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Pushing yourself TO failure, is not enough!

Pushing yourself TO failure, is not enough!


Its been scientifically proven that hypertrophy(the growth of new muscle tissue) occurs at various rep ranges. There isn't a MAGICAL rep range where you build muscle, although there are optimal rep ranges, we will save that for another article.


The problem with the popular adage of “pushing yourself to failure” is that when you push yourself to the point of failure, you are pushing yourself to your already adopted limit. Your body doesn't change when you do what it has done before, your body changes when you do more than its done before. Your body builds new muscle, when you overload it with a greater stimulus than the one that its accustomed to. Muscle growth is simply an adaptation to the stress you place on it.  By that notion, if you go TO failure, you have taken yourself only to the point of stress it has been previously pushed to.


I personally don't count reps. I aim for a specific rep range but will never shy away from doing more if MORE is whats needed. If you train only within confines of rep ranges, you are more than likely stopping short of what is required in order for you to grow. What I suggest is that you aim to use a weight that you are failing at within the given rep range, find that point of failure and then keep pushing beyond it. ONLY when you push beyond the point of failure does your muscle need to adapt to that stress and grow stronger.  In essence, your indicator should be to train to the point of failure, and then begin counting the reps at THAT point because only when you are in that state of stress is when you’re imposing stresses which will elicit growth.


Don’t be afraid of training in that zone. It hurts, it sucks, but change isn’t always fun. Change hurts, it requires stress via a stressor greater than your previous maximum. Don't aim to train TO failure, you must train BEYOND failure.



Amer Kamra


Muscle Building | October 31, 2017

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