Lifting to Failure: Is It Helping your Gains... or Secretly Hurting Them?

Lifting to Failure can be a great way to maximize your gains and put on pounds of large, lean muscle fast. But if you're doing it wrong, it can cause a lot more harm than good. Below, we'll point out common mistakes that lots of bodybuilders make when they try to adopt a Lifting to Failure training regimen. We'll also give you some tips for making sure your failure training at the gym actually results in huge success.

The Dangers of Failing at Lifting to Failure

If you don't lift to failure the right way, it can do a lot more harm than good. For starters, straining your body to lift its absolute max can leave you vulnerable to injury. And if you're too hurt to train, you'll have nothing but your growing love handles to keep you company while you're healing up and trying to get back into the gym.

Another problem with lifting to failure is that it can screw up your hormones in ways that actually make it harder to build muscle. Excessive Training to Failure raises sitting levels of cortisol (also known as the "stress hormone"). It can also suppress your body's production of IGF-1, which is essential for building muscle. Without enough IGF-1, your body can't do what it needs to do in order to repair damaged muscle fibers and build your muscles back larger and stronger.

How to Make Lifting to Failure Work for You

If you're determined to incorporate Lifting to Failure into your training routine despite the risk of hormonal imbalance and injury, you need to take some specific steps in order to make sure you're failing correctly:

  • Incorporate a "Break week" into your training schedule. But don't pick up the TV remote just yet! Break weeks can be used to work on your flexibility, foam-roll sore muscles, and engage in a light exercise or cardio routine to keep your body fat percentage low.
  • Save your failure set for the very last set. Your very first set should be a warm-up set with low to moderate weight. This gives you the opportunity to practice your form while also warming up your muscles and preparing them to lift heavier. Oh, and speaking of using correct form...
  • Always use correct form. ALWAYS. You aren't going to be able to exercise your muscles the way they need to be exercised if you're compromising form in the name of reps. You're also much more likely to hurt yourself if your form isn't on point.

The Most Important Tip for Lifting to Failure

Giving yourself plenty of recovery time and practicing your form are great, but if you aren't supplementing with the right stack, Lifting to Failure will only get you so far. That's why we recommend Ultra Edge XL. It's one of the best stacks around for giving you the energy you need to power through a grueling Lift to Failure training day. It also contains muscle-building amino acids for recovery and special absorbency enhancers so that you get the most out of every dose. So, if you really want to succeed at Lifting to Failure, do it with Ultra Edge XL.