Failure Training, the Impossible Rep

Why training until you fail is more beneficial and standard sets and reps.


One of our many fitness philosophies is that we train until failure. HGF if is a Fitness Conditioning Program, which readily uses "FAILURE TRAINING" to launch our client's health to the next level. We like to see our clients fail within the realm of training. What this means is that we want all out effort with maximum repetitions. This taps the muscles and pushes the boundaries of their physical fitness, while dramatically improving their strength.

We call this failure training, but to some degree failure is a MINDSET. One must be completely willing to push themselves outside of their normal comfort zone. Based on this point, failure training is subjective and can only be determined by shear willpower. For some individuals it may be difficulty to differentiate between muscle failure or if a person is just giving up. Physiologically it is simply when the muscle or muscle groups are fatigued or metabolically too tapped to continue. It makes performing one more repetition seemingly impossible. This is a principle we frequently express to our clients whether it's performing push-ups or an overhead presses. One more rep with just 10 lbs can feel like 50 lbs.


From a physiological standpoint, this form of training is called Concentric Failure.

Concentric failure is defined as:

“The point in a set where a full repetition cannot be completed during the concentric (positive, or muscle-shortening) phase of the rep without assistance from outside means (such as bio-mechanical cheating or assistance from a training partner).”


Training to Failure Builds Muscle and Strength—Training to failure is a valid method to use in order to enhance muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth), facilitate maximal strength gains, and to break through plateaus as well as create a greater caloric burn. (Willardson)

Training to Failure Increases Growth Hormone—Training to failure results in a significantly greater increase in the secretion of growth hormones compared to non-failure based training. Training intensity is perhaps the single most important factor in deciding whether or not training to failure is effective or even appropriate. That being said, high reps, lighter weights or the use of your own body weight is typically ideal for this training method.

Also, lower skilled movements are more acceptable when it comes to failure training. Lower skilled movements reduce the potentiality of training injuries. Failure training becomes more dangerous with more complex movements with heavier weight loads.

One should never train with weight loads beyond your physical capabilities or perform complicated and technically difficult movements while performing failure principles.

If you are looking to dramatically increased your strength and overall fitness in relatively a few short weeks, lower the weights and simply increase your overall volume. You will see dramatic results and spend less time training.



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