Posted on

Failing to Fail Part 2

On December 2nd of last year, I posted the last part in a long series I had written about the idea of training to muscular failure.  What it represented physiologically and practically.  In that final piece, titled Failure to Fail I put up a bunch of videos as a demonstration.

A fair number of them were of me showing what training to true failure is in terms of how rep speeds change and the effort involved.  In a few cases a set that started with a roughly 1 second or less rep ended with a final grinder at 4-7 seconds or thereabouts.

I put up videos of some other folks as well.  Vicky Mirceta, my powerlifter Sumi Singh.   And some random guy back squatting to failure to show what that looks like.  Since I doubt most of the people training have ever seen it done deliberately and they sure as shit haven’t done it themselves.

Finally I put up some video showing what failing to fail means.  The first was a set by Brad Schoenfeld where he basically gave up after a half-assed set of pulldowns.  The second was Mike Israetel taking a trainee  through a high rep set of leg presses that, while I’m sure it was hard, was nowhere close to failure.  The movement speed of the sled never slowed across 30 reps.

Finally, I showed a video of Mike Israetel taking someone through a chest, shoulders, triceps workout although I only showed the bench press.  In the set the lifter does 11 reps, none of them looking effortful at all before racking the bar, with the bar speed unchanging from set 1 until “failure”.  Mike then asserts that this is a 0RIR set.  It was barely a warm-up set. Maybe a decent speed set.  But 0 RIR?  Bullshit.

Continue reading Failing to Fail Part 2