T Nation

Taking Most Sets to Failure

Ever since I’ve started training I felt that the best way for me to challenge myself has been to take nearly every set to failure or close to it. I do this with compounds like the bench and mil presses, and isolations.

My question: I feel that I plateau a lot, and have a hard time going up in weight. My diet is 100% in check, and I was wondering if maybe my training is flawed by pushing myself to the brink all the time?

That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Forgot to add, when you train like that you are burning tons of calories so you might just need to eat more.

[quote]rotty88 wrote:
My diet is 100% in check, [/quote]

How sure of this are you?

I take almost all of my sets to failure.

If you eat and sleep like a bear its fine.

Anabolics help as well, just saying.

[quote]The Bambino wrote:
rotty88 wrote:
My diet is 100% in check,

How sure of this are you?
[/quote]

Right. By 100% in check, what do you mean by that? Are you gaining weight regularly? Do you mean that it’s clean?

Also, how often are we talking in terms of hitting plateaus and what constitutes a plateau to you? What do your strength numbers look like and how long have you been training (i.e. are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced lifter)?

Also, what does your program look like?
-how often are you hitting each muscle group
-how many sets for each body part are you hitting failure on
-do you use a “ramping” format, or a “straight set” format

Finally, what are your goals (I know this is the BB’ing section, but you’d be surprised how many people come in here wanting things other than building massive amounts of muscle).

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.[/quote]

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

[quote]gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)[/quote]

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.

[quote]patricio2626 wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.[/quote]

For effect, read the following post in a stereotypical Brooklyn/Italian accent

Aaaaaaaa, loosen up the skirt there ah tits…we’re just ahavin a bitta fun ova heeieere. O!

I don’t know wtf was this last post. But in case the guy wasn’t joking, that is a useless debate that will never end, and most T-Nation members are getting sick of it.

Anyway, I agree with waylander that you may be suprassing your recovery. Training to failure every session is not a good idea, you should cycle those sessions as “shock weeks” for better results.

Or you can increase your workout intensity (in this case moving the variable [proximity to muscle failure]) gradually, so that you can handle more sets to failure with more benefits and less drawbacks.

[quote]gv_nsg wrote:
patricio2626 wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.

For effect, read the following post in a stereotypical Brooklyn/Italian accent

Aaaaaaaa, loosen up the skirt there ah tits…we’re just ahavin a bitta fun ova heeieere. O![/quote]

Your 5’11 and 144 pounds at 12% body fat. Your skinny and fat.

Hes got over a hundred pounds on you easily, and I mean a hundred pounds of muscle.

You’ve been lifting for 2 years, your not allowed to give advice to anyone, this isn’t bodybuilding.com.

Your from Wisconsin, one of the shittiest states in existence.

and you spelled what you do as “construcktion” in your profile.

I highly recommend you rethink dropping out of highschool.

[quote]Westclock wrote:
Your from Wisconsin, one of the shittiest states in existence.[/quote]

Two birds with one stone. Hey, what the fuck, I was just passing through.

[quote]Westclock wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
patricio2626 wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.

For effect, read the following post in a stereotypical Brooklyn/Italian accent

Aaaaaaaa, loosen up the skirt there ah tits…we’re just ahavin a bitta fun ova heeieere. O!

Your 5’11 and 144 pounds at 12% body fat. Your skinny and fat.

Hes got over a hundred pounds on you easily, and I mean a hundred pounds of muscle.

You’ve been lifting for 2 years, your not allowed to give advice to anyone, this isn’t bodybuilding.com.

Your from Wisconsin, one of the shittiest states in existence.

and you spelled what you do as “construcktion” in your profile.

I highly recommend you rethink dropping out of highschool.

[/quote]

It’s a new troll Westclock, don’t bother.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
Westclock wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
patricio2626 wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.

For effect, read the following post in a stereotypical Brooklyn/Italian accent

Aaaaaaaa, loosen up the skirt there ah tits…we’re just ahavin a bitta fun ova heeieere. O!

Your 5’11 and 144 pounds at 12% body fat. Your skinny and fat.

Hes got over a hundred pounds on you easily, and I mean a hundred pounds of muscle.

You’ve been lifting for 2 years, your not allowed to give advice to anyone, this isn’t bodybuilding.com.

Your from Wisconsin, one of the shittiest states in existence.

and you spelled what you do as “construcktion” in your profile.

I highly recommend you rethink dropping out of highschool.

It’s a new troll Westclock, don’t bother.[/quote]

Yeah I went through and reported his posts that were trolling in several threads.

All I really did was offend people form Wisconsin and further perpetuate the stereotype that Texans are bigots.

Sorry about that Vin.

[quote]Westclock wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
patricio2626 wrote:
gv_nsg wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
That would be the simplest answer. If your diet is 100% dialed in you are surpassing your ability to recover. Tone it down a bit for a few weeks and see what happens.

Speaking of “toning it down a bit” what do you say you drop some of the carbs huh!?!

Fatasses are DISGUSTING!!! (and you’re one of them)

Man, you sure are interested in starting shit on this site, bud! Your posts are pretty funny, actually, but keep in mind, as a 5’11", 144-lb pencilneck, you’re absolutely no one to clown on people. Man up and work harder, then maybe you won’t have to diss on everyone else to feel better about yourself. My suggestion is to start in the beginners foruum.

For effect, read the following post in a stereotypical Brooklyn/Italian accent

Aaaaaaaa, loosen up the skirt there ah tits…we’re just ahavin a bitta fun ova heeieere. O!

Your 5’11 and 144 pounds at 12% body fat. Your skinny and fat.

Hes got over a hundred pounds on you easily, and I mean a hundred pounds of muscle.

You’ve been lifting for 2 years, your not allowed to give advice to anyone, this isn’t bodybuilding.com.

Your from Wisconsin, one of the shittiest states in existence.

and you spelled what you do as “construcktion” in your profile.

I highly recommend you rethink dropping out of highschool.

[/quote]

And you said “your from Wisconsin”, which is wrong. It’s “you’re from Wisconsin” so take that you big doodie-head.

/not defending the troll
//defending Wisconsin
///completely joking too

Yeah, it was pretty funny, he went on a rampage ripping people (me included) a new one all over the board in just a few minutes. Reeks of Darkie to me; maybe it’s someone who makes new accounts to troll.

to the OP-
just try a program for a couple of months where you don’t go to failure and then take the approach that your body best responds to

I avoid it at all cost since 2-3 months, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

It may vary from people to people, but failure is good if you especially want muscle growth, if you want to get stronger by neural improvment, then failure is a big no.

I reap many benefit from not going to failure lately, strenght improvment is more predictable AND constant, I’m much more constistent from workout to workout.

For what it’s worth, my current goal is a 300 pounds front squat.

Are you doing Straight sets, or increasing/decreasing sets?
How many sets are you doing?
Wat are your warm up sets like?
I found that my strength and size increased much faster when I stopped working to failure each set, I do 4 working sets only going to failure on the last 1 or 2 sets.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
I avoid it at all cost since 2-3 months, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

It may vary from people to people, but failure is good if you especially want muscle growth, if you want to get stronger by neural improvment, then failure is a big no.

I reap many benefit from not going to failure lately, strenght improvment is more predictable AND constant, I’m much more constistent from workout to workout.

For what it’s worth, my current goal is a 300 pounds front squat.[/quote]

True, but…this is the BB’ing section so training purely for neural improvement probably isn’t the most relevant advice in this context.