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TPT
07-28-2009, 09:37 PM
does training to failure increase strength? is it even necessary?

drinkwater et al. (2005) studied the effects of training to failure on upper body strength of athletes with history of strength training. the experimenters compared two equal volume and intensity training programs: one to rep failure and another to completion of reps. the two measures of strength were 6rm bench press and average power output of a 40 kg bench throw. so the two groups of subjects were either trained 4 sets of 6 reps to failure or training 8 sets of 3 reps not to failure for 6 weeks.

the results showed that the reps to failure (rf) group experience substantially larger strength increases in 6rm bench press and bench throw power. interestingly, the training program equated the total number of reps and the interval of training which was about 13 min for both groups. another positive variable was actually using athletes.

so what do you guys think? training to failure for increased strength or just short of failure? this paper did not measure for neuromuscular activity, cross sectional area or hypertrophy. but strength can still be an indicator of hypertrophy right?


Training Leading To Repetition Failure Enhances Bench Press Strength Gains in Elite Junior Athletes (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2005/05000/Training_Leading_To_Repetition_Failure_Enhances.24 .aspx)
DRINKWATER, ERIC J.; LAWTON, TRENT W.; LINDSELL, ROD P.; PYNE, DAVID B.; HUNT, PATRICK H.; MCKENNA, MICHAEL J.
The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 19(2):382-388, May 2005.








Abstract:




The purpose of this study was to investigate the importance of training leading to repetition failure in the performance of 2 different tests: 6 repetition maximum (6RM) bench press strength and 40-kg bench throw power in elite junior athletes. Subjects were 26 elite junior male basketball players (n = 12; age = 18.6 +/- 0.3 years; height = 202.0 +/- 11.6 cm; mass = 97.0 +/- 12.9 kg; mean +/- SD) and soccer players (n = 14; age = 17.4 +/- 0.5 years; height = 179.0 +/- 7.0 cm; mass = 75.0 +/- 7.1 kg) with a history of greater than 6 months' strength training. Subjects were initially tested twice for 6RM bench press mass and 40-kg Smith machine bench throw power output (in watts) to establish retest reliability. Subjects then undertook bench press training with 3 sessions per week for 6 weeks, using equal volume programs (24 repetitions x 80-105% 6RM in 13 minutes 20 seconds). Subjects were assigned to one of two experimental groups designed either to elicit repetition failure with 4 sets of 6 repetitions every 260 seconds (RF4x6) or allow all repetitions to be completed with 8 sets of 3 repetitions every 113 seconds (NF8x3). The RF4x6 treatment elicited substantial increases in strength (7.3 +/- 2.4 kg, 19.5%, p < 0.001) and power (40.8 +/- 24.1 W, 110.6%, p < 0.001), while the NF8x3 group elicited 3.6 +/- 3.0 kg (15.0%, p < 0.005) and 25 +/- 19.0 W increases (16.8%, p < 0.001). The improvements in the RF4x6 group were greater than those in the repetition rest group for both strength (p < 0.005) and power (p < 0.05). Bench press training that leads to repetition failure induces greater strength gains than nonfailure training in the bench press exercise for elite junior team sport athletes.
(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association

Go to Full Text of this Article (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2005/05000/Training_Leading_To_Repetition_Failure_Enhances.24 .aspx)

Frosty
07-28-2009, 10:15 PM
One thing that came to mind in reading this is that one of the tests for strength was a 6RM test and not 1RM. Since strength is highly specific, it would make sense that someone training to failure for 6 reps would do better at a 6RM test than someone doing 3 reps. But what about maximal strength?

And when it says average power output for 40kg bench throw, what does that mean exactly? Perhaps this would answer what I brought up.

B7emm
07-28-2009, 10:19 PM
I like to train to positive failure when i train. i haven't seen to much of a jump in size every work out but i do go up in weight on the exercises about every 8 to 10 days.

Frosty
07-28-2009, 10:27 PM
I like to train to positive failure when i train. i haven't seen to much of a jump in size every work out but i do go up in weight on the exercises about every 8 to 10 days.


I put 100 lbs on my close grip bench going from 235 to 335 by doing very heavy 10x3 very frequently. It was as close to failure as I could push doing it by myself every set. The strength gains were monstrous. For me it seems like my muscles are "dumb" and need many more sets to make the neural connections necessary to add strength quickly.

B7emm
07-28-2009, 10:32 PM
3 sets seem about perfect for me.

TPT
07-29-2009, 11:45 AM
One thing that came to mind in reading this is that one of the tests for strength was a 6RM test and not 1RM. Since strength is highly specific, it would make sense that someone training to failure for 6 reps would do better at a 6RM test than someone doing 3 reps. But what about maximal strength?


strength is highly specfic though with properties of generalization. training of function has been greatly touted for better outcomes for athletes but, training on a level of body and structure is great too. e.g., subjects in this study did not train for the bench throw but did have power increases. the implication is that exercises have generalized effects on other exercises and activites that do not topograhically approximate the initial exercise.

And when it says average power output for 40kg bench throw, what does that mean exactly? Perhaps this would answer what I brought up.

the subjects were evaluated for maximal power output during a smith machine bench throw. 40-kg bench throw power as an independent test for maximal strength because of its high correlation with maximal strength and performance in other power activities.

mean power was measured with a linear encoder attached to the bar. one end of the linear encoder cord was attached to the barbell and the other end was coiled around the floor positioned perpendicular to the movement of the barbell. the linear encoder measured velocity and displacement of the barbell..

power was calculated as the product of force and velocity. the entire displacement and time for the concentric phase were used to calculate the mean values for velocity, force, and power

TPT
07-29-2009, 11:47 AM
I like to train to positive failure when i train. i haven't seen to much of a jump in size every work out but i do go up in weight on the exercises about every 8 to 10 days.


i train to failure as well. try training to negative failure and see whether effects are different.

Frosty
07-29-2009, 01:50 PM
Interesting. I wonder how the 8x3 would have done if gone to failure. 10x3 to failure worked very well for me...far better than 4-5x6. 10x3 is my go-to if I want strength gains.

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 07:13 PM
seems to me there are a lot of things wrong with this study. PT, maybe you can assauge my worries here.

First. What is the differential effect from? is it from training at 6 reps instead of 3 that made the difference? perhaps 6 reps works better. After all, they were tested on a 6 rm, which means one group trained exactly as the test was to be and one didn't. It could be argued that this paper doesnt say anything about failure per se.

secondly. the inter set interval may have been important. Since the same amount of time was alloted for the total volume, the ISI for one is twice the other.

this seems to me to be very poorly controlled.

B7emm
07-29-2009, 07:17 PM
i train to failure as well. try training to negative failure and see whether effects are different.

i have used negative failure before and loved it its hard to do with out a spotter/partner. static failure was the most excruciating pain during exercise i have ever used.

TPT
07-29-2009, 08:47 PM
seems to me there are a lot of things wrong with this study. PT, maybe you can assauge my worries here.

First. What is the differential effect from? is it from training at 6 reps instead of 3 that made the difference? perhaps 6 reps works better. After all, they were tested on a 6 rm, which means one group trained exactly as the test was to be and one didn't. It could be argued that this paper doesnt say anything about failure per se.

secondly. the inter set interval may have been important. Since the same amount of time was alloted for the total volume, the ISI for one is twice the other.

this seems to me to be very poorly controlled.

whats up dr pangloss, thank you- i appreciate questions on experimental methodology.

what the paper said-was that one group had better strength and power measures over the other. wait. let me elaborate on your rightful concerns.

failure was not the only relevant variable. so for me to suggest that failure was the controlling variable on effects would be incorrect. many confounds were discriminated including reps per sets (i.e., 6 vs 3), the amount of sets (4 vs 8), and inter set interval (260 vs 113 sec).

the experimenters attempted to control for these confounds by equating total longer of repetitions (24), total duration (13 min).

also, as far as the task specific effects the experimenters tried to control for this as well by including the 40 kg bench power throw.

so to be accurate the results showed that the group performing an exercise regiman of bench pressing 4 sets for 6 repetitions to failure every 260 sec was more superior in two measures for strength and power.

reps to failure was only one relevant variable.

many more limitations were overt but, the practical applications were my emphasis.

Frosty
07-29-2009, 08:54 PM
What would have happened if the rest were longer for the sets of 3?

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 08:57 PM
the bench power throw as a separate measure is a reasonable point. however, i really dont see how controlling the volume and and the total time says anything about the 2-fold different ISI.

In my opinion, they should have included additional groups with the ISI fixed to address the difference in ISI.

TPT
07-29-2009, 09:04 PM
What would have happened if the rest were longer for the sets of 3?


larger strength gains might have occured.

edit. the effects of rest intervals are complicated and dependent on our objectives.

TPT
07-29-2009, 09:06 PM
the bench power throw as a separate measure is a reasonable point. however, i really dont see how controlling the volume and and the total time says anything about the 2-fold different ISI.

In my opinion, they should have included additional groups with the ISI fixed to address the difference in ISI.


i agree though someone would then argue that the total volume and duration of training was not controlled. so more groups sounds good. but, we know how difficult more groups would be and drive stat power down.

TPT
07-29-2009, 09:18 PM
the bench power throw as a separate measure is a reasonable point. however, i really dont see how controlling the volume and and the total time says anything about the 2-fold different ISI.

In my opinion, they should have included additional groups with the ISI fixed to address the difference in ISI.



whats your take on training to failure?

TPT
07-29-2009, 09:20 PM
i have used negative failure before and loved it its hard to do with out a spotter/partner. static failure was the most excruciating pain during exercise i have ever used.


yeah it is tough without a spotter. and a friggin spotter who knows how to respond to friggin instructions. thats when i have to perform unilaterals and use my other limb for the spot.

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 09:21 PM
i agree though someone would then argue that the total volume and duration of training was not controlled. so more groups sounds good. but, we know how difficult more groups would be and drive stat power down.


i think what they did to control for volume and duration was fine. Respectfully i would just suggest adding the ISI control groups.

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 09:24 PM
whats your take on training to failure?


i do everything brother. Including faliure. I cycle volume and concepts. That said, i never strictly practice HIT because I think its for lazy people and easy gainers. rofl. 1 set, i dont care how hard it is, is just not enough per exercise, imo.

of course i know it works for some though...

TPT
07-29-2009, 09:32 PM
i do everything brother. Including faliure. I cycle volume and concepts. That said, i never strictly practice HIT because I think its for lazy people and easy gainers. rofl. 1 set, i dont care how hard it is, is just not enough per exercise, imo.

of course i know it works for some though...


lol. lazy? easygainers? you aint right for that. you must be hangin with mr. volume frosty. lol.

we'll have to qualify what hit is some time.

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 09:42 PM
lol. lazy? easygainers? you aint right for that. you must be hangin with mr. volume frosty. lol.

we'll have to qualify what hit is some time.

That we should. Just a taste: I've seen Mentzer-trained subjects and i've seen dorian yates train ad nauseum. While I'm not sure what causes more muscle growth, i'm sure they havent reached faliure, or at least they havent done enough.

of course this is all anecdotal, that's what i'm trying to convey. i do what seems to work for me.

TPT
07-29-2009, 10:02 PM
That we should. Just a taste: I've seen Mentzer-trained subjects and i've seen dorian yates train ad nauseum. While I'm not sure what causes more muscle growth, i'm sure they havent reached faliure, or at least they havent done enough.

of course this is all anecdotal, that's what i'm trying to convey. i do what seems to work for me.


yeah man. "failure" will always be questioned because of the inherent challenges in measuring for reliability and validity. how the heck can we really quantify failure and have it measured objectively? yes very difficult .

Dr Pangloss
07-29-2009, 10:12 PM
yeah man. "failure" will always be questioned because of the inherent challenges in measuring for reliability and validity. how the heck can we really quantify failure and have it measured objectively? yes very difficult .


yeah. faliure in training is not a thing we humans can commmunicate and know what eachother mean.

hell, I could be into HIT by some standards, only i do HIT volume.


There it is: HIT Volume. the ultimate workout.

But that's my perception. im undoubtedly a pussy by at least one guy's standards...

TPT
07-29-2009, 10:21 PM
yeah. faliure in training is not a thing we humans can commmunicate and know what eachother mean.

hell, I could be into HIT by some standards, only i do HIT volume.


There it is: HIT Volume. the ultimate workout.

But that's my perception. im undoubtedly a pussy by at least one guy's standards...


stop lying. you cant prove it. i only see you just doing volume.

pussy...lmao.

Frosty
07-29-2009, 10:24 PM
How about benching 9 times a week, 10x3 each time to failure? Worked for me.

TPT
07-29-2009, 10:30 PM
How about benching 9 times a week, 10x3 each time to failure? Worked for me.



ohh no here comes mr volume. lol.

edit. wow. did you say 9 times per week?

Frosty
07-29-2009, 11:34 PM
ohh no here comes mr volume. lol.

edit. wow. did you say 9 times per week?

yeah for 2 weeks straight. Then take 5 days complete off, sleep a lot, lay around a lot, and very importantly eat as much as you can. then hit the gym again on day 6.