Training for Failure is a Common Theory Practice by Bodybuilder

By: Jon Cardozo
The concept of training to failure has been popular in the world of bodybuilding during the past few years. Training to failure means that you repeat a strength training exercise until you are unable to do it any more. For example, you lift a weight continually until your muscles physically cannot lift it again--and you fail. Why is this problematic? Many bodybuilding experts believe that is it essential to train to failure if you want to make large increases in your muscle.

There have been some articles that I have discovered recently that suggest training just shy of failure. These articles were written by seasoned body builders as advice to other bodybuilders, especially beginners.

This would basically require that the trainee perform until he fails, so that he will know his limitations. After doing that for some time, he would need to do a consistent routine that is one repetition below his level of failure. Both the central nervous system and the immune system can be exhausted by training consistently to failure, according to trainers Kevin Dye and Jason Ferrugia, and neither will recover as quickly from training as muscles would. It won't be as likely that you are completely recovered before your next workout. This means the fibers in your muscles have not yet rebuilt themselves. The basic principles of muscle building needs to be recalled in order to fully understand this. The body does not want to be put under the same stress repeatedly, so by challenging your muscles past their limits if you want muscle to grow. The recovery phase is where muscle builds, not during the actual workout. Muscles grow during sleep as long as the body is getting sufficient nourishment via protein and calories.
Exercising to failure may hurt recovery and eventually damage your progress.


For a person who is not advancing in their bodybuilding regimen, these suggestions are worth looking into even though they may not agree with accepted practices.

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