T Nation

Training to Failure on a Full Body Routine


as the title suggests... would it be beneficial to train to failure on one set per muscle group on a A and B full body routine or should all sets be 1 or 2 reps short


really depends on what your goals are. are you looking to put on size mainly or are looking for strength??

why the full body routine?? how long have you been training???


looking for size
been training for about 8 months or so but without the greatest success probaly due to my lack of knowlege on training like training 5 days a week taking all sets to failure etc, my diets top notch though i know that, buit have heard a full body routine is probaly best for a natural trainer

this is my routine
Workout A:
Deadlifts (alternating them every week performing deads only once a week, so week 1 done ona monday, week two on a wednesday etc)
Bench Press
Leg Press
standing shoulder press

Workout B:
Pullups/Lat Pulldowns (Switch when you can't do any more pullups)
Romanian Deadlifts

Monday - 5x10
Wednesday - 3x6
Friday - 4x8

accesssory when needed


Your diet is top notch?



Yo CC, good to have you back!



Aw shucks :slight_smile:

You back from Japan yet?


if you are looking for size i would look into any of the many bodypart splits. you have a lot of good multi joint exercises in there that should be in everyone's routines.

my rule of thumb is for building strength you shouldn't go to failure. these are sets done in a low rep range. when building size, the hypertrophy range is typically around 8 and above. these sets are done with moderate to light weight and done to failure and beyond failure with the use of drop sets, forced reps, etc.

it's my opinion that heavy sets shouldn't go to failure because of the stress it places on your CNS. it's easy to overtrain if you go to failure on low rep, heavy sets. if the weight is moderate to light, it doesn't tax the CNS much and failure can be used with little chance of overtraining. i actually like to take my light sets to failure because i feel that it helps me recover from the previous heavy work by getting a good pump in the muscles.

my training is pretty simple- i do bench press, squats, deadlifts and overhead press as my main movements for building strength. these movements are done in the 1-5 rep range always leaving a rep or two in the tank. i then move onto accessory work to supplement these movements and they are done in the 8 and higher rep range and i use light weight. i also incorporate drop sets, giant sets, and other methods to prolong failure.

training doesn't have to be complex. you just have to have a goal, a way to track your progress and constantly strive to improve either through increasing weight and/or reps.


Yessir, got back in late August. Dropped down to about 210lbs, and now I'm back up to ~235 + or -, and lifts are finally surpassing where I was before I left.


I'm on a FBT schedule every other day, and am impressed with the results. I did a FBT schedule coupled with a low carb diet for 6 weeks starting in Feb of this year and lost 15 lbs. This go-round, I'm hitting it with a moderate carb bulking diet and am getting stronger, denser and pumped. Clothes are fitting tighter.

My program is a lot like yours, heavy day, medium reps day, high reps day, then repeat. I usually will go to failure, but not by design, it is usually because I think I can hit a certain rep/weight and usually overshoot my capabilities.

I think the key to this is not to stay on this program for too long. Like I said, I was on it earlier this year for 6 weeks and that was one week too long, especially on a low carb diet. This go-round I plan on staying with it till the middle of December with my diet, then back on a 4 day split.

So- FBT has its place and can be useful as long as you use it sparingly and it is integrated into your year-long program schedule that changes on regular intervals.

WTF do I know? 6', 230lbs, 46 YO and been training since I was 13.

Hope that helps.


yh it has, i was thinking actually that instead of failing any other day fail ona a friday or wednesday


Monday A workout

wednesday B workout

friday A workout

so i will not go to failure on mondays A workout
only go to failure on one set per muscle group on the B workout
and finally go to failure only one set per muscle group on fridays A workout and then repeat next week with the B A B workout

i was planning on training for 12 weeks on this program but probaly deloading on week 6 or 8 for a week


Sounds like a solid plan, and you will be dying for the de-load, I guarantee it.

let us know your progress, and be prepared, FBT is frowned upon by the majority of the men who post here, so you most likely be flamed.

hang in there.


why do i bother???


Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming a mile away :wink:

Edit: Interesting. I can apparently "tribunal" you. Whatever the hell that means.


I think the tribunal thing is for the BOI section of the site.


lol i will...


does that mean go back in time and give me back the time i wasted posting information that was totally ignored and not even dignified with a thank you?? if so, please do so.


your information is solid especially the 'rep to failure' part about keeping a few reps in the tank, and I think the OP should definitely listen up to that bit of wisdom. And I agree with your approach and don't consider your post as a waste of time.
I'm not a huge proponent of FBT, and have only been on a program a couple of times like I had mentioned, and have had good luck on it. BUT I have read too many posts flaming away at anybody considering FBT, and wanted to offer some advice to the OP, is all.
This is one of the reasons why I never post in this forum, It is all subjective and too many people take it personally.

FWIW..I appreciate your information and hope I didn't offend anyone in anyway.


I'm going to post some shit about training approaches I've found useful soon in the BB forum...
Your past and present training fits into the first installment quite well.

If you want, you can post about it in the thread I'm going to start. I'll only cover one real example because there are so damn many variants and I've not tried them all or even have the time to post about them... So your input would be appreciated.

Plenty of people have requested the whole thing, so I think you'll get a nice load of well-deserved "thank you's" then.


my comment wasn't directed at you at all. i personally think everything works for someone but there are a few things that are universal. deciding to go to failure one day on one thing and then not another on another day without taking into consideration the effects of doing so based on the amount of weight used and rep scheme makes no sense to me.

but to each his own.

also, it's just polite to say "hey, thanks for the info"


the reasopn why i would go to failure on a friday is because i would have a full two days off on saturday and sunday to let myself recover fully, also the muscle groups on a wednesday workout will only be trained once that week so i would go to failure on one set per muscle group and then there is 4 days to recover before i work those muscle groups again, thats why i would fail on those days...