T Nation

Failure Yeah WooHoo!

I failed while squatting today.

It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in the gym.

I was always afraid that if I failed, I’d end up killing myself or damaging my back, but I was able to calmly drop down and let the weight rest on the rack, and just get out from under it.

I was never really AFRAID to the point where I didn’t challenge myself, but now I’m confident knowing that, no matter how heavy the weight is, I can always drop it easily and without assistance.

Thought I’d share that with ya.

I have always hated that feeling. what rep and weight did you fail on?

One time I failed while doing some narrow stance, ATG squats. Just couldn’t get the bar back up. Ended up sitting down under the bar.

Weird feeling. I don’t like failing though, since I prefer to get my maxes.

-Gendou

ha, that happened to me today, i repped 155 easily, so i threw on 185, i went down… and not back up, kinda wiggled out from under the bar was kinda funny actually.(yes i realise i have a very low squat)

haha , i used to fail on purpose so i wouldnt be scared of it anymore… but i didnt know what i was doing so i went to failure everytime…no wonder progress was slow and injuries were high!!!

[quote]mkelly wrote:
ha, that happened to me today, i repped 155 easily, so i threw on 185, i went down… and not back up, kinda wiggled out from under the bar was kinda funny actually.(yes i realise i have a very low squat)[/quote]

You know, I think it kinda sucks that people think they need to devalue and belittle their reported weight for fear of getting flamed. Sorry for the hi-jack. Back to the topic.
I hold failure training in high regard, even when it wasn’t fashionable to do so.

Really wanna push it? Next time you fail, drop the weight and push past the failure until you fail again. Then add weight and fail again, all in the same set.

Obviously, you would want to do this rarely. It’s just a testament to what the human body can really do. Just when you think there is nothing left, you can dig down and find more, way more.

I was actually on the third rep (last rep) of my first set (I do 3x3 for heavy squats), I think it had to do with the fact that I was working out at a different time and had eaten food and all that.

It just didn’t feel right, but I tried anyway. I ended up just dropping five pounds and finishing the workout.

The weight I had on the bar was 145 pounds.
I don’t think that’s very light for the amount of time I’ve been working out.

Even though I liked that I failed and experienced it, to make up for not achieving that goal I threw 20 more pounds on the leg press than I had planned and 10 more pounds on extensions, both to the planned volume.

There are those who’s views I respect who may disagree with me on this, but used intelligently, training to failure and beyond is a fabulous tool for many people including me.

Some lifts should never be done to failure (like deadlifts for example). Also, on potentially dangerous lifts (like squats for example) if you have to sacrifice form you are already beyond failure and playing with a trip to the hospital.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
There are those who’s views I respect who may disagree with me on this, but used intelligently, training to failure and beyond is a fabulous tool for many people including me.

Some lifts should never be done to failure (like deadlifts for example). Also, on potentially dangerous lifts (like squats for example) if you have to sacrifice form you are already beyond failure and playing with a trip to the hospital.

[/quote]

I violently agree here. You are asking for a back problem going to failure with squats…keep it up, and soon I’ll be able to say “I told you so.”

If I had a brand new back and wanted to try and fuck it up as FAST as possible I’d squat to failure.

I assume the OP is young and invinceable.

I’m not talking muscular back pain or even tears here… I’m talking about disc failure, ruptures, nerve damage, which NEVER heals and is irreversable and you many not ever walk the same again.

Sorry for the run on sentence, but the problem will be run on as well.

Don’t be a dope.

I failed once on seated barbell press. Couldn’t get the weight back up. So I arched my back, stood up, and turned around. Then I push pressed it onto the hooks. No big deal.

The funny thing, though, was how unplanned it all was and how perfectly I executed getting that damn weight out of my hands! I was all on automatic.

Sounds like the OP had a similar experience. Survival mode rules.

i dont think he is describing going to failure in terms of repping out till you cant go anymore, but rather failing on a new attempt at something? i mean, i guess this is the same thing kind of, but not really.

when i go for a new max and fail, its a completely different fail than if i were to take 50% of that and go till i cant go anymore.

but yea, it gets a little scarier as the weights go up, but you just gotta suck it up. i have failed on a 435box squat before, but i try to keep the pins just a little below where i am aiming for height wise, so i know i can go to the height i want, then just drop down that little bit more. kinda hard for oly work tho…

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
I assume the OP is young and invinceable.

I’m not talking muscular back pain or even tears here… I’m talking about disc failure, ruptures, nerve damage, which NEVER heals and is irreversable and you many not ever walk the same again.

Sorry for the run on sentence, but the problem will be run on as well.

Don’t be a dope.[/quote]

Well I am young, and there’s rumors superman may have knocked up my mother, but I don’t put all my faith in that and like to maintain a degree of safety.

No, I am not talking about squatting to failure as a method of training, and I think you’re misunderstanding what happened.

I was afraid that, if I ever failed at squatting, I would hurt myself like you’ve described. But what happened was the exact opposite; instead of forcing my spine to continue the lift or something stupid like that, I just dropped a little bit lower than I had been squatting before, by bending my knees, not my back, and put the weight down on the rack. Nothing was hurt or damaged, I never felt any stress on my back, because I did the smart thing and didn’t continue.

I’ve never “trained to failure,” and honestly I don’t want to any time soon. I aim for “just before failure,” and I just happened to overestimate my abilities on this particular day, and was unable to reach my goals.

I’m not too scared of failing a squat than I am failing a bench. I’ve got safety bars in the squat rack, granted, I could potentially be injured from failing a squat, I wouldn’t be trapped under a weight I couldn’t move. Failing a heavy bench, on the other hand, seems like it would be a lot worse, because you would literally be trapped under a weight too heavy for you to move.

But then, I guess you could drop one hand and try and lever the weight off you.

I have never failed a squat, but I have failed a bench press, but I was fortunately using the more modern of the two benches my gym has(the one with safety catches)

That being said. I can imagine it being a fairly empowering feeling to ‘successfully fail’ a lift. Where, you can walk away with all your bones and muscles still intact, but still gain an understanding of failing a lift.

Hm.

failure is OK if you are new to lifting and your neural efficiency is low. The risk of damage is much lower in this case, assuming good form. However, the higher your neural efficiency and the stronger you are, the more stress you are putting on your spine. While the stronger muscles will normally do a great deal to protect your spine, when you are talking about failure you are talking about the muscles no longer coping with the load.[quote]eeu743 wrote:
Rockscar wrote:
I assume the OP is young and invinceable.

I’m not talking muscular back pain or even tears here… I’m talking about disc failure, ruptures, nerve damage, which NEVER heals and is irreversable and you many not ever walk the same again.

Sorry for the run on sentence, but the problem will be run on as well.

Don’t be a dope.

Well I am young, and there’s rumors superman may have knocked up my mother, but I don’t put all my faith in that and like to maintain a degree of safety.

No, I am not talking about squatting to failure as a method of training, and I think you’re misunderstanding what happened.

I was afraid that, if I ever failed at squatting, I would hurt myself like you’ve described. But what happened was the exact opposite; instead of forcing my spine to continue the lift or something stupid like that, I just dropped a little bit lower than I had been squatting before, by bending my knees, not my back, and put the weight down on the rack. Nothing was hurt or damaged, I never felt any stress on my back, because I did the smart thing and didn’t continue.

I’ve never “trained to failure,” and honestly I don’t want to any time soon. I aim for “just before failure,” and I just happened to overestimate my abilities on this particular day, and was unable to reach my goals.[/quote]

Yeah failing a bench is a bit more frightening to me, as I’m not sure what I’ll do.
What really made me feel the best about failing my squat though, was the fact that I COULD drop down low enough and easily enough to get the weight off of me quickly and safely. If I had been doing quarter squats all this time, I wouldn’t be flexible enough to get that deep, and I’d probably just have to throw a heavy load off me and possibly hurt myself in the process.

Go FULL SQUATS!

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
There are those who’s views I respect who may disagree with me on this, but used intelligently, training to failure and beyond is a fabulous tool for many people including me.

Some lifts should never be done to failure (like deadlifts for example). Also, on potentially dangerous lifts (like squats for example) if you have to sacrifice form you are already beyond failure and playing with a trip to the hospital.

I violently agree here. You are asking for a back problem going to failure with squats…keep it up, and soon I’ll be able to say “I told you so.”

If I had a brand new back and wanted to try and fuck it up as FAST as possible I’d squat to failure.

[/quote]

Ya know, when I was talking about failure and beyond, I really didn’t have squats in mind; even though it’s a squat thread, duh. Yes, I agree with you guys certain movements should not be internationally taken to failure. If you think you might fail, take precautions to be able to ditch the weight.