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23.02.2021


Meta study | To failure strength training equivalent to non-failure strength training

The day before yesterday, we wrote for the umpteenth time about a study that showed that strength training is just as effective if you don't squeeze all the reps out of your sets that are in it. It is hardly surprising that a meta-study has now come to the conclusion that to failure strength training is just as effective as non-failure strength training.


Meta study | To failure strength training equivalent to non-failure strength training



Study
Jozo Grgic, a movement scientist from Victoria University Melbourne, collected 15 previously published trials in which researchers compared the effect of strength training with sets to failure with that of non-failure strength training. Grgic aggregated the results of these studies and re-analyzed them.

Results
For both the increase in strength [first figure below] and the build-up of muscle mass [second figure] it did not matter whether the subjects trained to failure or not.

Click on the figures below for larger versions.


Meta study | To failure strength training equivalent to non-failure strength training


Meta study | To failure strength training equivalent to non-failure strength training



Not clear yet
The subjects in the studies were usually relatively young and had only a few years of training experience. Grgic therefore advocates studies with older subjects and subjects with several years of training experience. It could just be that strength athletes with ten to fifteen years of training experience respond better to to failure strength training.

Grgic is also not exactly sure about strength training with light loads - for example with 30 percent of the maximum weight. One study suggests that in that case to failure strength training is more effective than non failure strength training, the other study suggests that both training types are equally effective.

Source:
J Sport Health Sci. 2021 Jan 23;S2095-2546(21)00007-7.

More:
Again: going to failure in strength training is not necessary for optimal results 21.02.2021
Do strength athletes have to stop training to failure? 07.01.2020
Just started with strength training? Training to failure isn't necessary, making enough sets is... 05.01.2018

Archives:
Resistance Training


Study: strength training just as effective without doing sets to failure Strength athletes don't need to-failure sets to achieve growth Eleven weeks' not to-failure training just as effective as eleven weeks' to-failure

Study: strength training just as effective without doing sets to failure
Australian sports scientists published this study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Strength athletes don't need to-failure sets to achieve growth
Even if strength athletes don't squeeze all the reps possible out of their sets they can still give their muscles the growth stimulus they need, and build up strength and muscle mass.

Eleven weeks' not to-failure training just as effective as eleven weeks' to-failure
Athletes that do two months of weight training, without sticking it out to the last rep in their sets, make just as much progress as the athletes that do all their reps.