Ryan A wrote:
Although I am not familiar with any studies on your question, the people on the westside train of thought do incorporate both types of training into their workouts.
They have three types of days which are maximal effort(ME) where you train above 90% and try to hit a personal record(PR), dynamic effort(DE) where they train near 50% for maximum speed(I always argue this is a form of max effort training as well because they do repeated sets of 2-3 reps until their speed declines), and finally repetition training (RE for repeated effort) where they do high reps at sub 40% weights often for time rather than rep count (ie doing a fixed cadence for up to 8 minutes).
More so than anyone these guys have utilized training to failure however they do so successfully by a constant rotation of their lifts, switching exercises sometimes week to week for the ME days. They use RE sparingly and use DE as a staple for training form and explosiveness. These gusy are powerlifters though and I think that for the average guy looking to get fit, there is no need for this approach which is why I have moved away from it recently. I gave it a shot for a while and learned a lot about training and still incorporate some of their exercises and ideas into my training but have modified the particular structure to suit my needs. Some of the westside lifters have also modified but the bulk of them still follow the main structure listed above.
To summarize, I think training to failure has its place but for the most part you can get by leaving 1-2 in the tank as Bill mentioned and you do not have to agonize as much with soreness between workouts. That said, I believe many westside lifters use substances that help their recovery abilities although I do not want to claim this to be absolute fact so take that with a grain of salt.
I hope that partially helps Drew,
Thanks, Ryan. I've been doing my own program of 10 reps to failure, circuit-style. And when I reach 10, the next time I increase the weight and shoot for 10 again. I've only been doing this for a few months, so I still haven't hit my failure point on some exercises -- I started with low weight and have been slowly increasing it in order to prefect my form in anticipation of heavier weights down the road.
Though I plan to change my routine when I stop seeing progress. Unfortunatley, never having done this, I'm not quite sure how long it will take!