T Nation

Failure Training Article


#1

Hey mate. Read your recent article on failure training studies showing 3 sets of failure produces more protein synthesis and muscle stim than finishing just shy. So in the end do you recommend trainjng like this consistently on smaller movements? Or like you said previously "people underestimate how hard grinding reps are for the nervous system". Basically I am thinking of implementing failure training(if you think it may be a good way to go, contrary to prior belief), now but maybe just for 4 weeks at a time and then have a 4 week strength block to give cans a break. But I train same muscles twice a week in an upper lower fashion.

Can you recommend a program for trainjng to failure as I don't want to have too much volume but not sure where to draw the line. Cheers!


#2

There are various level of exercises. The highest levels in the list have a much greater impact on the nervous system and should not be trained to failure. The lower 3 levels can be trained to failure. Note that training to failure is one model of training, it's not the only one.

LEVEL 8: Complex lifts (variations of the Olympic lifts, gymnastic or advanced bodyweight drills)

LEVEL 7: Big strength lifts involving whole body tension and/or spinal loading (squats, deadlifts, push presses, bent over rows)

LEVEL 6: Other big strength lifts with free weights (bench press, seated shoulder press, DB incline press, DB squats/lunges, etc.)

LEVEL 5: Multi-joint exercises with pulley apparatus

LEVEL 4: Multi-joint exercises with machines/Smith machine

LEVEL 3: Isolation work with free-weights

LEVEL 2: Isolation work with pulley apparatus

LEVEL 1: Isolation work with machines

Also understand that the study I quoted ONLY studied training to failure. They did NOT compare the differences between training to failure and not training to failure, What they established is that IF you train to failure, load doesn't matter when it comes to hypertrophy. But since they didn't compare sets where you stop just short of failure we cannot say that stopping just short of failure wont be just as effective.