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    Thumbs up Failure and Sets

    Question concerning failure and how many sets I should aim to fail on.

    For example Incline Dumbbell Press
    Warm up 10 reps x 10kg (I do this twice for warm up + stretching)
    10 reps x 20kg
    10 reps x 30kg
    8 reps x 35kg
    5 reps x 37.5kg

    So should I warm on a slightly heavier weight, say 15-20kg, then miss the 30kg and try to aim for 10reps on 35kg and if I fail to do 10reps should I stick with that weight for another 2 sets or should I go heavier even though I did not gain 10 reps on 35kg. So if I go heavier then my rep range will decrease.

    Hope I have explained this well.

    Thanks
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    first 1-2 sets should be warmups, so no lifting to failure, 10-15 reps per set

    rest of sets should be to failure, lets your body know what it has to beable to lift, push out them last 1-2 hard reps even if their assisted(as little as possible, even if the rep takes a little while), and do a negative of the last rep when u can lift the weight no more (slowly down for 3-5 seconds)

    lots of pain at the end of a set means your gonna grow
    Last edited by trewl; 01-04-2007 at 05:33 AM.
    ..u neg rep me? then ill neg rep u..
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    Originally Posted by trewl View Post
    lots of pain at the end of a set means your gonna grow
    BS...

    Progressive overload of volume and intensity + food and rest means your gonna grow...!
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    Talking

    Those who dont train to failure ought to take up something like golf.

    *Tries to keep straight faced*
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    The Downside of Training to Failure

    As stated earlier, few training practices or techniques are good or bad in the absolute sense. Most often, it's a matter of application and context. Performing all sets to failure (or, trying to) is particularly problematic, for the following reasons:

    1) Insufficient training volume for hypertrophy development.

    Many studies have confirmed that metabolic changes associated with muscular hypertrophy are best instigated through loading by high volumes, whereas neural adaptations are best brought about through high intensity loads.

    Training volume is calculated in pounds lifted per unit of time. If you plan to lift a certain weight for 5 sets of 5 reps, only the last set would approach concentric failure- if you went to failure on the first set, the subsequent sets would have to be performed with significantly less weight. This decreases volume, which can negatively impact muscular hypertrophy. International strength coach Charles Poliquin observes that for any two athletes on the same basic program, the athlete who uses a higher volume will have greater hypertrophy (1). This observation may be due in part to increased levels of anabolic hormones which are associated with multi-set (as opposed to single set) training (2).

    A second factor to consider with respect to the training load is that there is a limit to how long you can achieve progressions in intensity, but increases in volume can be achieved for a much longer period. For example, after about 9-10 years of solid training experience, you'll arrive at (or very close to) your maximum lifts (1RM's). Past this point, it becomes nearly impossible to increase the training load through increases in intensity. It's much more feasible at this point to increase training volume (by adding reps and/or sets). In this way, you can continue to make gains in muscle mass.

    2) Injury potential, both acute and chronic, increases.

    Noted exercise scientist Paul Ward warns that training to failure results in ischemic reperfusion, or oxygen deprivation, followed by oxygen perfusion. This results in massive free-radical damage to DNA and cell membranes.

    International Sports Sciences Association co-founder Dr. Sal Arria cautions that many soft tissue injuries occur when failure terminates a repetition in mid-stroke. "When the weight on the bar exceeds the muscle's ability to lift it, something has to give and usually, it's the musculotendonous junction" One of the most important functions of a spotter is to stay alert and keep the bar moving in order to avoid such injuries, according to Arria.

    According, to powerlifting legend Fred Hatfield, if fatigue is so great that stabilizers and synergists (which typically tire faster than the prime movers) become too fatigued to allow maintenance of proper form, you're asking for trouble.

    3) Potential for overtraining increases.

    Louie Simmons, well-known coach to many elite-level powerlifters finds that taking sets to failure "has an ill-effect on the central nervous system," which delays recovery. Simmons is noted for producing scores of high-ranked lifters with relatively low-intensity training

    4) Regular failed attempts lead to a reduction in a lowering of the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) excitation threshold (3).

    Successful lifts which are above what the body is used to will raise the excitation threshold of the Golgi Tendon Organ, while failed attempts tend to lower it. What this means in bodybuilding parlance is that the more often you miss a lift, the more likely it is that you'll miss it again in the future.

    Is Training to Failure Necessary?

    Clearly, it is not. The overriding concept is that, like all training methods, training to failure is a tool. No tool should be used all the time for all applications. But used judiciously, it can be a useful training method. Any training program which plans for progressive resistance, consistency, and variation is likely to produce success.

    http://www.strengthcats.com/CSfinalrep.htm
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    Originally Posted by trewl View Post
    first 1-2 sets should be warmups, so no lifting to failure, 10-15 reps per set

    rest of sets should be to failure, lets your body know what it has to beable to lift, push out them last 1-2 hard reps even if their assisted(as little as possible, even if the rep takes a little while), and do a negative of the last rep when u can lift the weight no more (slowly down for 3-5 seconds)

    lots of pain at the end of a set means your gonna grow
    Thanks for the feedback, just one question if at each weight I aim to do 10 reps but go to failure on maybe 6-8 reps should I stick to that weight in my next set or increase the weight?
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    Stick to that weight, if you reach failure on the 6th rep, do 4 reps the next workout, than start adding sets. When you can do like 4/5 sets with 4 reps add some reps and do 1 set again, once you are in the high rep ranges add weight and start doing low volume (sets and reps) again and build it up...

    Works just fine...!

    If you do plateau, either cut back the volume a bit or intensity and start over again, very easy. Have a good diet (the tough part imo) and sleep as much as possible...
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    Why dont you try a couple of light warm up sets followed by one working set to failure.

    Works for me.
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    Originally Posted by raysmith View Post
    Why dont you try a couple of light warm up sets followed by one working set to failure.

    Works for me.
    He's natty.
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    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron View Post
    He's natty.
    I knew this would come up.

    Well so was I up to 10 weeks ago.
    Ansew to the few pms I've gotten since popping back on-line...

    NO I never got full amount back from 'him', still owed for FAKE t3 and wu fee... More than a year on I can't be bothered to carry on chasing it up.. Unfortunatly word is he is on another bb community forum still selling
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by Canadian Iron View Post
    He's natty.
    Sorry lost me there, what do you mean.
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    Natty = natural, no steriods
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    Originally Posted by TheCore View Post
    Natty = natural, no steriods
    Thank you
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by TheCore View Post
    Stick to that weight, if you reach failure on the 6th rep, do 4 reps the next workout, than start adding sets. When you can do like 4/5 sets with 4 reps add some reps and do 1 set again, once you are in the high rep ranges add weight and start doing low volume (sets and reps) again and build it up...

    Works just fine...!

    If you do plateau, either cut back the volume a bit or intensity and start over again, very easy. Have a good diet (the tough part imo) and sleep as much as possible...
    Thanks for the information - very useful indeed, I have done my diet plan which I have listed under the nutrition section, so hope to get some feedback from that.

    Sorry if I sound stupid but what do you mean by ‘PLATEAU’.
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    You hit a plateau when you stop progressing volume and intensity wise; when you can't add anymore sets, reps or weight no matter what you try...

    Than it's time to take a step back bofore you can take 2 steps forward again, and if that doesn't work maybe change the exercises a bit (by using a small variation of the ones you are using now)...
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    I still think failure does has a place in lifting though, you just shouldn't go to failure all the time...

    Going to failure for a while can be a good way to break through a plateau, it's basically trial and error...

    I would learn how to preform exercises correctly from people who know how to do them, then try out different ways to train and see how that goes!

    Like I said above, you could just as well build up the sets, then reps, then weights, than keep adding weight to a certain set/rep range for example 4x8 until you plateau and go to failure for a couple of weeks (2 weeks or so), using failure like that can be very beneficial, but after that you will have to lower the volume and intensity again and build up once more...

    Basically you build up, then you peak, then you go beyond peaking (failure training), then you deload and start over again...

    If you train to failure for to long without low volume and many rest days, you will burn out!!! So failure should be used wisely; fatique management!

    You could try rest pause for example for a short while, then some heavy negatives, but I wouldn't do much more failure training methods, those 2 seem to be most beneficial to me, since you still overload the body with heavier weights...

    (pre-exhaust and drop sets don't do much imo, maybe add some volume, but that doesn't seem wise when training to failure, it would be better to use more intensity...)

    Edit; When I say build up, I don't mean in the same workout though, I mean the next workout; for (exampl) mo 1x3, we 2x3, fri 3x3, like that (you could add even more sets and go for 10x3)...

    Or you could do a different rep range (with same weight), like 4/5 or 6 reps and do only one working set again...

    Then when you've build up you volume, add intensity and start over again with the volume (just to make clear I'm not doing this in the same workout)

    It also helps you view your progress better then when you start trying to add sets, reps and weight in the same workout...
    Last edited by TheCore; 01-04-2007 at 09:00 AM.
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    going to failure is pretty intense as far as strain on the central nervous system (CNS). Its pretty simple, if you are going to take sets to failure you have to do less overall sets

    read this great article http://ironaddicts.com/forums/showthread.php?p=89393


    as far as sets and reps there are many ways to approach that....certain schemes appeal to certain people, but they ALL can be used from time to time even if they dont appear 'logical' at first

    for instance to me, this one wouldnt seem logical.....lets say I bench 300 max and around 255x6

    135x5 (warmup)
    185x5 (warmup)
    225x6
    235x6
    245x6
    250x5

    okay, at first that seems strange...seems like those first few sets at 225, 235 etc are just pointless. But..a lot of people follow that exact plan. It can be cool for benches, squats etc because it is really "safe" and it allows you to gradually build up. Yes, you end up sacrificing a few reps off of your top set because you are tired by then, but those other sets and the overall volume still contribute some good training effect

    another method is the "pyramid" or "half pyramid"...again, not the way I prefer but a lot of people like this way, including for instance Lee Haney who was a big proponent of pyramidding

    135x5 (easy warm up)
    185x10
    225x8
    245x6
    265x4

    again, to me its a 'safe' approach because you are working up gradually....thats probably good for beginners so they get plenty of reps for form work. That was a half pyramid...to do a full pyramid youd "come back down the mountain" by adding something like 245x6, 225x8 etc

    then there is "straight sets"..like this:

    135x5
    185x5
    245x8
    245x8
    245x7

    okay, there you are just warming up then doing several sets at the same weight. I think in the old days they called this "double progessive overload". You see that he was aiming for 245 for 3x8. HE couldnt quite get the 8 on the last set but next week he probably will and then the week after that he will go up 5 or 10 lbs and start again. He will probably get 255x6, 255x5, 255x4 and then he just builds it up from there

    a more intense method is "descending sets". This is where you warm up, then you go to your heaviest set. You push it close to failure and then on the next set you drop some weight and push it close to failure again and so on. This is a very intense way to workout and it probably shouldnt be used for a long period at one time, or for many overall sets.

    an example
    135x5
    185x5
    225x2 (last warm up)
    265x5
    255x5
    235x6

    okay, those last 3 sets were all either at failure or very close. So this is a very intense method. Nothing is wasted here. On the other methods it seems as if some of the first sets were a 'waste'...but here its all serious work after the warm ups.

    That is how I started working out long ago..I figured it was a lot "smarter" than straight sets etc. To be honest I didnt get very far using descending sets, lol. Although some of the other methods seemed 'wasteful' they DO help build up work capacity etc. I always thought I was 'smarter' than the guys doing 5x5 etc...funny how they were always bigger and stronger though, lol.


    A method I like now is sort of a combination of straight sets and descending sets

    like this perhaps:
    135x5
    185x3
    225x1 (last warm up)
    255x6
    255x5
    245x5

    something like that. I am trying to stay in th4 5-6 range...when I think it is appropriate I drop the weight so I can stay in that range.

    I also do that sometimes on squats or deads etc just for a mental break. I make myself do 2 heavy sets, then I "reward" myself by dropping about 10% off that last set

    for instance maybe
    325x5
    325x5
    295x5


    and those are only a few methods....there are many more and most of them are "workable"


    sometimes u might use a different method for different bodyparts. For instance I think pyramidding WOULD be pretty silly for arms. At least for me because I usually do arms after torso so the arms are plenty warmed up. So for arms its usually straight sets or the combination straight, descending

    like this on ez bar curls
    70x5 (warmup)
    95x10
    95x10
    95x8
    85x8

    yes its intense....but an intense arm workout is way less stressful on the overall body than descending sets on squats or deads etc
    Last edited by John Prophet; 01-04-2007 at 09:05 AM.
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    Originally Posted by TheCore View Post
    I still think failure does has a place in lifting though, you just shouldn't go to failure all the time...

    Going to failure for a while can be a good way to break through a plateau, it's basically trial and error...

    I would learn how to preform exercises correctly from people who know how to do them, then try out different ways to train and see how that goes!

    Like I said above, you could just as well build up the sets, then reps, then weights, than keep adding weight to a certain set/rep range for example 4x8 until you plateau and go to failure for a couple of weeks (2 weeks or so), using failure like that can be very beneficial, but after that you will have to lower the volume and intensity again and build up once more...

    Basically you build up, then you peak, then you go beyond peaking (failure training), then you deload and start over again...

    If you train to failure for to long without low volume and many rest days, you will burn out!!! So failure should be used wisely; fatique management!

    You could try rest pause for example for a short while, then some heavy negatives, but I wouldn't do much more failure training methods, those 2 seem to be most beneficial to me, since you still overload the body with heavier weights...

    (pre-exhaust and drop sets don't do much imo)
    Cheers for explaining what ‘PLATEAU’ means.

    Always do my exercises correctly, at the moment, if I do 8-10 reps on a certain weight I then move up a weight. Once I go heavy I am aiming for 5-7 reps. Just not 100% sure how many sets I should do per exercise.

    Totally understand what you saying concerning ‘fatigue’ training, just seem to get very different opinions and it becomes confusing what is best.
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    AndrewH is offline
    Thanks for spending the time doing this reply, used to do pyramid training on bench press (god that used to kill me).

    Will print off all these replies and have a good read.

    Thanks to everyone
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