Training to Failure

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  • January 23, 2006 at 9:52 pm #455

    The following was posted on SuperTraining group:


    J Appl Physiol. 2006 Jan 12;

    Izquierdo M, Ibanez J, Gonzalez-Badillo JJ, Hakkinen K, Ratamess NA,
    Kraemer WJ, French DN, Eslava J, Altadill A, Asiain X, Gorostiaga EM.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of 11 weeks of
    resistance training to failure vs. non-failure, followed by an
    identical 5- week peaking period of maximal strength and power
    training for both groups as well as to examine the underlying
    physiological changes in basal circulating anabolic/catabolic

    Forty-two physically-active men were matched and then randomly
    assigned to either a training to failure (RF; n=14), non-failure
    (NRF; n=15) or control groups (C;n=13). Muscular and power testing
    and blood draws to determine basal hormonal concentrations were
    conducted before the initiation of training (T0), after 6 wk of
    training (T1), after 11 wk of training (T2), and after 16 wk of
    training (T3). Both RF and NRF resulted in similar gains in 1RM bench
    press (23% and 23%) and parallel squat (22% and 23%), muscle power
    output of the arm (27% and 28%) and leg extensor muscles (26% and
    29%) and maximal number of repetitions performed during parallel
    squat (66% and 69%). RF group experienced larger gains in the maximal
    number of repetitions performed during the bench press The peaking
    phase (T2 to T3) followed after NRF resulted in larger gains in
    muscle power output of the lower extremities, whereas after RF
    resulted in larger gains in the maximal number of repetitions
    performed during the bench press.

    Strength training leading to RF resulted in reductions in resting
    concentrations of IGF-1 and elevations in IGFBP-3, whereas NRF
    resulted in reduced resting cortisol concentrations and an elevation
    in resting serum total testosterone concentration. This investigation
    demonstrated a potential beneficial stimulus of NRF for improving
    strength and power, especially during the subsequent peaking training
    period, whereas performing sets to failure resulted in greater gains
    in local muscular endurance. Elevation in IGFBP-3 following
    resistance training may have been compensatory to accommodate the
    reduction in IGF-1 in order to preserve IGF availability.

    January 24, 2006 at 3:08 am #2200

    Interesting that they both have similar percentages through all exercises. I prefer training to failure myself, but it seems to be nothing to bragg about, as the results RF/NRF equal each other. DA

    January 24, 2006 at 3:11 am #2201

    Yep, it would seem that a bit of both is probably best.

    January 24, 2006 at 10:35 am #2202

    Isn’t one of the main reasons for not training to failure the fact that recovery times are decreased, due to less neural fatigue, and therefore more frequent training can take place? Which this study, from what i can see, has not taken into account. The similar results make sense though as similar work is being perfromed yet adequate use of the non failure training has not been used.

    January 25, 2006 at 2:43 am #2203

    I count my warm up set as not training to failure 😀

    January 25, 2006 at 3:35 am #2204

    @IAN wrote:

    I count my warm up set as not training to failure 😀

    I have to remember to do it. DA

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