Tag Archives: failure

Train to gain

It seems that hitting momentary mechanical failure is equally if not more important tan the load you lift.
^^ A good study looking at 3x Fail x30% VS 3x Fail x80%.
In short, the act of hitting failure provide adequate stimulus to trigger muscle growth.
The growth was essentially the same in both groups, however the group that used a heavier weight got stronger as well (pretty logical).
So what does this mean for your training?
You can look at it one of two ways:
1 – Cycle your loads between 30-80% 1RM and perform 3 sets per muscle group to muscle failure each set (after a couple of warm up sets, obviously).
2 – You can take this data and combine to s strength program to add some extra oomph, so perhaps performing working sets at a standard weight, say 5x5x80% (leaving reps in the take and focusing on strength), followed by a back off set of the same weight or between the 30-80% mark for AMRAP to hit failure, triggering more growth stimulus.
Both options are viable, both will improve strength and size.
Another nice option is this:
W/U – 10-15 reps
Set 1 – 10 reps – tough
Set 2 – 8 reps – tougher
Set 3 – 6-8 reps – hardest set
Set 4 – reps to failure with previous load or reduce load by 20%
If you ever see someone who has any decent amount of size you’ll notice they’ve often blended training to failure with stopping just short, try it yourself and see how you do.

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Fatigue Fatigue Fatigue

When you’re training accordingly and pushing your limits as you should (working close to and eventually slightly over your maximal recoverable volume), fatigue amasses quickly if your volume/training goes unchecked or not tracked.

It’s true some people don’t track and simply go by feel but these are also the people who end up burning out and often times getting injured. On the other side of that scale there are people who go by feel and never train hard enough to create a significant enough metabolic disturbance to induce adaptation.

However, if you’ve trained hard enough in the past you will know that feeling when you’ve been making steady progress and all of a sudden ‘wham!’ you take a step backwards (this is you bodies way of telling you that you’ve reached or are dam close to your limit. For now). This is then the ideal time to deload the volume and intensity a touch to allow some of that much needed recovery.

There are several reasons for fatigue amassing as quickly as it does, volume is the main factor, however sleep, nutrition, training protocols and stress levels also play a part too. It’s worth noting that in terms of people who seem to keep going and break the rules, now they are either genetic freak beasts or on PEDS. You will also get the other extreme where some will train perhaps twice per week for 2 weeks and become incredibly fatigued because they are the unlucky ones who got the dregs of the gene-pool. Remember that for the rest of us mere mortals we often fall in the middle of the bell-curve and not each end of the extremes.

Now there are certain guidelines that people recommend to optimise recovery and manage fatigue, here is a brief list:

– 6-8 hours quality sleep (in bed and asleep by 10pm in a perfect world)
– Higher carbs, sometimes as high as 50% for some people.
– Multivitamin supplementation to help any deficiencies.
– Pre-workout meal 1-1 protein to carb ratio. Intra-workout 1-1or2 protein to carb ratio. Post-workout 1-3or4 protein to carb ratio.
– Meditation – 60 min each day (6x10min slots, 3×20 min etc). This will help manage the testosterone to cortisol ratio.
– Volume Management – 3 week accumulation of volume, 1 week deload.
– Lift variation cycling – the stress imposed fomr each lift individually.
– Load (intensity – potentiation/peaking) cycling – heavy, medium,light days.


^^ This will make an interesting read for those who want to know more behind it all (I just hopped on google and found somthing that basically backed up my points, as everyone does, lol).

In short you will want to keep your calories at maintenance or in a surplus ideally (if you’re on a cut then you need to be even more mindful of total volume, intensity, T-C ratio etc), while monitoring the progressively increasing volume/intensity, exercise choice and planning in ‘light’ days and full deloads.

Are you keeping an eye on what you’re doing?

If you are and you’re still fatigued what part of that small list above is missing, or perhaps it’s something else…

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Answers of the Past

Morning Guys,

What was your favourite subject as School?

Mine was PE, but for the purpose of this post we shall imagine it was History. Not that I didn’t like History, I just found PE more fun.

If there was one thing I learnt from History lessons though it was that there have been literally hundreds of thousands of people that have either done what you’re attempting to do or failed at what you’re about to do in the exact same way you’re about to do it.

This humbling lesson seems to be ignored by a great many people who seem to think they will be the one to make the failed attempt a success through the exact same methods that didn’t work the first time around.

*Face Palm.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for self realisation and learning things the hard way because that might be the way you need to learn said lesson, however, some common sense, logic and research in to the past will hep you avoid making the same mistakes/decisions of your forbearers.

Why is it a good idea to look to the past, apart from to see what didn’t work.

Have you figured it out yet?

You look to the past not only to see what failed, but what succeeded as well!

The chances are that if something has worked in the past and continued to do so multiple times over, again and again, then the probability of it still working now are quite high. Only a fool would not use such valuable information.

What was the point of this post?

The answers to your questions today and even your questions in the future many, and will quite often be found by looking in to the past.


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