It’s been a while since I last uploaded an article on my blog. I’ve been busy writing blogs for my sponsor “Sportbenzin,” working for my company, giving personal training sessions, and of course, working out. Recently, my training partner has recorded a whole training session, and we made a short video clip out of it. Watch it, like it, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel 🙂

Enough advertisement! In this article, I’d like to write about the pros and cons of training to failure. First of all, you need to know what “training to failure” is. Basically, training to failure is repeating an exercise to the point where a repetition fails due to inadequate muscular strength. If you were aiming for 10 reps, for example, but could only do 8 and a half reps despite all efforts, then you failed on that 9th rep. Training to failure is often discussed in the fitness and muscle building world; people often discuss whether you should train to failure on every set, or if you should try to avoid it.

Training to failure

Without a doubt, one of the necessary components to building muscles is overloading muscle tissues, so that the body has to build new cells and repair the damage. If enough building blocks are provided, this repair process will cause muscle gains and makes you stronger. But, is it really a requirement that you have to go to failure with every set you perform?

In my opinion, training to failure can definitely be a good thing. Training to failure means you are working really hard, and this usually leads to rapid muscle fatigue. In addition, if you push your body to the absolute limit, you can see what you’ve really got. In other words, training to failure can be motivating.

On the other hand, there are reasons why training to failure should be avoided. Training to failure is pretty intense and will not only damage your muscles, but also your central nervous system. Constantly lifting to failure can cause overtraining, which really is a bad thing.
Furthermore, the recovery time of your muscles will be significant higher if you train to failure, which means more downtime away from the gym.

How I deal with training to failure

I’d say there is no rule for train to failure and also no solution for all the problems I’ve described above. If you should train to failure or not is dependent on different factors like training intensity, frequency, and goals. I usually don’t train to failure simply because I want to perform as good as possible on every training day. I can definitely notice the difference in my performance when I’ve trained to failure or only worked to 80% effort the day before. It has to be said that my main goal isn’t muscle growth at the moment but mastering new strength movements. So in my case, training to failure is definitely counterproductive.

However, I sometimes like to train to failure. Especially if I know I’ll take some days off from the gym, I’ll go “all in.” My muscles are usually pretty sore, so I wouldn’t be able to workout  for at least next 24 hours. In case I want to do something good for my body even though my muscles are sored, I usually do a stretching session or take a muscle relaxing bath.

To sum up, training to failure can be a good thing but shouldn’t be done too often, as it has bad long term effects on your body. I hope you enjoyed this article. As always, let me know if you have any questions or you feel completely different on this topic.

– Tinu

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