Training To Failure Is Counterproductive

| June 9, 2014 by Truth Seeker |

According to many bro-scientists in the field of bodybuilding, one must reach complete muscle failure in order to build muscle and strength. That’s why you see so many obsessed bodybuilders scream like crazy and push until their joints can no longer move. They call this hard work, but is this method an effective way to train?

Training to failure is counterproductive.

Imagine that you want to learn a foreign language. Will you read and study until you can no longer see the words? Do you think that a similar approach is beneficial? I doubt it. I am sorry to disappoint the masochist in you, but you don’t have to kill yourself to get results. You should always work hard, but you don’t have to reach the critical point of failure.

What about training to form failure?

This concept is actually not that bad. If you stop when you know that the next repetition may require form sacrifice, you are maintaining high intensity while minimizing the risks.


But Dorian Yates says that I should train to failure! He has big musclez!?

Who cares? Dorian Yates was on drugs. You should always take the advice of professional bodybuilders with criticism. Many of them are paid by supplement companies to talk nonsense and just push products in your face.

Rocky trains to failure. I want to be like Rocky!

All I can say is – don’t trust the TV. It rarely shows reality.

Note: Another important factor that people tend to forget is that the connective tissues need more time to recover due to their slower metabolism. Training to failure places too much stress on the joints because it is usually accompanied by poor form.

Bottom line: Always keep a few reps in the bank.

2 comments

  1. Mayukh Sen

    This is demonstrably false, no offense.

    Brad schoenfeld’s 45 set till failure a week study brought in one of the best gains in natural subjects…..

    I have been doing 10 sets till failure every other day, for 3 weeks straight, followed by a week of deload, 2 submaximal set every other day on the deload week, I never experienced faster gains, I do train with 8 rep max weights or lighter btw, because training to failure with heavier weights requires longer recovery time.

    I bench 405lbs at 190lbs bodyweight and I have a 225lbs weighted chin up for 3 reps. 500lbs squat and 550lbs deadlift(I use other methods for squat and deadlift btw)

    In other words, as long as you are doing one deload week followed by 3 training weeks, each week 3-4 sessions per muscle group and each session 5-10 sets till failure per muscle group, you will be fine. That deload week fixes everything, and brings in an explosion of strength and muscle gains.

  2. Mayukh Sen

    My bad, I didnt read your second point regarding form failure,you are right about that one, sorry guys, forgive my misunderstanding.

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