Going to Failure. When to Stop and NOT Stop.

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Kenny Croxdale
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Going to Failure. When to Stop and NOT Stop.

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:11 am

This is a good article by Thibaudeau on when to and when NOT to train to fauilure. I pretty much agree with it.

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The Thib System — Fatigue and Best Exercises
http://www.t-nation.com/article/bodybui ... _exercises

The nervous system takes as much as five to six times longer than the muscles to recover from an intense session. So by constantly going to muscle failure, you can overload the CNS so much that it becomes impossible to train with a high frequency.

Taking a set to the point of muscle failure ensures that this set was as productive as it can be. Remember, simply recruiting a motor unit doesn't mean that it's been stimulated.

You should do both! In fact, going to failure or not should be an exercise-dependant variable. The more demanding an exercise is on the CNS, the farther away from failure you should stop the set. However, in exercises where the CNS is less involved, you should go to failure and possibly beyond.

When to STOP and NOT STOP.

1. Olympic lifts, ballistic exercises, speed lifts with 45-55% of maximum, plyometrics, and jumps and bounds

STOP When the speed of movement decreases.

2. Deadlifts (and variations), goodmornings (and variations), squats (and variations), lunges and step-ups, free-weight pressing (overhead, incline, flat, decline, and dips), and free-weight/cable pulling (vertical and horizontal)

STOP: One to two reps short of failure.

3. Machine pressing and pulling, chest isolation work, quadriceps isolation work, hamstrings isolation work, lower back isolation work, and abdominal work

Go to failure on at least one set per exercise; you can go to failure on all sets.

4. Biceps isolation work, triceps isolation work, traps isolation work, calves isolation work, and forearms isolation work Very low Go to failure on all sets.

You can go past the point of failure (drop sets, rest/pause, etc.) on one to two sets per exercise.

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:00 am

Thanks for finding that. I went and read the article itself, too, and it's followup.

It does seem to match a lot of prior work, too - that Westside/Russian/etc. approach of doing ME work not to failure, DE/Speed work until the bar slows down, and Accessory work to, to near, or past, failure.

Nice to see it put down by exercises as well, and it makes it clear what goes where in the ME/DE/Accessory split. Bicep curls are your accessories, never your DE or ME work, so you do them higher reps and hit failure more. Your speed benches, clean-and-jerks, snatches, box jumps, etc. are DE, so you stop when you slow down (or can't jump as high, for box jumps). Your deadlifts and squats and weighted chinups are ME work, so you do them until you've only got 1-2 reps left.

I wonder where isometric fit into this, actually. Do you stop short of exhaustion - treat it like ME work? Or is it an accessory, and not CNS-dependent, and stop at failure or later? I mean all sorts of isometrics, here - pushing a barbell against pins, handstands, hanging from a chinup bar in a front lever, etc. Is that CNS-frying or not, I wonder?

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Post by tostig » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:03 pm

The next question would be to identify "what is failure" so you'll know to avoid it.

For Deadlifts, that would be pretty obvious: when you can't lift the next rep.

But for GMs, Squats, Bench Presses, lunges - when you failed, can't finish your rep and you are trapped in the wrong position - risking falling over and causing some damage.

OR

should it be only when you can't do another full range rep? You don't squat as low; on bend over rows you don't pull as high; on bench presses, you don't lower the bar as much?

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:04 pm

If you can't maintain good form, then you've reached failure. Likewise, if you can't complete another rep, that would be going to failure. If you don't have a good spotter on lifts like squats and bench presses then you may want to stop a little short of failure ... better safe than sorry.

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Post by rwhipps » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:01 pm

So is what that's saying is that every time I do isolation work (biceps, triceps, quads, hams, etc.) I can go to failure, or would I still want to keep it to only once in awhile?

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:48 pm

rwhipps wrote:So is what that's saying is that every time I do isolation work (biceps, triceps, quads, hams, etc.) I can go to failure, or would I still want to keep it to only once in awhile?
3. Machine pressing and pulling, chest isolation work, quadriceps isolation work, hamstrings isolation work, lower back isolation work, and abdominal work

Go to failure on at least one set per exercise; you can go to failure on all sets.
It's just like my therapist told me: It's alright to fail. :lol:

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yo

Post by CoreAlex » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:48 pm

whoa i didnt know going to failure is good? can i do it for every exercise?

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Post by TheHeb » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:27 pm

No, at least according to Kenny's post. You should only go to failure for the following exercises.

3. Machine pressing and pulling, chest isolation work, quadriceps isolation work, hamstrings isolation work, lower back isolation work, and abdominal work

4. Biceps isolation work, triceps isolation work, traps isolation work, calves isolation work, and forearms isolation work Very low Go to failure on all sets.

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muscle fatigue

Post by CoreAlex » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:35 pm

would failure be a good thing to do and should it be done after u finished ur entire workout. What i mean is lets say u spent 45 minutes lifting and u wanna get in something extra, can u spend like 5 minutes doing whatever isolation workout out u did that day but this time go to faliure with it?

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Post by TheHeb » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:29 am

You mean do an isolation exercise (like biceps curl) to failure that you already did earlier in the workout (that is, you would do biceps curl twice)? That's not necessary. I think what the article is saying is that you can just go to failure on your first time with an exercise like that.

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Post by CoreAlex » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:54 am

is this good, haha i never thought to do this will it help?

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Post by TheHeb » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:30 pm

Please read the article, I can't hold your hand and walk you through things that have already been covered in this thread. Sorry.

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Post by TimD » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:03 pm

I'm pretty sure this guy is a troll. He either doesn't read the replies, or ignores them, and keeps asking the same things over and over. Don't think we're going to see any more of him.
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Post by lightningsix » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:05 pm

lol, maybe he's a youngin' :P

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:23 pm

He's 15.

He'll get over it.

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