T Nation

Missing a Rep

I’ve read in a bunch of articles/routines that it’s bad to miss a rep. What is the reasoning behind this? Is it just about motivation or is there a physiological reason?

You tend to be able to build better strength by performing strong, confident, aggressive reps. Some of it is probably psychological as well. You don’t want to practice failing after all. Also failing reps tends to point toward you training too heavy which results typically in not enough volume. Gotta get your volume in to build muscle and strength. On top of that starting light enough is important to build momentum and make consistent progress.

I agree that one failing all the time would be a likely indicator of larger problems in ones training. I do tend to take a different approach to failing every now and then. See I’m of the opinion that FAILURE is not trying to be / do / say / act on something. We train to be awesome. Falling down is not failing. NOT getting back up is. Sometimes playing it safe is failing before you even attempt it.

How much sweeter are the ‘spoils of war’ when you’ve had to fight for every bit of it? It’s fucking epic man. If I safely squat 550 yeah that’s good I suppose but if I take 600 for a ride and almost get it, I know I’m on the cusp of something great, for me anyways. I’m certainly not advocating going ape shit every time with the intent to fail. what I’m saying is go for it with all you have. Impose your will on the bar and IF you come up short it’s OK. You likely will learn way more from a fail than you will from a completed lift. I do anyways.

I go AMRAP and fail on a rep about once or twice a month. I put the threshold at a level that if I think I have a greater than 60% chance of getting another rep on AMRAP, I go for it. Sometimes I fail.

Okay thanks everyone that makes a lot more sense now. So it’s more a sign of doing something wrong than somethingwrong in and of itself

[quote]bbbb1234 wrote:
Okay thanks everyone that makes a lot more sense now. So it’s more a sign of doing something wrong than somethingwrong in and of itself[/quote]

Right. It’s ok to fail once in a while, but you should be pretty sure of getting the rep about 80% of the time.

There’s a motor learning phenomenon that also points out if you are failing reps routinely in the strength zone that your body is learning to shut down at its limits rather than pressing through. It is similar to the well known concept of the “speed barrier” in track sprinters. This, in a very unscientific and 3 second summary, is why it is bad to fail strength reps (as opposed to bodybuilding high rep drop sets and such things dones SPECIFICALLY for maximum fatigue).

In addition failing a heavy rep physically makes the recovery from your workout longer and harder. Failing maxes adds a lot of neural strain and that is especially something you want to keep in check if you are training for strength because it slows down recovery and leads to burning out.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]bbbb1234 wrote:

There’s a motor learning phenomenon that also points out if you are failing reps routinely in the strength zone that your body is learning to shut down at its limits rather than pressing through. [/quote]

Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?

[quote]Grove wrote:

Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?[/quote]

What does your training look like? Even though I had done 315 for 1 TnG I couldn’t get 300 for 2. This was back last summer. I the started 531, and the next time I saw 300 on the bar I hit it for 3. I think building up my rep PRs in the 3-8 rep range helped a ton. Last month I hit 320 for 2 and 300 for 4. This evening I am going for 295 for 5.

EDIT: Hit 295x6

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

There’s a motor learning phenomenon that also points out if you are failing reps routinely in the strength zone that your body is learning to shut down at its limits rather than pressing through. [/quote]

Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?[/quote]

By realizing that it’s part mental and part physiological. Take the last weight you know you can press and have done before, and just increase the volume at that weight. Say you can hit 295 for 1 but 305 fails. You know you’ve hit 295 several times, you know it’s doable. Take 290 and ramp up the volume for a month every workout adding 1 or 2 reps.

3 singles
5 singles
7 singles
2 doubles
3 doubles
1 triple

That’s an abbreviated and simple ramp, obviously yours is going to depend on your training. The other way is to use reverse bands after you hit your top weight for the day. Example: top weight is 285 x 3, then instead of going up in weight, move to reverse band pressing 315 for triples. Or ramp up 315 x 3, 325x3, 335x3. Feel the weight at the top.

Both of these ways take advantage of different physiological mechanisms to retrain that part, and the reverse bands allow you to feel a heavier weight in your hands so 305 feels lighter than you used to think. Psychologically it is easier on you.

[quote]Grove wrote:
Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?[/quote]

I did it by board pressing and doing reverse band benches. I have reverse band pressed 495 using an average band ( about 100# off at the chest) after taking 495 for a ride, all regular bench presses seemed like play time. Not only that my tri’s were freakishly strong.

EDIT = It was a strong band. about 135# off at the chest.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

There’s a motor learning phenomenon that also points out if you are failing reps routinely in the strength zone that your body is learning to shut down at its limits rather than pressing through. [/quote]

Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?[/quote]

By realizing that it’s part mental and part physiological. Take the last weight you know you can press and have done before, and just increase the volume at that weight. Say you can hit 295 for 1 but 305 fails. You know you’ve hit 295 several times, you know it’s doable. Take 290 and ramp up the volume for a month every workout adding 1 or 2 reps.

3 singles
5 singles
7 singles
2 doubles
3 doubles
1 triple

That’s an abbreviated and simple ramp, obviously yours is going to depend on your training. The other way is to use reverse bands after you hit your top weight for the day. Example: top weight is 285 x 3, then instead of going up in weight, move to reverse band pressing 315 for triples. Or ramp up 315 x 3, 325x3, 335x3. Feel the weight at the top.

Both of these ways take advantage of different physiological mechanisms to retrain that part, and the reverse bands allow you to feel a heavier weight in your hands so 305 feels lighter than you used to think. Psychologically it is easier on you.[/quote]

I’m going to do this starting tomorrow. Appears the common training theme from you, Ecch, and StrengDawg is the reverse bands and increasing the rep range. I have been running the layers from CT, and working great except with bench. I ramp to a 1RM, cluster, and some volume work. My ramp on bench has not changed in 2 months, while everything else is progressing well. Thanks for this guys - going to tweak my bench routine to include more rep ranges and try out the reverse bands. I’m just such a stubborn hard headed ass when it comes to changing my routine (don’t know why) but I hear yall, and will do it. And by the way strengthdawg…LOVE that avatar, but it crashes my computer almost everytime you post - laptop, tablet, desktop. Worth it I guess.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

There’s a motor learning phenomenon that also points out if you are failing reps routinely in the strength zone that your body is learning to shut down at its limits rather than pressing through. [/quote]

Interesting way to put it. I am experiencing something like this on bench at the 305 mark. Smooth sailing up to there and then bamm - hit the wall. Doesn’t happen in any other lift - I can routinely and confidently progress to new PR’s. I do believe it to be mental - but HOW do you conquer that mental shutdown?[/quote]

By realizing that it’s part mental and part physiological. Take the last weight you know you can press and have done before, and just increase the volume at that weight. Say you can hit 295 for 1 but 305 fails. You know you’ve hit 295 several times, you know it’s doable. Take 290 and ramp up the volume for a month every workout adding 1 or 2 reps.

3 singles
5 singles
7 singles
2 doubles
3 doubles
1 triple

That’s an abbreviated and simple ramp, obviously yours is going to depend on your training. The other way is to use reverse bands after you hit your top weight for the day. Example: top weight is 285 x 3, then instead of going up in weight, move to reverse band pressing 315 for triples. Or ramp up 315 x 3, 325x3, 335x3. Feel the weight at the top.

Both of these ways take advantage of different physiological mechanisms to retrain that part, and the reverse bands allow you to feel a heavier weight in your hands so 305 feels lighter than you used to think. Psychologically it is easier on you.[/quote]

I’m going to do this starting tomorrow. Appears the common training theme from you, Ecch, and StrengDawg is the reverse bands and increasing the rep range. I have been running the layers from CT, and working great except with bench. I ramp to a 1RM, cluster, and some volume work. My ramp on bench has not changed in 2 months, while everything else is progressing well. Thanks for this guys - going to tweak my bench routine to include more rep ranges and try out the reverse bands. I’m just such a stubborn hard headed ass when it comes to changing my routine (don’t know why) but I hear yall, and will do it. And by the way strengthdawg…LOVE that avatar, but it crashes my computer almost everytime you post - laptop, tablet, desktop. Worth it I guess.

[quote]Grove wrote:
And by the way strengthdawg…LOVE that avatar, but it crashes my computer almost everytime you post - laptop, tablet, desktop. Worth it I guess.[/quote]

really?? lol well, here she is again.