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    Registered User zx_82's Avatar
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    Training until failure?

    I'm a guy who has been working out for a year and have had some success in bulking up my body which has led my girlfriend to seek my advice in her desire to tone up. She's about 5'7", 145 lbs, and I plan to have her do about 2-3 exercises per muscle group, 2 sets each, in then 10-15 rep range depending on exercise. She is concerned about becoming too bulked, and I know for men, to pack on real muscle the best way to do that is to perform reps intensely until you can't perform one more. Just wondering if this same rule applies to women who want to tone rather than compete as bodybuilders? Thanks.
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    personally id say go to about 1-2 reps short of failure

    ESPECIALLY for a beginner there is absolutely ZERO reason to go to failure....she wll make all the progress she wants to make for a good while just by making each set an honest effort....she doesnt need to go to failure
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    I'm a real person!! abcreations's Avatar
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    Start her out the same way you started. There is no reason why she should do what people call "girly stuff"

    My husband taught me just like I was one of the guys in the gym.
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    Even men should never perform to failure. All it is is CNS failure, and you really don't want to be doing that.
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    Cailin Deas Eileen's Avatar
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    I occasionally train to failure, when I have a good spotter, but mostly I go to a rep short of failure and stop.

    Maybe it's age, but I find that failure training just takes too long to recover from. I don't find it worth the possible gains and risk of injury.

    The most recent research seems to show that occasional failure training is as effective as constant failure training, and with less risk of injury or overtraining.
    65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carbs = keto.

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    I'm a real person!! abcreations's Avatar
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    Oh by the way, your girlfriend wont bulk up unless she has a high amount of testosterone (like a guy) or if she is taking steroids. It's just not possible for a woman to do it. If you look through some of the other threads, this is repeated over and over.

    Let her know that lifting weights will actually build muscle, rev up her metabolism and help build stronger bones. Later in life she will thank you for it. Bone loss is very serious for a woman.

    Also like the guy bodybuilders, the women have to shed alot of bodyfat to compete and show off the muscles. They don't stay like that all the time. Also staying at a very low bodyfat is bad for a wonam. It can mess with her monthly cycle among other things.

    I think if I hear one more lady at the gym say, "Oh I don't want to lift weights, I just want to get toned" I am going to scream.

    Everyone is different so you may have to help her try different things. Look through some of the articles on the site. There are a few for newbies.

    Also remind her that she wont be able to pick up weights like you do and go for it. Start out with lighter weight and learn how to do the excersize properly. As soon as she feels comfortable with it, then go up in weight. She doesn't want to hurt herself the first time she tries. That will really bring her down. On most of the machines, have her do atleast one set without weight just so she knows how everything moves. This is how my husband taught me and now we are teaching our 12 year old son. He has moved right along in the past two months.

    Just think back to what it was like when you started. Have her look at magazines and books that show pictures of the moves. This will also help.

    Also don't believe everything that you read in the womens magazines. They tell most ladies to cut back (way back) on calories and they don't leave anything for your muscles to build on.

    I hope this helped. I sure am not a guru on this subject but the ladies on the board have told me a thing or two.

    Trial and Error.
    Last edited by abcreations; 01-14-2007 at 01:51 PM.
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  7. #7
    I'm still 27 in hex :) Plato458's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    The most recent research seems to show that occasional failure training is as effective as constant failure training, and with less risk of injury or overtraining.
    Agreed - also training to failure can be a bit demoralising for a newbie, it leaves them feeling well, like they've failed - and form by this stage can be awful too.

    99% of the time, I train to complete the sets and push for an additional one rep or whatever as I feel that day. That way I feel like I've made progress without buggering myself up.

    1% of the time I am an idiot, last week I trained to failure when I felt crap and didn't T/O my ego - yup, my CNS let me do it, my core couldn't cope and I hurt my back.

    Let her enjoy herself by learning to make positive strength/form gains before setting her up to failure training.

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  8. #8
    Cailin Deas Eileen's Avatar
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    Yep, sometimes I think I work harder when I've got a number of reps to complete. It's a struggle, but I always get there. Sometimes it feels like "failure training" is just an excuse to give up early.
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  9. #9
    Registered User pitmommy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zx_82 View Post
    I'm a guy who has been working out for a year and have had some success in bulking up my body which has led my girlfriend to seek my advice in her desire to tone up. She's about 5'7", 145 lbs, and I plan to have her do about 2-3 exercises per muscle group, 2 sets each, in then 10-15 rep range depending on exercise. She is concerned about becoming too bulked, and I know for men, to pack on real muscle the best way to do that is to perform reps intensely until you can't perform one more. Just wondering if this same rule applies to women who want to tone rather than compete as bodybuilders? Thanks.

    IMHO, I like your idea, I would just change 3 to 4 sets with enough weight to do the 12 to 15 reps , should get her tone not bulk, It is possible for women to bulk up like men.
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  10. #10
    Banned boyscouT's Avatar
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    Good read about training to failure here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=634720
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