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DUMB BELLE
07-03-2006, 11:13 AM
Hi All

I "train to failure" on almost every single workout whether its through low reps/heavy weight or high reps/light weight or medium weight with increased sets etc. and have really been making awesome gains.

Now I've been reading many posts about this "training to failure" and the general consensus seems to be that you shouldn't do it.

Many of the posts talk about hypertrophy and the CNS and blah blah blah but no one mentioned the effects of cortisol.
I have heard that training to failure increases cortisol which is catabolic (eeeeck - I HATE that word). Is this true?

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

I know this is a question that has probably been addressed a million times but I'm still not clear as to which approach is best as I see the logic in BOTH arguments.

Personally, I just don't feel like I've given it my ALL if I don't train to failure.
Thoughts?

*supermomma*
07-03-2006, 12:39 PM
Training to failure is counterproductive. If you overload, you do run the risk of overwhelming the CNS and increasing cortisol--this should make sense--it is a stress hormone, so putting undue stress on your body would increase it, imo...

Personally, I think you would make better gains not training to failure, and instead working with percentages of your one rep max, but that's just my take.

Training to failure goes into the dustbin along with training each body part once per week and spending an entire workout on arms, as far as I am concerned :).

terracotta
07-03-2006, 01:01 PM
Well I am not entirely sure or worried about the cortisol.

There are two issues I am sure of
1. This makes you more prone to injuring yourself
2. This makes you more prone to overtraining issues

If you feel you must go to failure, restrict it to the last set of each exercise. Typically though, I suggest stopping 1 rep short of failure on your last set, and 1-2 reps short of failure on your other sets. This does not cause me to stall in progress because I look at the reps/weight I did last time and always try to beat it.

darkangel
07-03-2006, 01:07 PM
Same here. I can't train to failure because I don't have a spotter. Adding reps or weight each workout gives the muscles the challenge they need to grow.

GO BIG
07-07-2006, 04:33 AM
Same here. I can't train to failure because I don't have a spotter.
I think we need to define what type of "failure" you mean, positive failure or negative failure and which exercises you want to achieve failure on. It is not necessary to have a spotter for exercises like deadlifts, power cleans, rows, side lateral raises (pulling movements)etc. because there is no danger of being stuck under a weight like on bb bench press and the like. As for pushing movements like bench, you can quite safely train to positive failure without a spotter.

Adding reps or weight each workout gives the muscles the challenge they need to grow..

This does not cause me to stall in progress because I look at the reps/weight I did last time and always try to beat it...
Agreed. However, its not possible to add weight to EVERY workout because, at some stage you will hit a plateau and, your body becomes acustomed to any type of workout if performed for too long a period and that is why it's necessary to alternate things like rep range, weights and routines.

Training to failure is an important addition to any COMPLETE excercise routine as are things like rest/pause, drop sets, supersets, giant sets, periodisation training etc. Do yourselves a favour and check out some of the Weider training principles(Do a google search- plenty info)

No one method will ever bring ultimate results one has to regularly vary your routine and method of training.


Personally, I just don't feel like I've given it my ALL if I don't train to failure...
I've told you a MILLION times my love, it's not always about beating your previous workout stats, but listening to your body and doing the best you can ON THE DAY! Although, your drive and intensity levels are the reason why you've made the progress you have. KEEP IT UP but be a little more forgiving towards yourself. I AM PROUD OF YOU!!!!

As for all this overtaxing the Central Nervous System, the answer is to get the proper NUTRITION and allow adequate rest and recuperation,girls.

NOW GET TO IT AND GO TRAIN!!

PS.Yes ladies, Dumb Belle is my life and training partner - how lucky can one guy get!!!!

terracotta
07-07-2006, 05:24 AM
Belle, Go Big is very correct.. and you should listen to him :)

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 06:24 AM
LOL! Point taken Terra. Thanks.

Damn, I hate it when he's always so damn right about everything!!!!
Must say, his infinite support and motivation makes ME the luckiest gal in the world.

GO BIG, you make me blush you soppy ****!!!!

Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know that I thought I'd give this "not-training-to-complete-failure-every-time" a shot.
I still pushed myself on my last couple of workouts but not to the point that I walked out of the gym feeling like i was on deaths door and the results..... WOW! I was just as sore the next day as I have been when training to failure. I know DOMS is not an indication of a successful workout but it did serve to remind me that my muscles had still WORKED just as hard.

I'm not saying I've COMPLETELY converted but since trying this and realising that these workouts can be just as effective - I do think I'll incorporate this approach MUCH more often and just use the "training to failure" every now and again as a "shock" principle.
Once again, I guess its about looking at things in totality and realising that everything has its place and that incorporating different aspects is the key to a well rounded and COMPLETE program - which is what Go Big was getting at.

Like i said, I constantly feel like I haven't worked hard enough if I haven't pushed myself to failure, but having experienced the results of NOT doing that, I think my mind set is changing. Weird how sometimes MENTAL flexibilty and mind sets can often be more reluctant and difficult to change than PHYSICAL changes(?)

Anyway, thanks for all the input. Makes a good change to walk out of the gym feeling taxed but rejuvenated without feeling like I'm about to die (everytime) AND at the same time know that I haven't wasted my time!

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 06:36 AM
Training to failure goes into the dustbin along with training each body part once per week and spending an entire workout on arms, as far as I am concerned :).

Yes Supermomma, I think you made your point about your views on training each body part once per week in a previous post!

Anyway, thanks for the input.
I will not be training to failure on every workout anymore but I will certainly not be "throwing it in the dustbin" either. Instead, I will be INCORPORATING the different appraoches and alternating between them when/if I feel I need to, even if it is just for psycholgical benefits - nothing beats the feeling of knowing I've REALLY PUSHED myself to my ABSOLUTE limits very now and then.

Throwing anything "in the dustbin" which has, upto now, shown me great results and disregarding it completely would only serve to narrow and limit my outlook AS WELL AS my progress!

golfGirl
07-07-2006, 06:44 AM
You guys are just TOO cute!! :o)

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 08:00 AM
You guys are just TOO cute!! :o)
LOL!
Yeah, pretty sickening but I wouldn't change it for the world. He's the best!

We're engaged and will prob tie the knot next year sometime ...... maybe we'll be singing a different tune after that? LOL! (Kidding).

golfGirl
07-07-2006, 10:04 AM
LOL!
Yeah, pretty sickening but I wouldn't change it for the world. He's the best!

We're engaged and will prob tie the knot next year sometime ...... maybe we'll be singing a different tune after that? LOL! (Kidding).

Ahhhh............I miss those days. Wait!? Did I ever HAVE those days.......I can't remember .... hee hee hee :)

Congratulations on the engagement and the obvious love and friendship!!

darkangel
07-07-2006, 10:25 AM
As for pushing movements like bench, you can quite safely train to positive failure without a spotter.


I'm not sure I understand. Bench press without a spotter is the one I fear the most. I don't think I can differentiate between positive and negative failure. When I reach the point of failure, that bar's gonna come crashing down. I don't think there'll be a point where I say, "Hmm... I can't raise this any more, but I can easily lower it slowly and safely."

GO BIG
07-07-2006, 02:14 PM
I'm not sure I understand. Bench press without a spotter is the one I fear the most. I don't think I can differentiate between positive and negative failure. When I reach the point of failure, that bar's gonna come crashing down. I don't think there'll be a point where I say, "Hmm... I can't raise this any more, but I can easily lower it slowly and safely."

Darkangel, to simplify, positive failure is when you've pushed the bar up and will not be able to do so again - so its up and all you do is rack it. Negative failure means that after positive failure, you lower the bar again slowly and under control and a spotter helps you raise it again until you can no longer control the bar in the negative part of the rep(Down)

terracotta
07-07-2006, 02:51 PM
ah I see.. I didn't think there was a word for "positive failure" ... I just called it the "I can't do 1 more rep" failure :) Good to know!

GO BIG
07-07-2006, 03:13 PM
LOL! Yep, that's the same thing - negative would then be the "I'll do one half if you do the other" failure

mommy*2*3
07-08-2006, 05:22 AM
I think we need to define what type of "failure" you mean, positive failure or negative failure and which exercises you want to achieve failure on. It is not necessary to have a spotter for exercises like deadlifts, power cleans, rows, side lateral raises (pulling movements)etc. because there is no danger of being stuck under a weight like on bb bench press and the like. As for pushing movements like bench, you can quite safely train to positive failure without a spotter.


Agreed. However, its not possible to add weight to EVERY workout because, at some stage you will hit a plateau and, your body becomes acustomed to any type of workout if performed for too long a period and that is why it's necessary to alternate things like rep range, weights and routines.

Training to failure is an important addition to any COMPLETE excercise routine as are things like rest/pause, drop sets, supersets, giant sets, periodisation training etc. Do yourselves a favour and check out some of the Weider training principles(Do a google search- plenty info)

No one method will ever bring ultimate results one has to regularly vary your routine and method of training.


I've told you a MILLION times my love, it's not always about beating your previous workout stats, but listening to your body and doing the best you can ON THE DAY! Although, your drive and intensity levels are the reason why you've made the progress you have. KEEP IT UP but be a little more forgiving towards yourself. I AM PROUD OF YOU!!!!

As for all this overtaxing the Central Nervous System, the answer is to get the proper NUTRITION and allow adequate rest and recuperation,girls.

NOW GET TO IT AND GO TRAIN!!

PS.Yes ladies, Dumb Belle is my life and training partner - how lucky can one guy get!!!!


EXCELLENT advice :)

I personally don't train to failure but to almost failure and this depends on the exercise since I don't have a workout partner. If you feel like you're not challanging your body enough then you may need to make some adjustments in your workout, but also keep an eye on your muscle development because our minds can play tricks on us ;)

Valeria
07-08-2006, 08:52 AM
Same here. I can't train to failure because I don't have a spotter. Adding reps or weight each workout gives the muscles the challenge they need to grow.

I am in the same situation. I haven't yet met up with anyone at my gym that I would really want to spot for me. So I simply increase my weights/reps and change up my routine so that I don't get bored, and my body is kept guessing!

The times that I have gone to failure ended up causing me such horrid DOMS that I was unable to stick to my workout. I won't do THAT again!

izthawiz
07-10-2006, 08:17 AM
Hi All

I "train to failure" on almost every single workout whether its through low reps/heavy weight or high reps/light weight or medium weight with increased sets etc. and have really been making awesome gains.

Now I've been reading many posts about this "training to failure" and the general consensus seems to be that you shouldn't do it.

Many of the posts talk about hypertrophy and the CNS and blah blah blah but no one mentioned the effects of cortisol.
I have heard that training to failure increases cortisol which is catabolic (eeeeck - I HATE that word). Is this true?

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

I know this is a question that has probably been addressed a million times but I'm still not clear as to which approach is best as I see the logic in BOTH arguments.

Personally, I just don't feel like I've given it my ALL if I don't train to failure.
Thoughts?

lol u think all the people here actually know how to workout?
lol only a few know and those are the ones who have experienced it for them selves, Everbody else they tell u because somebody else told them , and they havent tried it for them selves.
How are u gonna go to the next level , IF u dont push ur self. That last rep man is fuken important. Have u been getting good results from training to failure? YEs , if then CONTINUE what ur doing . IF u havent been getting results , then change something man .

DO What works for u . Everybody says this about bodybuilding then somebody says something else, all a bunch of horse**** . DO what works thats it .


oops im in the female section , lol sorry wrong section .
excuse me .

darkangel
07-10-2006, 08:41 AM
Darkangel, to simplify, positive failure is when you've pushed the bar up and will not be able to do so again - so its up and all you do is rack it. Negative failure means that after positive failure, you lower the bar again slowly and under control and a spotter helps you raise it again until you can no longer control the bar in the negative part of the rep(Down)

I guess the point I was making after positive failure, I could still do some negatives, but not without a spotter... so you're not really "working to failure."