T Nation

Powerlifting and Failure Sets

Do they train till failure every heavy set? (excluding warmup and 80% lifts 8-10 reps)

I can’t figure it out, does failure help strength increase? or size o.o

It can be beneficial from time to times. Done in a higher rep range failure sets are most often used for hypertrophy reasons. However, most powerlifters i have talked with do not go to failure on sets used as warmup, on sets for building maximal strength or on sets for building explosiveness. Reasons are typically the following: shitty form (to far off from a good competition lift), injury risk, loss of speed/exposiveness near failure and too much recovery need.

Still, people use it with higher rep ranges (10-25) for size and recovery reasons.

Perhaps to add: As a beginner, you can gain both strength and size on sets to failure, depending on the rep range chosen. nearly everything works if new. Still, most powerlifting programs rarely advocate so.

They pump by using 12-15 reps before going heavy? or just warmup with few reps

[quote]Geneza wrote:
Do they train till failure every heavy set? (excluding warmup and 80% lifts 8-10 reps)

I can’t figure it out, does failure help strength increase? or size o.o[/quote]
Never go to failure on your big main lifts imo. You can go to failure on accessory movements, especially the small, very high rep movements like tricep pushdowns and light dumbbell curls and such.

As far as squat, bench, and deadlift though, those are your competition lifts. You do not want to miss a rep on those pretty much ever in training. Lots of the greatest lifters trained by this philosophy. Ed Coan used to write out 12 or 14 week linear training cycles and he would hit every rep, every time.

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]Geneza wrote:
Do they train till failure every heavy set? (excluding warmup and 80% lifts 8-10 reps)

I can’t figure it out, does failure help strength increase? or size o.o[/quote]
Never go to failure on your big main lifts imo. You can go to failure on accessory movements, especially the small, very high rep movements like tricep pushdowns and light dumbbell curls and such.

As far as squat, bench, and deadlift though, those are your competition lifts. You do not want to miss a rep on those pretty much ever in training. Lots of the greatest lifters trained by this philosophy. Ed Coan used to write out 12 or 14 week linear training cycles and he would hit every rep, every time.[/quote]

I am ever so slowly learning this… Never mind attempting it 1-2 more times after a failed ME set. Missed reps from failure don’t do shit. For me.

[quote]csulli wrote:
As far as squat, bench, and deadlift though, those are your competition lifts. You do not want to miss a rep on those pretty much ever in training. Lots of the greatest lifters trained by this philosophy.[/quote]
Yep. “Dr. Squat” Fred Hatfield also talked a bunch about it. It’s basically “teaching” yourself to fail, he said. Technically, it has to do with the Golgi Tendon Organ and the signals it sends through the body upon reaching true muscular failure.

In terms of hypertrophy, though, training to failure can be a signal of maximum muscle fatigue which “should” equate to more growth after sufficient recovery. While it does work for some (and was popular in the past), and training beyond failure with intensity-boosting techniques like negatives, rest-pause, and forced reps can be useful at times, the majority of successful bodybuilders do still seem to avoid failure.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
As far as squat, bench, and deadlift though, those are your competition lifts. You do not want to miss a rep on those pretty much ever in training. Lots of the greatest lifters trained by this philosophy.[/quote]
Yep. “Dr. Squat” Fred Hatfield also talked a bunch about it. It’s basically “teaching” yourself to fail, he said. Technically, it has to do with the Golgi Tendon Organ and the signals it sends through the body upon reaching true muscular failure.

In terms of hypertrophy, though, training to failure can be a signal of maximum muscle fatigue which “should” equate to more growth after sufficient recovery. While it does work for some (and was popular in the past), and training beyond failure with intensity-boosting techniques like negatives, rest-pause, and forced reps can be useful at times, the majority of successful bodybuilders do still seem to avoid failure.[/quote]

What bodybuilders have to do with powerlifters?
Thats the point, the bodybuilders need to fail all sets and beyond in order to reach max hypertrophy but i am not sure about powerlifters

[quote]Geneza wrote:
the bodybuilders need to fail all sets and beyond in order to reach max hypertrophy[/quote]
That’s entirely untrue, as I said. You do not need to train to failure to build muscle.

Again, as was mentioned, powerlifters do not regularly train to failure because it’s not an efficient way to build strength.

I read about this in Overcoming Gravity, which appears to derive most, if not all, of it’s information from fact/studies. Training to failure only slightly increases hypertrophy (myofibular and sarcoplasmic), but the recovery period is so much longer it negates the slight increase.

Personally, I do my lighter weight warm ups the same number of reps I’m doing in my work sets, and then reduce them to 3-1 reps at heavier warm up weights. If your form goes to hell or you miss a rep during your work sets, it’s time for a deload. At least, that’s what I’ve read.

if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled.

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled. [/quote]

That’s not a stall. That could be a bad training day, a bad day for food, motivation, dehydration. After missing your prescribed reps at least two work outs in a row could you consider even calling it a stall.

[quote]sexyxe wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled. [/quote]

That’s not a stall. That could be a bad training day, a bad day for food, motivation, dehydration. After missing your prescribed reps at least two work outs in a row could you consider even calling it a stall.[/quote]

For a beginner doing a linear progression type system like SS, a stall is defined as missing a rep during a work set.

You don’t need to train to failure to get stronger, or bigger for that matter. Stopping one to two reps shy is a good rule of thumb

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]sexyxe wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled. [/quote]

That’s not a stall. That could be a bad training day, a bad day for food, motivation, dehydration. After missing your prescribed reps at least two work outs in a row could you consider even calling it a stall.[/quote]

For a beginner doing a linear progression type system like SS, a stall is defined as missing a rep during a work set. [/quote]

Says here that a “stall” is defined for SS as lack of progress in 3 workouts, which seems to make more sense.

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]sexyxe wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled. [/quote]

That’s not a stall. That could be a bad training day, a bad day for food, motivation, dehydration. After missing your prescribed reps at least two work outs in a row could you consider even calling it a stall.[/quote]

For a beginner doing a linear progression type system like SS, a stall is defined as missing a rep during a work set. [/quote]

Says here that a “stall” is defined for SS as lack of progress in 3 workouts, which seems to make more sense.[/quote]

That makes sense. One rep in one workout is not a stall. I don’t care for any definition that has someone believe that. A sample size of one doesn’t show anything.

[quote]sexyxe wrote:

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]sexyxe wrote:

[quote]BCP27 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
if we shouldn’t train to failure, what counts as a stall for newbs?[/quote]

If you miss a rep you were supposed to get. For instance, if you are supposed to do 3x5 squats, but only mangage 4 reps on the last set, you stalled. [/quote]

That’s not a stall. That could be a bad training day, a bad day for food, motivation, dehydration. After missing your prescribed reps at least two work outs in a row could you consider even calling it a stall.[/quote]

For a beginner doing a linear progression type system like SS, a stall is defined as missing a rep during a work set. [/quote]

Says here that a “stall” is defined for SS as lack of progress in 3 workouts, which seems to make more sense.[/quote]

That makes sense. One rep in one workout is not a stall. I don’t care for any definition that has someone believe that. A sample size of one doesn’t show anything.[/quote]

My mistake, must have confused a couple of passages.