Will training till failure help me gain more muscles

Pankaj Dhuper
Pankaj Dhuper

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science

So you might have seen people screaming in the gym trying to lift the heaviest they can taking support from a spotter with an expectation of gaining maximum muscles in those sessions by training to failure. Well that makes you feel “I will never be able to gain that much muscles like that guy as I never lift so heavy on all my workout sessions”. Training till failure is actually not worth it and may even be harmful in higher volume training programs. [1] This study supports all the previous researches that training till failure does not help in substantial growth in muscles, neither extra strength development. It actually adds a lot of fatigue for very small muscle growth. For the strength as well it does not help as most of the reps are actually not countable as an actual volume of the workout as they are not done with the right form and technique.

For someone whose goal is strength the workout program would include sessions where the person will be doing high intensity (RPE ~ 9-10) loads so training till failure. But that is programmed strategically managing the fatigue which helps the athlete improve their strength as they progress. But training till failure on every session and not managing the fatigue will not help gaining maximum muscle mass overtime. So, if you are a beginner or an intermediate lifter do not fall for training till failure on every session. For hypertrophy goals (muscle gain) you can program your total volume in such a way that you have 3/4th of the total volume with moderate intensity (RPE 7-10) with rep range of 6-12 and 1/4th of the total volume with higher intensity (RPE 7-10) with rep range of 1-6 & low intensity (RPE 7-10) with rep range of 12-20. This is a general recommendation not to be taken as a thumb rule for everyone though it works fine for most of the beginners and intermediate. [2] [1] Skeletal Muscle Fiber Adaptations following resistance training using repetition maximums or relative intensity by Carroll et al. (2018, 2019) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/7/7/169 [2] Training Pyramid Ver 2 by Eric Helms

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