ST to Failure, yes? no?
To Fail or NOT to Fail ?
Training to failure, YES ? NO? Why? Why not?
Now, when I strength train (ST), I do heavy weights (85%-90%) and I train to failure on all exercise EXCEPT deadlifts for the obvious reason(s).
I was asked, is it necessary to train to failure, my answer: NO.
I like training to failure and because I enjoy the INTENSITY and I do NOT train ST the frequently, training to failure is great for ME.
Now, realise that, the goal of ST is PROGRESSIVE RESISTENCE TRAINING, which means you NEED to, you HAVE TO, INCREASE the RESISTENCE you are training with, ie: increase the amount of weight being lifted.
This can be done by:
Increasing the amount of weight ( DUH !!)
Increasing the amount of sets ( Not that desirable)
Increasing the amount of reps ( ONLY to be used by WIMPS and PUSSIES).
As long as you are INCREASING the amount of weight, you are PROGRESSING, wither you train to muscular failure or not.
Now some may argue that, failure get you stronger, faster, BUT that is not always the case.
Many trainees fail to understand HOW intense training to failure with heavy weights truly is, and many end up over trained or burnt out.
Powerlifters and olympic lifters, on an average , do NOT train to failure, yet... need I go on?
Now, there are MANY very strong individuals that DO train to failure.
But what ALL these athletes have in common is:
They PROGRESSIVELY INCREASE THE WEIGHT THAT THE ARE LIFTING in a given exercise on as REGULAR a basis as they can.
I prefer not training to failure. I can work out hard busting out 4-6 reps on heavy lifts and then spend the rest of my time hitting the heavybag or the mitts. I find that when I train to failure it takes longer to recover and I'm sore to stretch properly. Also, it doesn't help my lifts any.
You do MA AFTER your ST ???
Well, I can only make it to the dojo once a week, on my day off. My hours from work conflict with most of the dojos over here, so I usually just practice at the gym. I go after work and hit the weights for about an hour, then get on the treadmill/stationary bike and do that for about 20 minutes. Then I finish up with about 30 minutes of hitting the heavybag and some light shadowboxing. It's not really much, but it's about all I can do right now. If I could go to the dojo more often, I would.
By the way, the only reason for me to workout is to get stronger. I usually workout about 2-3 times a week and I only do basic compound movements like squats, clean and jerks, bench presses, military presses and pull ups.
While I generally agree with your observations, it also depends on what you are ST for. If you are training for explosive power failure is not, IMHO, the most efficient method. Quick reps with moderate weight, especially after being fatigued a bit, does more for the fast twitch muscles that heavy weight to failure.
First, doing MA AFTER a ST workout will cut the gains you strive to make in your strength training, specially if you are doing compound moves such as squats, DL and so on.
As for training for explosive power like Olympic lifters, you will notice that I DO NOT advocate training to failure for those guys and they do NOT train to failure, for obvious reasons ( the complex motor skills needed to perform explosive lifts would be compromised when you started to approuch failure and injury would result).
I was thinking more along the lines of MA. Training for explosive power takes precedence of training for size and pure strength. Being able to maintain that explosive power over a longer period takes precendence of increasing poundages. (At least in my non-professional training regimen)
Well, the debate about Training for "explosive power" with weights in athletics has been going on for a very long time.
In reality, the best way to be explosive in the MA is to BE explosive with your techniques.
The potential for injury with "explosive AND ballistic" lifting MAY outweight any POTENTIAL benefits.
Most explosive athletes, like sprinters, do very few, if any at all, explosive lifts.
The do "explosive sports specific" training.
At York university, where Ben Johnson used to train, you get to see MANY top athletes do their stuff and the Majority doing "explosive lifts" ARE the olympic lifters BECAUSE, that is what they do.
Now, anytime you do 85-90% or more fo your max, you are NOT lifting slowly, though the bar amy MOVE slowly, that is because of the weight on it, to accelerate 90% of you max, you do need to apply some "explosivness".
Explosive lifts typically are, olympic lifts, the clean and jerk, the snatch, etc.
Powerlifting lifts: Bench press, Deadlift and Squat are NOT explosive lifts.
I train to failure, but I dont have real heavy weights, so I can get up to 25 reps before I fail.