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If you want to get results and increase the amount of muscle that you carry on your body then you need to train to the point of failure using strict form. This is something that has been part of bodybuilding since it first started over 50 years ago.
But training to the point of failure can be an art-form in itself as the maintenance of strict form is essential if you want to avoid injury when training to the point of failure. However there is another aspect of training to failure which is vitally important to see results and that is over-training.
When you train to the point of failure you need to understand that you are looking specifically for the point of failure and it can be best described as reaching 95% or 100% of your maximum effort on the last rep of your set. ANYTHING beyond this point of failure could be counter-productive.
That means that if you are doing negatives or drop sets after you have reached the point of failure using a strict form then you will be causing too many micro tears in your muscles and you could well be over training as a result. Training to failure means that you train to the point of failure and then STOP.
Take 2 to 3 minute rest after the set and then continue but it needs to be added here that strict form is completely essential. The experts agree that aiming for 95% of failure using your form as a guide to how much weight you should select on that exercise is the basic foundation of training to failure.
Below is what a typical advanced or intermediate bodybuilder would use when training to failure.
A typical upper-body set for an experienced bodybuilder would always start with a warm up with a light weight to get the blood flowing and loosen up the muscles of that group. The first set would start with 15 or so reps with good form.
Set Two: Increase in weight to reach muscle failure at 10 to 12 reps.
Set Three: Reaching the point of failure at 8 to 10 reps.
Set Four: This is your POWER SET. Again with perfect form and try to complete six, no less than four good reps before your muscles fail.
Set Five: This fifth set is optional and similar to the power set you have just done you keep the same weight. Keep the weight the same as the power set and get as many as you can (hopefully another six reps). Only add this into the workout after you've done it for a while and you're ready to increase the intensity another notch for certain or all exercises.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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