Introduction

Few concepts in the world of strength training have been more hotly debated than the need (or not) to reach muscle failure during your sets. Is it necessary for muscle growth? No. However, I feel it is necessary for optimal growth. Some argue that training to failure is either dangerous or can lead to CNS fatigue. Others argue that training to failure too often will cause too much muscle damage and can lead to localised overtraining. Some of these misconceptions stem from the fact that muscle failure is not well understood.

The biggest proponents of training to failure have defined it as "creating a maximum amount of inroads to the muscle on each set". This is fine and well however am I the only one who doesn't understand what they mean by that? It is important to correctly describe what muscle failure is and why it happens. This information will allow us to make an objective assessment of the need (or not) of training to failure.

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