Should you train to failure
Are you doing the wrong thing in the gym by overdoing it?
Do you go in there time and time again, balls to the wall and just try to destroy yourself, thinking that’s the way it has to be to see great training results?
I mean we all believe in go big or go home right.
But is this the best way to train for the long term?
Should we routinely be training to failure?
Well let me put it this way to you – do you redline your car every time you drive?
How long would your car last without breaking down – not very long I would guess.
You see here is the thing that is often missed with training. When we exercise we are wanting to stimulate but not annihilate. We want to cause an adaptive effect where the body comes back stronger and better.
Too much and we don’t recover. If you are too sore how good will the next session be? Probably not great if you try and go there the next day.
Maybe you then need a few days off to recover rather than being able to train the next day.
Now don’t get me wrong. You still have to go and train hard and put in the work for it to be effective but breaking yourself down is stupid.
If we take two people and compare. If one person trains at 70%-80% of their ability most of the time they will probably be able to train with more frequency and therefore more volume for a great period of time compared to someone who tries to consistent work at 90% and higher.
The more intense the session is the more rest and recovery is needed.
Now, this doesn’t mean you never need to go to these higher intensity levels, they just need to be planned and used sparely with a recovery phase built in.
Being sore and tired is not the sign of a good workout. The longer you train for the less you should feel sore after training, so if you are chasing this please stop – you aren’t doing yourself any favoursbut could be inhibiting future gains
There is a caveat that if you do not train very often you could push up the effort level and work harder as there is longer recovery between training sessions.
A great tool is something called RPE (rate of perceived exertion.) This is a subjective tool that allows you to adjust load and volume based on how you are feeling and how your recovery is.
If at a level of 1 you feel your worst and 10 your best, try and take a few minutes before training to assess where you are. If it is below a 5 go home and rest, no point breaking down the machine even more.
5-7 train, but maybe go a bit lighter or reduce the volume. 7 or higher then go for it, have a great session!
Just a short one from me today but take home is to always think about how this workout will affect the next session and if what you are doing is stimulating or annihilating.
We want a positive adaptation and not a breakdown.