If you’ve ever watched a documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know how hardcore he was.
And he wasn’t an outlier.
I believe all the old-school bodybuilders were doing the same – training to failure each and every set.
But is that really necessary?
Do you have to train to failure each time if you want to achieve maximum muscle growth… or is that approach counterproductive?
Well, here’s what science has to say…
To better understand what it means to train to failure, let’s first talk about training intensity.
Intensity is a measure of how close you come to your maximum strength capabilities.
In other words, how close you are to your one-rep maximum.
For example, if your one-rep max on the bench is 300lbs, and you’re lifting 240lbs, that means you’re lifting at 80% intensity.
If you’re lifting over 80% intensity, the exercise gets strenuous.
Your nervous system gets overloaded.
That’s because, with heavier weights, you can’t rely just on muscle fiber activation to successfully lift the weight.
To lift heavier weights, you need to increase the frequency of brain-to-muscle signals which means your nervous system has to work harder so it often gets overloaded.
So if you’re constantly training in your maximum capacity, you might face the following issues:
Prolonged muscle exhaustion
Lowered strength capabilities
And those issues can limit or even prevent any progress in the long run.
That’s why it’s much better to stay slightly below your “point of failure” in most of the sets you do.
For example, let’s say you can do 10 reps with 240lbs until you fail and can’t do any more reps.
This means you should normally do 6-8 reps with 240lbs.
Or, you can do more reps with less weight.
However, it doesn’t mean you should never train to failure – only that you should start small.
You can start by doing one set until failure per week for each muscle group.
And then, when your nervous system gets used to it, you can start adding more of those sets to your training routine.
Also, when you’re training to failure, don’t forget to give your body what it needs to perform on the highest possible level and recover in the least amount of time.
Now if you’re a professional bodybuilder, you can ignore our advice. You have top 1% genetics and your body likely will be able to handle training till failure every workout.
But for 99% of us, I don’t advise it. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.
Stay fit my friend,
Founder & CEO
P.S. Oh!mino is proven to make a difference in athletic performance for both professional athletes and the average gym-goer.
It also speeds up muscle recovery which is crucial if you’re training to failure on a couple sets per week.
Take the caffeinated before the workout and see how you’re able to crank out a few more reps.