Hybrid Mindset Blog

Should You Train To Failure?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Should You Train To Failure?

 

If you’ve watched the movie “Pumping Iron” you have probably seen the hardcore, peak intensity training that bodybuilders in the Golden Era went through.

 

Some of those bodybuilders, like Serge Nubret, swore by the effectiveness of training to failure… On EVERY SET!

 

And well, the truth is that for most of us, reaching failure on every working set will lead to burnout quite quickly.

 

This is why it is important to understand this concept and learn how to integrate it in your training regimen properly.

 

So let’s dive straight into this and discuss training to failure, shall we?

 

The Intensity Factor

In sports science and weight training, intensity measures how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities.

 

To put it simply, the heavier the weight you lift, the higher the intensity, meaning that technically, your one rep max (1RM) represents 100% intensity for you on a given exercise.

 

For example, if you can bench press 100 kg for one single rep, and fail to do a second rep unassisted, 100 kg is 100% intensity for you on the bench press.

 

Muscle Activation

 

One of the more important things to remember, is that the heavier you lift, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated.

 

Fast-twitch fibers are the stronger, more powerful muscle fibers, which can exert great amounts of force, explosively.

 

However, fiber recruitment is the primary means of lifting heavier, only up until ~80% of your maximum strength capabilities (intensity).

 

Going above 85% and until failure is only possible with an increased frequency of brain to muscle signals.

 

What Does This Mean For Me?

 

With this information in mind, it is quite clear that training to failure is way more strenuous for the nervous system.

 

Nevertheless, reaching muscular failure is quite the powerful stimulus as well, but due to its strenuous nature, it should be properly implemented into your routine.

 

Generally, you should test around muscle failure, by only taking 1 set for each muscle group to failure, per week and working up from there.

 

If you go overboard with failure, you will experience:

 

  1. Joint/ligament aches
  2. Prolonged muscle exhaustion
  3. Lowered strength capabilities

 

Monitor those and adjust the volume of failure sets in your training split accordingly!

 

Failure And Muscle Growth

 

Some of the legends like Arnold & Serge can sell you on the idea that reaching failure is ESSENTIAL.

 

However, modern studies suggest that staying 2-5 repetitions shy of failure is more beneficial for muscle growth, than training to failure.

 

Nevertheless, each and everyone reacts differently to certain stimuli, so your best bet is to, again, test around!

 

Take-Home Message

 

Carefully managing your training intensity will allow you to optimize your quality training volume in the long-term, thus creating a better stimulus and maximizing gains.

 

Improper implementation of training to failure can prevent this from happening, due to its innate ability to, well, fry your nervous system!

 

This is why, your main means of creating greater stimulus, should be to increase training weight, number of repetitions and sets, and also, opening up better recovery windows between sets.

 

Only when you have this covered, you should consider implementing sets to failure, in which case, you can start with just one set and see how far you can take it.

 

Train smart, not hard!

 

For more fitness tips, or to have a training and nutrition plan built for you and your goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more

Should You Train To Failure?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Should You Train To Failure?

 

If you’ve watched the movie “Pumping Iron” you have probably seen the hardcore, peak intensity training that bodybuilders in the Golden Era went through.

 

Some of those bodybuilders, like Serge Nubret, swore by the effectiveness of training to failure… On EVERY SET!

 

And well, the truth is that for most of us, reaching failure on every working set will lead to burnout quite quickly.

 

This is why it is important to understand this concept and learn how to integrate it in your training regimen properly.

 

So let’s dive straight into this and discuss training to failure, shall we?

 

The Intensity Factor

In sports science and weight training, intensity measures how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities.

 

To put it simply, the heavier the weight you lift, the higher the intensity, meaning that technically, your one rep max (1RM) represents 100% intensity for you on a given exercise.

 

For example, if you can bench press 100 kg for one single rep, and fail to do a second rep unassisted, 100 kg is 100% intensity for you on the bench press.

 

Muscle Activation

 

One of the more important things to remember, is that the heavier you lift, the more fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated.

 

Fast-twitch fibers are the stronger, more powerful muscle fibers, which can exert great amounts of force, explosively.

 

However, fiber recruitment is the primary means of lifting heavier, only up until ~80% of your maximum strength capabilities (intensity).

 

Going above 85% and until failure is only possible with an increased frequency of brain to muscle signals.

 

What Does This Mean For Me?

 

With this information in mind, it is quite clear that training to failure is way more strenuous for the nervous system.

 

Nevertheless, reaching muscular failure is quite the powerful stimulus as well, but due to its strenuous nature, it should be properly implemented into your routine.

 

Generally, you should test around muscle failure, by only taking 1 set for each muscle group to failure, per week and working up from there.

 

If you go overboard with failure, you will experience:

 

  1. Joint/ligament aches
  2. Prolonged muscle exhaustion
  3. Lowered strength capabilities

 

Monitor those and adjust the volume of failure sets in your training split accordingly!

 

Failure And Muscle Growth

 

Some of the legends like Arnold & Serge can sell you on the idea that reaching failure is ESSENTIAL.

 

However, modern studies suggest that staying 2-5 repetitions shy of failure is more beneficial for muscle growth, than training to failure.

 

Nevertheless, each and everyone reacts differently to certain stimuli, so your best bet is to, again, test around!

 

Take-Home Message

 

Carefully managing your training intensity will allow you to optimize your quality training volume in the long-term, thus creating a better stimulus and maximizing gains.

 

Improper implementation of training to failure can prevent this from happening, due to its innate ability to, well, fry your nervous system!

 

This is why, your main means of creating greater stimulus, should be to increase training weight, number of repetitions and sets, and also, opening up better recovery windows between sets.

 

Only when you have this covered, you should consider implementing sets to failure, in which case, you can start with just one set and see how far you can take it.

 

Train smart, not hard!

 

For more fitness tips, or to have a training and nutrition plan built for you and your goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

Read more


How To Train Smart

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

How To Train Smart

 

“Hey bro, I found this sick Dwayne Johnson workout on the internet and I’m about to try it out today, I’m so pumped!”

 

If you’ve heard this in the gym, odds are you’ve stumbled upon someone who does not really know what to do with their training plan and is, well, experimenting.

 

Which is not bad, really!

 

However, much like anything, training is precise mathematics and you need to understand each variable and factor affecting the end result and create your plan based on that.

 

And so, if you are over those celebrity workouts and are ready to get in the best shape of your life, keep reading!

 

Training Fundamentals

 

To find out what the best training regimen for you is, you have to first and foremost understand the backend of your workouts.

 

A workout can be measured using 3 main variables:

 

  1. Intensity
  2. Volume
  3. Density

 

Essentially, intensity shows how close you are to your maximum strength capabilities - The heavier the weight, the higher the intensity.

 

Volume measures the total amount of weight lifted in kilograms or pounds - To calculate volume, you take the working weight and multiply it by the number of sets and reps (100 kg x 10 reps x 2 sets = 2000 kg total volume)

 

Density measures your volume, relative to the total time needed for its completion including rest times, and is measured in kilograms per minute (i.e 2000 kg volume completed for 2 minutes would be a density of 1000 kg/minute)

 

Ok I’m Confused, Why Do I Need This?

Understanding the different training variables presented above is essential for being able to create the correct training stimulus.

 

Let’s have a look at the variables and how you can set them up for certain results.

 

Intensity

The level of intensity, or in other words, how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities, will determine the recruitment of muscle fibers, as well as the stimulus for certain adaptations. (i.e strength gains, bulk muscle growth)

 

 

Intensity (%)

Description

0-35%

This is the warm up zone, you don’t want to be here for too long if you’re trying to grow muscle!

40-60%

On here, more and more muscle fibers get recruited - This is a good zone to go through before your heavier working sets

65-80%

This is the intensity zone where you can do moderate to heavy weight sets for 6-15 repetitions, until failure.

 

Focus on this zone if you want bodybuilder-like muscle growth!

85-100%

In this intensity zone, you can do 1-5 repetitions with a really heavy weight.

 

This is known as the powerlifting zone and mainly results in maximum strength gains.

 

If you are training in the bodybuilder intensity zone, do include this powerlifting one every now and then.

 

 

Volume

 

One of the interesting things is that in terms of muscle growth, it doesn’t really matter if you will train in the 65-80% intensity range or the 85-100%, as long as volume is equated.

 

However, the 65-80% range allows for greater volume to be put out, more easily, due to its less strenuous nature.


Below is a volume cheat sheet, which can help you determine the number of sets depending on your training experience.

 

 

 

Training experience

Volume (per muscle group, per week)

Beginner/novice

~5 Challenging Working Sets

Intermediate

~10 Challenging Working Sets

Advanced

15-20+ Challenging Working Sets

 

Note that a “challenging working set” implies a working set that is taken close to failure (1-4 reps in reserve).

 

What About Density?

 

Though many people pay attention to the weight (intensity) and the number of sets and reps (volume), no one really cares about density.

 

And let us tell you this - Density is important when you are trying to achieve the highest volume of greatest quality possible in your workout, because density is dictated by rest times.

 

For instance, if you do a set of 5 reps using 100 kg and only rest 1 minute, odds are that you will only get 3-4 reps on the next set.

 

On the other hand, if you take 2-3 minutes of rest between each set, you will be able to sustain sets of 5 and thus, your quality volume will be greater.

 

Spread that density, both in your workouts and in your entire training plan!

 

Here’s a rest times cheat sheet:

 

 

Intensity

Rest Times

0-50%

1 minute

60-80%

2-3 minutes

85-100%

4-15 minutes

 

 

Take-Home Message

 

On the back end of your workouts, are different ratios of the 3 main training variables which we discussed in this article.

 

Now that you have an idea about these training variables and how their different ratios create different end results, let’s hop onto part two of this article series, where we’ll talk about understanding your goals and actually creating the training plan!

 

See you there.

 

For a personalized training and nutrition program based on your needs and goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

 

Read more

How To Train Smart

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

How To Train Smart

 

“Hey bro, I found this sick Dwayne Johnson workout on the internet and I’m about to try it out today, I’m so pumped!”

 

If you’ve heard this in the gym, odds are you’ve stumbled upon someone who does not really know what to do with their training plan and is, well, experimenting.

 

Which is not bad, really!

 

However, much like anything, training is precise mathematics and you need to understand each variable and factor affecting the end result and create your plan based on that.

 

And so, if you are over those celebrity workouts and are ready to get in the best shape of your life, keep reading!

 

Training Fundamentals

 

To find out what the best training regimen for you is, you have to first and foremost understand the backend of your workouts.

 

A workout can be measured using 3 main variables:

 

  1. Intensity
  2. Volume
  3. Density

 

Essentially, intensity shows how close you are to your maximum strength capabilities - The heavier the weight, the higher the intensity.

 

Volume measures the total amount of weight lifted in kilograms or pounds - To calculate volume, you take the working weight and multiply it by the number of sets and reps (100 kg x 10 reps x 2 sets = 2000 kg total volume)

 

Density measures your volume, relative to the total time needed for its completion including rest times, and is measured in kilograms per minute (i.e 2000 kg volume completed for 2 minutes would be a density of 1000 kg/minute)

 

Ok I’m Confused, Why Do I Need This?

Understanding the different training variables presented above is essential for being able to create the correct training stimulus.

 

Let’s have a look at the variables and how you can set them up for certain results.

 

Intensity

The level of intensity, or in other words, how close you get to your maximum strength capabilities, will determine the recruitment of muscle fibers, as well as the stimulus for certain adaptations. (i.e strength gains, bulk muscle growth)

 

 

Intensity (%)

Description

0-35%

This is the warm up zone, you don’t want to be here for too long if you’re trying to grow muscle!

40-60%

On here, more and more muscle fibers get recruited - This is a good zone to go through before your heavier working sets

65-80%

This is the intensity zone where you can do moderate to heavy weight sets for 6-15 repetitions, until failure.

 

Focus on this zone if you want bodybuilder-like muscle growth!

85-100%

In this intensity zone, you can do 1-5 repetitions with a really heavy weight.

 

This is known as the powerlifting zone and mainly results in maximum strength gains.

 

If you are training in the bodybuilder intensity zone, do include this powerlifting one every now and then.

 

 

Volume

 

One of the interesting things is that in terms of muscle growth, it doesn’t really matter if you will train in the 65-80% intensity range or the 85-100%, as long as volume is equated.

 

However, the 65-80% range allows for greater volume to be put out, more easily, due to its less strenuous nature.


Below is a volume cheat sheet, which can help you determine the number of sets depending on your training experience.

 

 

 

Training experience

Volume (per muscle group, per week)

Beginner/novice

~5 Challenging Working Sets

Intermediate

~10 Challenging Working Sets

Advanced

15-20+ Challenging Working Sets

 

Note that a “challenging working set” implies a working set that is taken close to failure (1-4 reps in reserve).

 

What About Density?

 

Though many people pay attention to the weight (intensity) and the number of sets and reps (volume), no one really cares about density.

 

And let us tell you this - Density is important when you are trying to achieve the highest volume of greatest quality possible in your workout, because density is dictated by rest times.

 

For instance, if you do a set of 5 reps using 100 kg and only rest 1 minute, odds are that you will only get 3-4 reps on the next set.

 

On the other hand, if you take 2-3 minutes of rest between each set, you will be able to sustain sets of 5 and thus, your quality volume will be greater.

 

Spread that density, both in your workouts and in your entire training plan!

 

Here’s a rest times cheat sheet:

 

 

Intensity

Rest Times

0-50%

1 minute

60-80%

2-3 minutes

85-100%

4-15 minutes

 

 

Take-Home Message

 

On the back end of your workouts, are different ratios of the 3 main training variables which we discussed in this article.

 

Now that you have an idea about these training variables and how their different ratios create different end results, let’s hop onto part two of this article series, where we’ll talk about understanding your goals and actually creating the training plan!

 

See you there.

 

For a personalized training and nutrition program based on your needs and goals, visit www.hybridathletetraining.com

 

 

Read more