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Does Failing Still Make You Even Stronger?

Hi, i was doing 190 last week on deadlift 1x5, this week i accidentally did 200. Wow that’s a lot harder.

I got 2 reps, almost rounded on the second one (but didn’t i asked someone), i guess i lost slight lordosis and was more neutral than anything.

So i decided to just try to finish with 185, that would not go up either, i was too exhausted. So i just did 135 1x5 to finish.

I’m curious though, could me doing 200 (almost a 1 rep max for me i guess) benefit too, even if it wasnt the rep range i wanted to train in? I’m going to reset 10% and just aim for high reps on 185 now back up to 200.

Thank you :slight_smile:

There are several methods that have you train up to a 1rm (training max) on a regular basis. Will it move the needle on a shear 1rm? I believe it does and that’s how I train. If you’re looking more for strength in rep ranges beyond 1, it gets a bit dicier because other factors play in. Either way, what matters is hitting your reps and minimizing missed reps as much as possible.

For what it’s worth, stick with whatever program you’re on for a while. There’s a lot of benefits (or at least there’s a lot of people including me who claim there are benefits) training north of 80% 1 RM, but if your program is working for you as is, it’s worth sticking it out for a cycle or two before you go changing it up to a different program.


Edit: most programs that have you training with singles or doubles are somewhat advanced programs. Not trying to be a dick, but if you’re posting in the beginners section, there are a lot of really well defined programs to pick from that are more accessible.

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I’m sticking with it, i was just upset kind of that i over reached and potentially lost gains for a week. But it probably does benefit me some, just not as much as 1x5 would

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A completed rep is never a missed gain. Keep at it. Heavier %'s will elicit more CNS adaptation too which lighter weights won’t necessarily do. Or that’s part of the theory anyways.


About the question in the title : Certainly it does, mentally however.

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so you’re asking if lifting a heavier weight than you’ve previously lifted has a benefit?

Yes. Yes it does.

Again with this deloading nonsense…


You’re massively overthinking this. Your body doesn’t know whether you were meant to do a specific number of reps, it just adapts to what you do the most of as best it can.


it’s worked so far, I missed a rep on my overhead press with 75lbs 3x5, dropped to 68, now im at 80 3 weeks later and I’m doing it for 10 reps when I was not even able to hit 75 for 5.

The workload is 1/5th of what i normally do, so it’s not asking “if lifing a heavier weight than you previously lifted has benefit”

I’m going to follow what my greyskull program prescribes.

I don’t think I’m over thinking it, was just curious about what type of adaptation it makes compared to 90% 5 reps, I was basically hoping to get an EQUAL benefit from it with something that maybe 3x5 can’t do as well

2 things.

  1. mark is right. you’re overthinking it. No individual rep, set, or even entire lifting sessions will make any real impact on your overall progress. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t let yourself get too concerned with that sort of thing. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to work had consistently over a long period of time. That’s the ‘secret’ to success in lifting. So no, what you did was not remotely detrimental to your progress. I do heavy singles and doubles every single time I deadlift. I promise that can work, lol.

  2. I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding missed reps as much as possible. Don’t push yourself to that point in training. Most of my strongest friends make absolutely certain they never, ever miss a training rep. When in doubt, go a little lighter to get your reps. Or if you’re not positive you can get your last rep, don’t try it. Missing a rep once every couple weeks is one thing. But missing a rep more often than that, on a regular basis, WILL negatively affect your progress. Keep in mind that when you lift lighter loads, you can still push them harder/faster, so the work you’re doing can still be significant.


Training to failure can have its benefits. It allows you to attempt a weight that you must struggle with but probably won’t get. Whether you are attempting your 10th rep with something that you normally never go over 8 with, or you are attempting your 3rd rep with something you never go over 2 with. It’s good on a couple levels. Mentally you’ve just attempted something that you’ve never done before. So, in a way it breaks new ground and you get to prove to yourself that while you may have had some apprehension with that rep, or that particular weight you overcame it and tried anyway. Also, physically you get to feel that next weight, or rep and you prepare your body for what is inevitably to come.

But, I caution you that training to failure on a regular basis is a very bad idea. use this method the way you might use negatives…that is sparingly (negatives are also hard on the body). Training to failure is also hard on the CNS (central nervous system) and can cause burn out, or become over trained. I suggest training to failure in a limited capacity perhaps once a week at most. I use it only a couple times per month with selective movements.

Also, keep in mind that you can create an incredible physique without ever going to failure. It’s simply one more technique like all the other techniques. If you use it do so sparingly, if you never use it not a big deal.