Failure is an Option
One of the things I love about working out with weights is that it’s okay to fail! In fact, I aim for it – but not always. Training to failure is very taxing so it needs to be employed correctly in your work out regime. Let me explain, starting with what it means to work to failure.
What does it mean to work to failure?
In the context of weight training, lifting to failure simply means lifting with proper form until you can’t do another rep. But that’s easier said than done. Our bodies naturally want to resist pain, so when we are getting close to hitting our max our minds tell us to quit when we still have a bit more to give. So training to failure isn’t lifting until you think you can’t do any more reps, it’s when you attempt a rep and literally fail to complete it. Training to failure not only challenges our muscles, it also challenges our minds.
The right way to fail
There are benefits to training to failure when done in the right way. Muscle hypertrophy, increased strength levels, and a higher release of muscle building Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and testosterone vs conventional training. But because it is so taxing on your body, you want to ensure that it is not something you employ every workout or even every set. Doing so may impact your ability to recover. This means that your performance in future workouts may suffer. Since you want to try to maximize the results you get from your work out, this is obviously not a good thing!
Here are my tips to failing the right way:
- Employ the failure technique only on the last set of an exercise.
- Don’t train to failure in back to back work outs – build in adequate rest. If overused, this technique can be catabolic to muscles.
- Plan to use this technique on a muscle growth day.
- Don’t sacrifice form – you risk injury and your efforts won’t lead to muscle growth.
- Get a spotter – this is important for some exercise like bench press or squats.
- Beginners shouldn’t use this technique. It’s very advanced. First you need to build up your strength and technique before lifting to failure.
To fitness with love,