T Nation

Super Failure Training

I’ve heard about this training principle a while back from trainers I’ve met, and it intrigues me. Basically, you try to lift a 80-85% RM weight (the % RM that produces functional hypertrophy) concentrically as much as you can until you can barely lift anymore, then ask a spotter to help you lift the weights so that you can perform controlled negatives until you no longer can.

This principle is most effective in pressing movements like the bench press. Do as many full ROM reps as you can with your 80-85% RM, and once you get weak to go past the sticking point, do bottom partials until you can do no more. Once you can’t even budge the bar from your chest, let your spotter help you reach lockout and then perform controlled negatives as slowly as you can’t stop the weight from freefalling to your chest.

The principle dictates that you use only 2 sets per body part (1 compound and 1 isolation), like doing cable flyes and skull crushers after doing bench presses for your pecs and triceps. Another option would be to do only 1 giant set using 2 equipment, like doing the bench press outlined above, followed by dumbell chest flyes until concentric failure, followed by a press-fly concentric-eccentric combo until failure (during the eccentric fly part), followed by pure chest presses until concentric failure, followed by chest press negatives until eccentric failure.

The beauty about this training is that you can reach tremendous amounts of failure (both concentric and eccentrcic) with limited equipment, continuous TUT and only a spotter (unlike drop sets, wherein concentric failure is only the case and TUT is cut short when switching weights). However, it’s so taxing and painful that you can only do a few of those in a month.

It has been said to bust plateaus in strength, endurance and hypertrophy (due to the % RM used and the TUT of the exercise).

It kinda reminds me of Mentzer’s omnicontractions wherein you also fail concentrically and eccentrically (as well as isometrically) while using a 100% RM load. There may be other similar principles to this as well, but I’m not sure what they are.

I would like to know what you guys think about it. I wanna try this applying this principle to my program, so I’m asking for your help.

I also wanna know if some of you did something similar to this. I wanna know if it does produce results.

Thanks.

It could be interesting, but given the stats in your profile, I think you should focus more on the basics of training and not get caught up in the newest fads or crazes.

Kid, go train and eat something before embarking on theoretical debates which, I assure you, will do very little to deliver you any results. Eat 6 times every day and train enough to be tired, but not so much that you wear yourself out. The rest is all on you.

Yup, I am a thin weakling and I’ve been training for just over a year. You’ll find it funny that in my gym, only a few people touch the 45 pound plates. In fact, I’ve only seen 3 people (including myself) to place 4 of those plates in one barbell.

My RM’s are as follows:

Bench: 180
Deadlift: 250
Leg Press (knees slightly lower than perpendicular): 400

(I don’t know what I’m capable of squatting because our gym has no squat rack, despite being one of the best in my country. There is a Smith Machine where I used to squat, but whenever I started to squat heavy, by back becomes pretty unstable, so I left it for good and did leg presses instead. The problem here is I can’t do full ROM because my back gets strethced too much.)

Given these weights, a lot of my peers call me very strong, which is quite funny because I’m pretty sure you’ll laugh at these numbers, along with my 145-pound frame (I used to be only 120 a year ago). I guess people where I live aren’t as that strong as people in other places.

I’ve reached plateaus many times using regular 3x10 and pyramid training (at one point, I can only do 6 reps of 150 pounds and no reps at 165 in a chest press machine for OVER 6 MONTHS!), and I tried out more advanced methods like extended 5’s to see improvements. I tried drop sets as well, but that only made me bigger, not stronger.

I’ve been doing HSS-100 with a litte Cluster Training for 3 weeks and I love the results. It helped me break all of my plateaus especially when it came to my stubborn lats. I can safely say that my strength has increased by 15-20% in 3 weeks thanks to this program. So yeah, you can say I’ve been doing not-so-beginner training and getting results.

On July, I’m gonna try EDT and HIIT, and on August, I plan to focus on strength-speed, speed-strength and plyometrics. I’m not an athlete, though. I just wanna do a wide variety of workouts.

My main focus is strength, not hypertrophy. However, I want a little bit of hypertrohpy as well (coz I am only 145 pounds), which is why I train with high % RM’s to failure. I’d also like to work on my endurance, which I will focus on when I do EDT and HIIT.

Now you know a little more about me. I wanna incorporate super failure training in my training cycles so that when I encounter a plateau, I can try it out and see some results as well. I also wanna know your experience regarding this or similar training methods as well.

Kid, you just need to eat a lot and stick with the basics.

At your stage of development, you don’t need any fancy stuff, so why waste your time trying to “incorporate” them into your “training cycles”?

I did stick to basics, but I plateaued for a pretty long time. When I started not-so-basic training, my gains went up.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
I did stick to basics, but I plateaued for a pretty long time. When I started not-so-basic training, my gains went up.[/quote]

A pretty long time? You have a year under your belt and you’re 145lbs. There is no way on earth you could have sticked with the basics because eating more food IS very basic. Failure training has very little to do with it.

Nobody is going to take your theorizing seriously because nothing can replace experience which you simply don’t have. If you think you know what you’re doing then go do it.

You want some attention don’t you? Poor baby.

I do super-duper failure training. That’s when your training partner helps you do 3 assisted reps. It’s a great plateau buster for someone who has only been training for less than a year and weighs 145 pounds - because if that that level of training and development isn’t a plateau, I don’t know what is.

First of all, if only 3 people are touching the 45lb plates, then your gym sucks. If your gym does not have a squat rack, it sucks. If this is one of the best gyms in your country, move.

Secondly, if your back feels like it is getting stretched when you squat, you probably have tight hamstrings and glutes. Stretch.

Stop trying out the latest trends, and just get stronger. There is a reason these are called “advanced” techniques. You are still a beginner. Focus on what has worked so far.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Yup, I am a thin weakling and I’ve been training for just over a year. You’ll find it funny that in my gym, only a few people touch the 45 pound plates. In fact, I’ve only seen 3 people (including myself) to place 4 of those plates in one barbell.

My RM’s are as follows:

Bench: 180
Deadlift: 250
Leg Press (knees slightly lower than perpendicular): 400

(I don’t know what I’m capable of squatting because our gym has no squat rack, despite being one of the best in my country. There is a Smith Machine where I used to squat, but whenever I started to squat heavy, by back becomes pretty unstable, so I left it for good and did leg presses instead. The problem here is I can’t do full ROM because my back gets strethced too much.)

Given these weights, a lot of my peers call me very strong, which is quite funny because I’m pretty sure you’ll laugh at these numbers, along with my 145-pound frame (I used to be only 120 a year ago). I guess people where I live aren’t as that strong as people in other places.

I’ve reached plateaus many times using regular 3x10 and pyramid training (at one point, I can only do 6 reps of 150 pounds and no reps at 165 in a chest press machine for OVER 6 MONTHS!), and I tried out more advanced methods like extended 5’s to see improvements. I tried drop sets as well, but that only made me bigger, not stronger.

I’ve been doing HSS-100 with a litte Cluster Training for 3 weeks and I love the results. It helped me break all of my plateaus especially when it came to my stubborn lats. I can safely say that my strength has increased by 15-20% in 3 weeks thanks to this program. So yeah, you can say I’ve been doing not-so-beginner training and getting results.

[/quote]

[quote]Majin wrote:
undeadlift wrote:
I did stick to basics, but I plateaued for a pretty long time. When I started not-so-basic training, my gains went up.

A pretty long time? You have a year under your belt and you’re 145lbs. There is no way on earth you could have sticked with the basics because eating more food IS very basic. Failure training has very little to do with it.

Nobody is going to take your theorizing seriously because nothing can replace experience which you simply don’t have. If you think you know what you’re doing then go do it.

You want some attention don’t you? Poor baby.[/quote]

He’s new to the website, is excited about training, and apparently hasn’t had a lot of guidance. Give the guy a little bit of a break… On the other hand, before undead posts again… go to the beginners section and read everything.

Also, if you are seeking strength gains you need to start lifting heavier. Anything over three-five reps isn’t going to do too much for strength gains except in a raw beginner. And eat more.

So you’re saying that nutrition is my problem? I already eat a lot, 5 meals a day, mainly meat with rice (protein and carbs). I also drink 1 litre of milk a day.

And all that theorizing didn’t come from me. I simply took them from some trainers. It’s a good thing I posted here before I tried it out though, seeing that most of you don’t agree with them.

Thanks.

[quote]threewhitelights wrote:
First of all, if only 3 people are touching the 45lb plates, then your gym sucks. If your gym does not have a squat rack, it sucks. If this is one of the best gyms in your country, move.

Secondly, if your back feels like it is getting stretched when you squat, you probably have tight hamstrings and glutes. Stretch.

Stop trying out the latest trends, and just get stronger. There is a reason these are called “advanced” techniques. You are still a beginner. Focus on what has worked so far.[/quote]
Thanks for the advice. Corrections though. 3 people use 4 45lb plates at the same time (225 pounds on an olympic barbell or 180 pounds on a Smith Machine). More than 3 touch the 45’s, maybe 10-15 of us. My back doesn’t get stretched when I squat. It gets stretched when I go too deep in my leg presses. You’re right about my weak glutes, though. I have trouble squatting deep. My hamstrings aren’t that flexible either, even though they are as strong as my quads.

[quote]Lando034 wrote:
He’s new to the website, is excited about training, and apparently hasn’t had a lot of guidance. Give the guy a little bit of a break… On the other hand, before undead posts again… go to the beginners section and read everything.

Also, if you are seeking strength gains you need to start lifting heavier. Anything over three-five reps isn’t going to do too much for strength gains except in a raw beginner. And eat more. [/quote]
I do lift heavy, around 90-100% of my RM. And yeah, I’m new to the site in the sense that I only registered recently. I’ve been reading this site for a long time as a non-member and this is where I got to know about HSS-100 and EDT, among many other things. So far, they work better than my old programs.

Thanks.