Feeling the burn and pushing reps to the max have always been part of effective training for bodybuilding. Failure training involves doing an exercise until the muscles no longer respond.

A recent study from Eastern Illinois University discussed the pluses and minuses of failure training methods. Many studies have examined the optimal number of sets in a program, but few have looked at the effects of failure training on muscle size and strength.

Failure training allows advanced bodybuilders and lifters to break training plateaus and move to the next level. These highly intense workouts must be incorporated into short term cycles to avoid overtraining. Failure training is effective because it recruits more motor units  (Muscle fibres and their nerve supply) and stimulates the secretion of anabolic hormones such as growth hormone, insulin like growth factor and testosterone, and increases insulin sensitivity (Insulin is a powerful and anabolic hormone).

Increases in strength require high intensity overload, so bodybuilders should not rely on high rep burn programs for making progress. Bodybuilders and power athletes must push the big iron if they want to get stronger and bigger.

Excessive failure training leads to injury, overtraining and loss of motivation. Failure training can move you to the next level, but don’t overdo it.

Good luck with your intensive workout.