Jason Ferruggia purkaa treenaajien parissa sitkeänä elävää myyttiä:

If I had to pick one thing that holds people back more than anything else it would probably be training to failure. Of course, proper program design, a good diet and a lot of sleep are the three biggest keys. But, assuming those bases are covered, I firmly believe there is nothing more detrimental to your progress than training to failure on a regular basis – –

Every rep you do should be performed as explosively as possible with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT effort. A lot of people don’t get this. They leisurely cruise their warm up sets while whistling Dixie. This is a HUGE mistake.

Always treat light weight like it’s heavy. Warm up and “work up sets” are practice sets. Do them exactly like you will do your heaviest sets; with maximal tension throughout your body and maximal acceleration throughout each rep. When you do them slowly and sloppily you are missing out on the CNS arousal benefits, losing an opportunity to perfect your technique and are more likely to get injured.

The fact is more injuries occur with light weights than do with heavy weights. That’s because people don’t respect a light weight like they do a heavy weight.

When you get to your work sets be sure you always crush every single one of them with explosive speed and power. Make that set your bitch. Don’t ever let it get the best of you and start squirming and slowly grinding your way to the finish.

When you do that you’re fucked.

Plain and simple.

Training to Failure, part 1

The single most important concept for people to understand is that strength is a skill and you need to treat it as such.

Strength is a skill.

Let it sink in for a second.

When you think about it that way the whole thing becomes much easier to grasp.

You are training your nervous system to be more efficient.

That’s why all of the great old time strongmen, like Louis Cyr, Eugene Sandow and Earle Liederman called their workouts “practice.” Lifting was their sport so they understood, as does a good pitching coach, that you can not continue practicing in a fatigued state or you ingrain bad habits. A good pitching or tennis coach would not let you continue on when your speed starts slowing down and your form gets sloppy. They know that you’re done for the day at that point. The same can be said about a good sprint coach.

Lifting a heavy weight is really no different than serving or throwing a ball incredibly hard or sprinting at high speeds. Sure, some people may want to argue semantics, but it’s all human performance and based on the same principles at the end of the day.

You get stronger in one of two ways; improving the efficiency of your nervous system or increasing the size of your muscles. Obviously, you can’t continually increase the size of your muscles forever. But you can steadily make neural strength gains for quite some time if you train properly. That’s how athletes in weight class sports are able to get continually stronger without gaining weight.

Training to Failure, part 2