I know training to failure is good for you but what does it really mean?
Does it mean......
1) Training with heavy weights and on the last rep of each set not being able to perform another one
2) Having your muscles 100 percent tired and making them feel like you couldn't lift any more weight no matter how heavy
I usually follow 1).
Am I training to failure?
I think many people have different ideas of "failure".
For me it would be number 1..
If a set is to failure it means you have performed reps untill the last one you completed you perhaps needed a slight bit of help. Ie you trained to the point at which your body failed to get another rep..
The theory of training to failure is interesting.
Although a lot of people say you don't NEED to train to failure, I always do.. I feel you have to put the body under pressure beyond failure.. Sometimes I may go 1 rep past failure other times I may do 3 -4 forced reps...
I just remember watching pumping iron and Arnold was saying it is that last few reps beyond the point at which you thought you could go that builds the muscle. Although that is not entirely true I feel you have to go that extra length, those few more reps than everyone else is doing..
It`s definitely no1, If I train to the number 2 standard I usually know about it the next day and the next etc... You hit the nail on the head failure is when your muscle is unable to complete another rep due to lack of oxygen. I too usually work to failure on every set except when I`m lifting heavy and have no spotter ha ha. That would be foolish. Keep up the hard work pal.
Rememeber after every dark night, comes a bright day so no matter how hard it gets stick ya chest out, keep ya head up and handle it ! - Tupac shakur
Keep pumping !
Two types of Failure techniques:
1) Absolute Failure
2) Positive Failute: training until last possible rep.
You are training to failure if the last rep is the last possible complete rep you can perform. As a practice, this method is not only more practical, it is more effecient for muscle growth. The notion of having to collapse under the weight (and/or perform several forced reps after failure) for a set to be productive, is an outdated one outside of some of the H.I.T. & Powerlifting circles. As long as you are performing 2 or 3 working sets to the last possible rep with progressing reps & weight, you are achieving MUSCLE OVERLOAD, which is the most important factor. Anything beyond that can become counterproductive and intefere with muscle recovery/repair/growth.
This is not to say that Failure techniques & forced reps can not benefit you, it just is not a good way to perform your workouts.
O.K., I stole a chunk of my post from another topic for this one. I define failure as continuing an exercise until you literally get stuck on a rep and cannot complete it. Heavy or not has nothing to do with it. You can go to failure at 1 rep or 50 reps. Now, below I explain why going to failure is the only logical way to train.
The greater the intensity (as I define it), the greater the stimulation and the greater the gains if your body is allowed to recover. There is a threshold for each individual (be it 75%, 80% etc.) in intensity that will stimulate growth, but how do we determine that threshold? Once we have determined it (if we can), then how do we know what rep to stop at? Let's say, for example, that a trainee found out his threshold for growth is 90% intensity. That means if he can lift 100 lbs for 10 reps he can stop at 9 and still stimulate growth. Now, he stops at 9 in his first workout, but where should he stop in his next workout? Did he stimulate enough growth for him to do 11 or 12 reps, or maybe even 13? Do you see? For him to hit that 90% figure he must always know exactly how strong he is, but he cannot know that until he trains. The only way to assure yourself growth is to train to failure (100% intensity) because it requires no previous knowledge. You just go until you cannot perform another rep and then you have assured yourself growth stimulation. Think about that.