Should you train to failure?

SHOULD YOU TRAIN TO FAILURE?

Should you train to failure?

Here’s a question we get all the time by well meaning trainees. And here’s what we as a team think!⁣⁣

  1. If you’re a complete beginner in the gym you shouldn’t train to failure as you have a lot of motor learning to do with all the new movements so it will take some time to wire your body to these. As soon as you’ve progressed yourself to intermediate status in the gym, and have good proficiency with the key lifts you should move towards higher intensity/training too failure or very close too.⁣⁣
  2. The shocking truth is that most people have no idea what training to true failure is. Everyone stops a few reps shy of actual failure and this is supported by research. The kind of failure we’re referring is the kind where the correct working muscle can no longer produce enough force/has fatigued enough to be unable to complete the concentric phase (pushing).
  3. As most people don’t get anywhere near failure, we’d advise most just train as closely as possible to failure.
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  4. Once you’ve gotten used to pushing harder with your training take most of your compound lifts to failure or at least 1 rep shy. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣
  5. Safety can be an issue with barbell and dumbbell movements due to stability so true failure is more safely done with the use of machines.
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BONUS TIP – Keep an eye on your recovery status. This means managing training volume, good nutrition, optimal sleep and stress management.⁣⁣

For a more in depth piece on this, check out:

Training to Failure: Yes or No?

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Akash Vaghela is the Director of RNT Fitness. He specialises in transforming the bodies of City executives, CEOs, actors, physique athletes and regular people who want to be in the best shape of their lives. Akash has written for T-Nation, Elite FTS, Flex UK, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, MensXP, the Square Mile, Muscle Monsters, the PTDC, Advanced Coaching Academy, and Ultimate Performance.