Positive failure is an oxymoronic term if there ever was one. When I talk about this with a new client, they give me funny looks, since failure in most cases is seen as a negative. Only in the crazy world of bodybuilding can failure be a positive thing, sometimes I forget it given how long I’ve been moving the iron.

But it’s true, failure in a set of work lets you know where you are strength wise, as well as letting you know that you’ve worked your muscles to a point where they failed, temporarily being unable to do another rep, which makes inroads into your current. levels of strength, endurance, and the ability of your muscles to handle the work assigned to you. Muscles have two choices, die under the oncoming attacks or grow and get stronger to handle the loads placed on them, trying to overcompensate because basically the body is lazy and more interested in preservation and conservation, resentful of being pushed beyond his comfort zone.

This can be a tricky balancing act that, if mishandled, can lead to overtraining, the body’s last line of defense to back you down. Training to positive failure depends on a combination of factors, the number of sets, body part splits, how often a given muscle is trained, and the definition of failure.

We hear the terms positive failure and absolute failure, these are not interchangeable and knowing the difference is vital to continued progress. As you may have guessed by now, absolute failure is much more taxing on your body and should be used sparingly.

Positive failure occurs when a point is reached during a set of repetitions where the muscles cannot do another repetition without breaking good form, although loosening form a bit would still be considered a positive failure, but abandoning proper form altogether and using excessive body language would not be. In most cases, this is enough to induce a response from the muscles, as the body does not see this as a threat, but simply as hard work within the body’s ability to recover and compensate the next time it is hit. holding on to him, being ready to turn. a little bigger and stronger.

This training, recovery and compensation relationship must be respected and not taken for granted or taken advantage of or, like any relationship, it will blow up in your face in the form of overtraining, a negative failure where only stagnation and regression reside.

Absolute failure, on the other hand, is like a lethal weapon that, in the wrong hands, can be disastrous, leading to chronic overuse injuries and terminal overtraining. Absolute failure occurs with the use of intensity principles that are added to a set at the end when another repetition is not possible in reasonably good form and some means of deception is employed to keep the muscle working in the form of forced repetitions, pauses for a few seconds, partial repetitions at the point of strongest leverage of the muscles, etc.

The fallacy with the notion of absolute failure is that there is no such thing, let me repeat this so you don’t miss it, there is no such thing as absolute failure because with a little bit of rest the muscles are capable of moving a load of work even if it is it deals with a reduced amount of workload and this is where people get into trouble, believing that they will reach a point where the muscles are totally unable to work and never find it, leading them to do a lot more work than necessary and causing only damage. .

You see the ignorance of this in every gym, someone will be doing a set and if it looks like the person is about to fail, they encourage the person to do a few more reps, even grabbing the bar and forcing them to do it. numerous forced repetitions before allowing the person to finish the set.

I remember the time when I was doing wide grip pulldowns and as I was nearing the end of the set someone came up to me and pulled the bar down, yelling at me to do a few more reps, ruining the last rep and pissing me off. .

I informed him that it was improper to jump onto someone’s set without being asked and without knowing the person’s current intensity tolerance level. He walked away looking dazed, thinking that one’s training tolerance has limitations and fluctuations that need to be monitored and modulated.

My own brother found this out the hard way. On the day of the leg workout, he decided to give his thighs a real brush up. He did set after set of non-locking squats with a short rest in between. I lost count of how many sets he did, but never found a point where he couldn’t do another set, but an hour later he threw up every half hour to half hour for the next twelve hours. By the time he was done it looked like death had heated up and he missed the next week of training and struggled through his training the following week, lesson learned.

To say we were tough would be accurate, but it takes more than the ability to push your body to the extreme, you need to understand how hard is hard enough, a lesson my brother will never forget.

Another example is the time long before in our training careers that I decided to put together the ultimate compound set workouts that operate on the theory of more is better. I put together the most effective list of exercises for each muscle group, at least ten exercises in a row. I exposed the master plan to my brother and we proceeded.

The intensity was unreal and the pump was incredible, leaving us sore for days. Now, in my experience, you shouldn’t have to wait to start seeing results from your training, this isn’t magic, just simple overload and compensation. The first week went by and nothing, the second week went by and still nothing. Even given my young age at the time, I knew that continuing would be reckless and, more importantly, a waste of effort.

I was amazed that the work given to the muscles had no effect. We were able to complete all the sets, the muscles seemed to be able to handle the work. It was here that I realized that the ability to get the job done did not ensure success and that there had to be a tipping point where more is not better, but rather more. I took a good look at the workouts and began to reduce the number of linked exercises in a row, calculating different amounts for each muscle group in accordance with their size and role of participation in training as a whole.

After making these adjustments we started training again and immediately saw results even though the workouts compared to what we had been doing seemed soft and not so hard learning that less is more or more precisely the right amount was enough to push the muscles without overwhelming them.

Therefore, your goal in training is to train to positive failure in good shape most of the time with short periods of time using intensity principles to bring out only stubborn or difficult muscle groups, reserving the most intense training for effect. shocking to drive new growth without overusing this and undoing the good benefits of pushing to utter failure, knowing when to finish a set.

By admin

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