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Often it is seen in the gym, where trainees like to push every single set or at least as many sets as possible to a proxy of true failure. Initially I would question if it was true failure or someones perceived proximity to true failure. but regardless of that, what I am saying essentially is that people love to try and fuck themselves up in one session. 


Heres the pros and cons of training a proxy to true failure.



The closer we train to our perceived true failure, which can be indicated by the RPE scale which is dictated by the RIR construct we do see more robust hypertrophy. but the closer we get the rate of the stimuli we get theoretically reduces. so to put it into perspective if you was to train with a RIR of 5, you will see hypertrophy occur over time, if you train with a RIR 4 you will see an increase in hypertrophy in comparison to 5 RIR, but as you get to 3,2 & 1 RIR the stimulus and hypertonic response begins to reduce. You're still getting a hypertrophic response but not a significant increase. So people are probably asking then, why would you not train to failure on every or majority of sets in one session?



As you get a proxy to true failure, something that is often overlooked is fatigue accumulation, fatigue is a byproduct of resistance training and the closer you train to true failure the more fatigue you will see be accrued. The differentiation between stimulus increase and fatigue increase is that the stimulus increases linearly (you could argue that it diminishes) whereas the fatigue increases exponentially. So to put it into perspective, each time you get a proxy to true failure (0RIR) the stimulus will increase by 1 fold whereas the fatigue will increase by 5 fold.

so constantly pushing every set to true failure isn't conducive for the long run, this can lead to a higher propensity of injuries risks and a diminish in performance as your bodies ability to recovery will go down as you're asking for too much, so recovery processes will reduce considerably.


When it comes to your training sessions, don't think of that ONE session, thinking about how much can you fuck yourself up and leave yourself unable to perform in any more sessions in the week or even repeat that existing level of performance again the following week. Think more conservatively & meticulously with each session, Know when to push a set and when to back off the intensity a bit distributing your performance across the entire session while still leaving some in the tank for the next session.


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