A famous powerlifter once said…
“Training to failure is training to fail”
I forget who this guy was, but I remember looking up his picture, and he was both ripped and muscular beyond belief!
Arnold Schwarzenegger may be the the most famous bodybuilder who ever existed. He may have had one of the most amazing physiques I have ever seen. But we all know he was on steroids, and his training advice sucked. Arnold used to go on and on about training to failure as being the only way to train. Other bodybuilding greats, like Mike Mentzer, said the same.
But the most knowledgeable bodybuilders, the likes of Vince Gironda, always said that training to failure is not necessary for muscle growth, and may even be detrimental.
I found this to be true in my own training.
When I first started doing squats, I didn't know that the exercise would hit my glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of thighs). I always thought it was just an exercise for the quads (front of thighs), because this is where I felt it burn.
I was later surprised to find that without doing any other exercise to target my buttocks or hamstrings, my buttocks and hamstrings had grown!
I did a bit of research, and learned that squats DO hit your hamstrings and buttocks, because you are bending at the hip as well as bending at the knees. All this time I was working my glutes and hams, and I didn't even know it! There was no pump, and I NEVER took those muscle groups to failure, because my quads would always fail first.
That's when I was truly convinced that the following two things are NOT necessary for muscle growth:
1. Training to failure
2. The “pump”
Yeh, Arnold was CRAZY about the “pump”, he said in one of his famous videos, that the pump to him was like “cuming”… what a weirdo.
Was Arnold right, or am I right? Well, why don't you see for yourself? If you are training like I suggest in How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally, or in the Chest Sculpting Blueprint, then have a feel of your glutes and hams, and tell me if they have grown without you realizing. If you have to train to failure for your muscles to grow, or if you have to feel the “pump” for your muscles to grow, then how in the heck did your glutes and hams grow, when you never felt them burn, and you never trained them to failure?
Well you might then argue, that training to failure may not be NECESSARY for muscle growth, but training to failure will get you QUICKER and BIGGER muscle growth than not training to failure.
Well you'd be wrong there again.
When you train to failure, your body takes much longer to recover. That was one of Vince Gironda's biggest arguments against training to failure. He said you would get better gains if you avoided failure and trained more frequently.
Reason I'm talking to you about failure today, is because I came across this interesting study on failure training VS non-failure training.
In this 2006 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, 14 men were made to do failure training, and 15 made to do non failure training. By the end of the study, the non-failure group showed greater increases in strength, power, resting testosterone levels, and reduced cortisol levels when compared to the failure group. With the failure group, testosterone levels stayed the same, cortisol increased, and IGF-1 (a muscle-building hormone) levels decreased.
The only thing the failure group did better at, was muscular endurance – they were able to do slightly more repetitions in the bench press.
But what do you want? Do you want to do more reps on the bench press, or do you want to boost muscle size, boost testosterone, boost strength and power, and lose those man boobs?
If you want the latter, then stick to training to NON-failure :).
And, for a non-failure training protocol that will have you beach-ready for next summer, with a flat chest and muscular upper body, then get your hands on the Chest Sculpting Blueprint here:
You know, after receiving literally dozens of rave reviews of the Chest Sculpting Blueprint, with guys telling me how this program has helped them to lose man boobs and sculpt the kind of trim and muscular body they never thought they could achieve, I just received my first negative review about this program this morning :(.
One of my subscribers here said he thought that How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally was a more complete program. This may be because I cover some extra things in How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally, like HIIT training, and lifestyle changes for losing man boobs besides diet and exercise, but when it comes to weight training for losing man boobs, the Chest Sculpting Blueprint is definitely the better program.
I'll let you decide which is better though, get yourself a copy and let me know if it changes your body and changes your life they way it has with hundreds of others. Learn more about the program here:
6 thoughts on “Should You Train To Failure?”
It is very nice to read your emails . you see I weighed like around 123kgs few months ago and I have reduced to 78 KGS . I have a good muscle development in my upper chest . all I’m worried about is the lower . its showing very slow improvement and they look like manboobs even with a good c upper chest development . Also my tummy has become flappy . can you give me an expert advice ??? Looking forward for your reply
Hi Saieesh, great to hear about your weight loss!
You need to focus on hormonal training and a hormonal diet. The mistake most people make when they lose weight, is they end up killing their testosterone levels. The most common methods people use to lose weight, are cardio, a low calorie diet, and a low fat diet. Studies show that all three lead to low levels of resting testosterone. I believe this to be the reason why when guys with man boobs lose weight, they lose weight from everywhere EXCEPT the chest.
If on the other hand, you lose weight using the right methods, methods that at the very least preserve your testosterone levels, that’s when your chest goes down with the rest of your body. You can learn more about how to eat and train properly to reduce that lower chest fat in the following article:
Just on the side, I can’t guarantee that my methods will help absolutely everyone with excess chest fat or man boobs, but after all the experience I’ve had in the field, I can confidently say these methods are your best chance at naturally getting rid of that excess fat in your lower chest.
I purchased your programme of chest Sculpting Blueprint and paleleo HIIT training and I find it very helpful and agree with each n every word of your programme, I throughly enjoy doing work out as per the programme and I am happy that I purchased the online programme, as it is changing my personality day by day as mentioned by you, three cheers for Garry Davidson, love you buddy for helping out many like me to transform in a perfectly shaped men.
Hey Lalit, glad you liked the programs. Hope I can get them out to as many people as possible, so others can benefit from them too :).
I’m going to send this glowing testimonial of yours to my list of subscribers, home you don’t mind ^_^. Can’t wait to send it. Hope you don’t mind.
I don’t mind at all GARRY, its my pleasure that even I am sharing my experience with others through you ,actually I am glad that you want to share it with others ,I would like to bring to notice 1 more thing that I was doing different kinds of work outs for the last SIX years but never felt so good, it was only after following your programme that I feel to be in an anobolic state even after 2 days of work out ,its really great to follow the routine ,I have even made small plates weighing 400 gms each and I do follow the progressive resistance training in the same manner as described by you, initially people at the gym used to laugh at me, but since my physic is changing, they have started respecting my workout ,1ce again Hats Off to you Garry.