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What is Muscular Failure: Failing to Fail

So it’s truly time to wrap this nonsense up.  Last time I finished all the blathering and theory to address three currently in use tools to gauge intensity: RPE, RIR, RTF.  The main takeaway from that part was that they are all useful but ONLY IF someone knows what a true limit effort is.

You can’t know what an RPE 9 is if you haven’t experienced a true 10.  And you can’t know that you have 2 reps to failure/2 reps in reserve if you’ve never reached true physiological muscular failure which I define as:

The inability to complete another full repetition despite providing a maximum effort.

Muscular failure isn’t when you stop pushing.  It’s not when you decide it hurts to much.  It’s when you can’t complete a rep despite giving a maximal effort.  Yes, yes, form failure in free weight exercises adds another wrinkle.  We’ve been over this.

I finished that part by asserting that most people training have never experienced a true 10 RPE or a true set to actual physiological muscular failure.

And I based that assertion on nearly 35 year in the gym overall and 25 years professionally.  Most have never hit true failure.  Most reading this have never hit true failure.  Disagree?  Send me the video.

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