Jul 31, 2008 4:54 AM GMT
I was reading that the new information states training to failure actually causes less muscle growth? So do you train till failure or not?
BoarderX saidTraining to failure can fry your central nervous system (CNS), which recruits muscle fibers, handles motor control, and coordinates muscular involvement during exercise. The CNS is not a muscle, and destroying it often does not make it stronger. Instead, you can do real damage. And CNS recovery after burnout takes a lot more than the 48-72 hours you're probably allocating for your muscle groups.
On the other hand, always training at a submaximal level isn't going to lead to sustained significant muscle growth.
So when is it okay? Here are a few factors to consider:
- "Failure" means just that. It isn't "gosh I really don't feel like doing another rep" or "sheesh I'm tired", but it also isn't continuing past the point when you can (mustering all your effort) maintain form.
- Volume. The more reps and sets you are doing, and the longer your workout, the more careful you have to be about training to failure. If you just can't help yourself from always going to failure, move to a low volume workout regime.
- Speed. The more explosive the movement, the more taxing on the CNS.
- Amount of Muscle. The more muscle fibers recruited (and, more to the point, the more muscles put into play) in an exercise, the more taxing on the CNS.
So putting it all together and knowing my own body after lots of experience, I train to failure sometimes on some exercies, and almost never on others.
- Almost never: Olympic lifts, big compound exercises, almost anything supersetted with plyometrics.
- Sometimes (okay, probably most of the time on at least one set):single-muscle isolation exercises, like curls, kickbacks, and calf raises.
- As part of an occasional program, but definitely not every week all year long: everything else.