout where I lift as much as I can for 10-12 reps.

    I have been doing the RJ Strong and Lean 16-week workout (on my 5th week) and really enjoy it. I've learned new exercises, increased my strength and balance, and increased my overall fitness level. You might try checking out one of the workouts here and see what you think.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    lissenup said[...]
    I have seen more results by decreasing the amount of weight and increasing the number of reps and by doing super sets. I've noticed that after doing this for a while my strength has increased quite a bit, especially if I do a workout where I lift as much as I can for 10-12 reps. [...]


    Ditto.
    This is probably the only place that the cry should be: "To failure!"
    (As in pushing ones' self to failure during workouts. Ironically failure here actually brings clear physical success.)
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Feb 02, 2011 7:56 PM GMT
    To failure, regardless of the number of reps per set.

    Failure is relative to factors like using a spotter/workout partner, and your focus during a particular phase of training. You want to avoid injury, but you also need to push yourself beyond the limits of your mind and actually push your body (wisely).

    Personally, I find that I need to prevent plateaus or peaks by focusing on alternating cylces (three to four weeks at a time) of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (higher reps, endurance) and then myofibrillar hypertrophy (strength, low reps, heavier weights), but I ALWAYS work towards failure. That's what my body responds to.

    To understand how either works - and I believe EVERYBODY who lifts seriously NEEDS to understand this, or you're wasting time - the best simple break down of it that I ever found is here
    http://skinnybulkup.com/hypertrophy/

    Understand this, and understand what true high intensity heavy-duty training (a'la the late Mike Mentzer) is all about, and I think you'll be training in the smartest possible way. The rest is diet and rest. Period.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 21, 2011 8:44 AM GMT
    I personally don't like going to failure ever. I will push it very hard and have some slow reps, but strength is important to me. Hitting failure psychologically screws people up.

    Rep wise, I like to change things up. If I am working a muscle twice a week, I will have a higher rep day and a low rep day. Sometimes I will go a month just doing higher reps. I train for strength, but also to improve athleticism.

    Probably didn't answer your question, but I am throwing my 2 cents in...
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Feb 21, 2011 9:04 AM GMT
    Depends how often you`re working out. Failure is good for a few times a week. There was this crazy workout that my friend did three times a day. He had legs like telephones poles. The older you get, the less you can do that intesity.
  • melb_boy21

    Posts: 23

    Feb 21, 2011 10:15 AM GMT
    My trainer told me to push to failure. I think he was right.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Feb 21, 2011 10:28 AM GMT
    Personally, I like to push to failure. I just like to kill myself when I'm working out. We would always kill ourselves when I was in the marines.