WORK­OUT FACTS:

Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

There have been a num­ber of stud­ies sug­gest­ing that strength ath­letes don’t need to per­form sets to fail­ure. To tell the truth, we didn’t be­lieve this at all, and you prob­a­bly wouldn’t ei­ther. We dug up a a study, pub­lished in 2005 in the Jour­nal of Strength Con­di­tion­ing and Re­search, that draws a dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion. Study In the study that sports sci­en­tist Eric Drinkwa­ter of the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Sport pub­lished in 2005, he used 26 young male bas­ket­ball and football play­ers as his sub­jects. In ad­di­tion to the sport they played the sub­jects had been do­ing strength train­ing for 3-6 months. Drinkwa­ter di­vided his sub­jects into two groups. Both groups did bench presses three times a week for six weeks, us­ing a weight with which they could just man­age six reps. One group tried to com­plete the six reps and so trained to fail­ure. The ath­letes in this group per­formed four sets. [RF4X6] The other group did not train to fail­ure and did sets of three reps. The ath­letes in this group per­formed eight sets. [NF8X3] Re­sults The 6RM – the weight with which the sub­jects were just ca­pa­ble of mak­ing six reps – in­creased by a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant amount in both groups, but the in­crease was big­ger in the group that had trained to fail­ure. At the end of the six weeks, Drinkwa­ter got his sub­jects to shift 40 kg on a bench throw ma­chine. The bench throw is an ex­er­cise that de­vel­ops ex­plo­sive strength in the up­per body. The amount of Watts that the sub­jects man­aged to gen­er­ate while do­ing the bench throw in­creased by a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant amount in both groups, but the in­crease was greater in the ath­letes who had trained to fail­ure. Con­clu­sion “Bench press train­ing that leads to rep­e­ti­tion fail­ure in­duces greater strength gains than non-fail­ure train­ing in the bench press ex­er­cise”, Drinkwa­ter con­cluded. Spec­u­la­tion One dif­fer­ence be­tween Drinkwa­ter’s study and most stud­ies in which it doesn’t mat­ter whether ath­letes train to fail­ure or not is that Drinkwa­ter’s sub­jects al­ready had sev­eral months’ ex­pe­ri­ence of strength train­ing, and this was not the case for the sub­jects in the other stud­ies. It is prob­a­bly quite ob­vi­ous that in­ex­pe­ri­enced ath­letes grow re­gard­less of the type of strength train­ing they do, whether that’s to fail­ure or not. This no doubt will dif­fer from ex­pe­ri­enced train­ers, as their body would have adapted some­what to the rig­ors of in­tense weight train­ing and will re­quire a greater ef­fort and over­load to grow. It all comes back to “Work Ethic” and we don’t re­ally need a study to un­der­stand that the harder you work the bet­ter

Photo by Steve Jones Nat­u­ral Bodz Media Day Photo Shoot

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