If you’re looking to add muscle to your frame, increase your work capacity, there are a few proven ways to go about this. Nutrition will be your #1 resource along with knowing you can only build muscle tissue if you can generate progressively stronger muscular contractions, so this calls for an emphasis on finding ways to increase exercise intensity. This should not be confused with exercise duration as maximum training intensity will actually shorten the time needed to achieve maximal muscular growth.
In an earlier article I outlined the ways in which you can intensify your training. Here we’ll focus on the role that “training to failure” has to play in intensifying the training effect.
Anything less than maximum effort will reduce the effectiveness of your muscle building workout. The only way to force an optimal reaction in any muscle is to train it to failure – in other words, no matter how much effort you put in, you are simply incapable of completing one more rep of a given exercise with good form/technique.
Too many people seem to finish a set when they reach a certain number of reps, but the body will only show significant change if you ask it to do something extra. Only by passing through the break-over point of momentary muscle failure will you stimulate the muscle to grow. Read that again 🙂
NOTE: Anyone starting out should not attempt this method of training as it could lead to serious injury. Spend several months perfecting exercise form and conditioning the body to lift heavier weights before gradually introducing training to failure.
Our compound movements should be your main priority. Squats, Deadlifts, as well as Weighted Pullups, and Presses.
For legs, you’ll be squatting and deadlifting. For your back, you’ll be doing weighted pullups as well as heavy DB bent over rows. Shoulder’s, we’re looking at standing barbell, dumbbell or even kettlebell presses. When pushing to failure, using seated presses will allow and force strict form along with safer movements.
** Always have a spotter when training to failure on any given movement.
At the end of the day, it’s all about work capacity. How much can we get done in any given amount of time?
We all witnessed the Dave Castro introduce “DOUBLE GRACE” during the final event of our 2014 CrossFit Games. Odds are, the Fittest on Earth has played around with our Benchmarks by doing a “HEAVY GRACE” or #Grace at the end of a Heavy WOD that included Cleans, or max Clean and Jerks in 5 min of work. Either way, they were prepared for 60 clean and jerks by utilizing various methods of intensifying their training. I can guarantee that pushing to failure was included in their programming if not, it showed.
#PerformBetter #ImproveWorkCapacity #CrossFit #WorldClassProgramming #CrossFitMassillon