How to Maximize Training to Failure

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

If you really plan to take your lifting to the next level and get as big, strong, and athletic as possible, you need to maximize the level at which you train to failure. Training to failure indicates that you have worked your muscles to the point of utter exhaustion, that you can do no more in the gym that session. Training to failure is the kind of training that provides optimal acceleration on the front of strength and size, and it can be a lot of fun to do.

Step 2

There are a few different methods involved in maximizing your ability to train to failure. The first of which is shock training, which employs a number of radical techniques in order to confuse the body. Another way to train to failure is to apply exercises in an economic order that allows you to sap the most out of your muscles. The third best way to maximize your ability to train to failure is, believe it or not, the way you make decisions outside of the gym.

Step 3

There are a number of different alterations of shock training: adding chains, using resistance bands, forced reps, burnout sets, negative reps, and more are all different ways to shock the muscles into utilizing the optimum amount of energy that they have available. Shock training is also a lot of fun, because it allows you to take a step away from traditional bodybuilding techniques and perform exercises in a way that is different and exciting. For a more in-depth description of the different kinds of shock training, just find the article on shock training that is on this website.

Step 4

Aside from elevating exercises to shock training techniques, it's also extremely helpful to perform exercises in an order that allows the most usage of your muscles. For instance, you never want to progress through a workout in this order: easy exercises, medium exercises, heaviest exercises. It seems like common sense, but if you aren't completely aware of the level of each exercise, it's all too easy to get mixed up and therefor limit your potential level of energy expenditure. As a proper example of an economically designed workout, take a look at this chest workout:

Step 5

Flat bench press, 4 sets of 8-10 reps. This come first, because it requires the most amount of energy, and your body benefits from lifting the heaviest possible weight on this kind of big-movement exercise. Incline dumbbell press, 3 sets of 10 reps. This comes next, as it only requires a medium amount of strength, and focuses more on contraction and form, which makes it a great second exercise after an exercise that takes a whole lot of energy (the bench press). Incline dumbbell flys, 3 sets of 15 reps. This exercise is next because it requires a small amount of strength, which makes it perfect for following up two relatively heavy exercises. Even though the exercises above have taken a lot out of your chest, this smaller exercise with higher reps can be done sufficiently and will hit your chest even more. Machine press, 3 sets until failure. The machine press is perfect for the last set because you no longer have to consider form. You can put all of your remaining energy into the heaviest weight possible and lift that weight until failure under a movement pattern that isolates the muscle you've been working throughout the workout session. After this exercise, your chest will be trained to complete and utter failure- mission success.

Step 6

Finally, paying attention to what you do outside of the gym will help you train to your own personal best level of failure. If you're sleeping at least 8 hours a night, and making sure to eat foods that are rich in protein and healthy carbohydrates, you will give your body all the best tools to promote a fantastic workout.

Step 7

When you apply all three methods above simultaneously, you will find that training to failure has never been so good. You can give it everything you have because you are well-fed and well-rested. You can work your muscles in ways they aren't used to because of shock training. And you can destroy your muscles until the point of complete failure by economically designing your exercise routines. It's the ultimate 1, 2, 3.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

The hardest part about training to failure is that sometimes you feel as if your muscles are failing before you expected them to. For me, this is what creatine helps with. I take creatine before my workouts, and my muscles are able to sustain a high level of energy for a longer period of time, which allows me to actually train until failure rather than training until I'm just a little bit tired.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
Fats the Heal Fats that Kill No Price

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

All of serious bodybuilders I know are seriously invested in some serious training to failure...I'm serious. They employ all of the above methods on a regular basis and because of their dedication to maximum training to failure, they make leaps and bounds in strength, size, and athleticism. But you don't have to be a serious bodybuilder to train to failure. All you have to do is want to get bigger and stronger- and I'm sure there's plenty of us that want to do exactly that.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

My dad got me started early on the path to training to maximum failure. He always iterated and reiterated the idea that if I wasn't giving my all in the gym, then why was I coming at all. Because of this, I've learned the ins and outs of training to failure, and now I've passed them on to you. Use them wisely, and get training.
Happy lifting (and failing),

Other Tips from Jeremy