Training to failure or to success?

When it comes to building muscle and might, the gym wisdom is quick to sum it up as the attempt to do another rep when all the reps are done and lift another 5kg when all the kilos are lifted. However, there is a better way.

“muscle failure is more than unnecessary- it is counterproductive!”- Pavel Tsatuoline


Yes, there is a way to train where you don’t get so sore, still can move well, and achieve your goals. This is based on the idea of repeatable workouts.


Some of the world’s strongest men and women have never trained to failure. In particular, old school lifters maxed or went to failure VERY infrequently. Quoting Earle Liederman in his 1925 classic Secrets of Strength, a strong man “never extended himself unless it was absolutely necessary. Once in a while, he would cut loose.”

One of the most intelligent ways to develop strength is to lift much heavier weights than most weekend warriors play with but to terminate your sets before your muscles fail. For example, doing 3 reps with a weight that you could have done five reps with is a lot safer and more effective than an all-out set of ten.


This will enable you to live to fight another day and stay in the game longer. Repeatable workouts are key. It’s easy to make someone sore and sweaty but we aren’t trying to kill you we are trying to build you up. A key component to this is the idea of repeatable workouts where you don’t feel so sore or smashed that you can’t come back in 2 days and get another session in.

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