Making Gains Without Failure

Making Gains Without Failure No pain, no gain? Here's another gym myth that's about to get busted. Scientists researching the differences between heavy loads versus light loads discovered that it isn't necessary for untrained subjects to perform reps to failure to realize the full potential of a strength exercise. The study, which was published in the NSCA's Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that muscle activation plateaus about 3 to 5 reps before failure when using a resistance equivalent to 15 reps max. However, subjects lifting a 3 reps max load had to complete all 3 reps to achieve the same result.

True Strength Moment: If you're new to strength training or just getting back to the gym after an extended time away, experiment with both heavy and lighter loads of plates, switching programs every two or three weeks. That'll help keep your muscles guessing and growing. More experienced athletes should check out the failure training recommendations posted on the Performance Blog at a few weeks ago.
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Nov 09, 2011
Now I know who the brainy one is, I'll keep looinkg for your posts.