Training to Failure. During most lifts with a moderately heavy weight, the set is completed before failure is reached. Muscles feels taxed, the sweating has begun, a few more sets are rocked, and we move on to the next exercise. This is a great way to get stronger, but is taking a set to failure an even better way? Yes and no Muscle Activation strategies during strength training with heavy loading vs. repetitions to failure. Sundstrup, E., et al. 1 National Research Center for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark 2, Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012 Jul;26(7):1897-903.. While training to failure — lifting until the body can't do a single more rep — recruits more muscle and triggers the body to release more strength-building hormones, it’s most effective if a very high percentage of a one rep max can be performed The application of training to failure in periodized multiple-set resistance exercise programs. Willardson, J.M. Physical Education Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 61920, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2007 May;21(2):628-31. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. Schoenfeld BJ. Global Fitness Services, Scarsdale, New York, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2010 Oct;24(10):2857-72.. Also, sets to failure increase the opportunity for overtraining and injury, so it’s best to use this technique only occasionally and with a spotter.
In fig 3A–D, absolute hormone concentrations are presented for the NFO and the OTS groups. Visual inspection of the data led to the conclusion that resting concentrations cortisol, ACTH and PRLwere higher for OTS patients comparedwithNFO. However, reactions to exercise tests did not differ between the groups. Resting hormone concentrations were tested with independent t tests. Only for ACTH, the t test gave a value >2 (ie, t8=2.6; p<0.05), meaning that only for ACTH, the difference between the groups was more than twice as large as the SE. Sensitivity of resting cortisol, ACTH and PRL was four out of five (cutoff 175 μg l−1), four out of five (cutoff 40 ng l−1) and two out of five (cutoff 50 IU l−1), respectively (table 2). Sensitivity for detection of NFO was three out of five, four out of five and three out of five respectively for cortisol, ACTH and PRL, respectively (table 2).
Stuck in the strength training doldrums? Our best piece of fitness advice is that "Variety is key." Greatist has shared all sorts of ways to take workouts from "hum drum" to "hot stuff." We're now turning our eye to eight effective strength training techniques. So grab that workout log and a pen, because here are some great ways to challenge the status quo and add a little variety to the normal gym routine.
It is well known that exercise in the older population may prevent several diseases [1–4]. Reduced physical activity impairs the quality of life in elderly people with Alzheimer's Disease , Parkinson's Disease , and Depressive Disorders . Moreover, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and cerebrovascular decline are associated with poor physical fitness because of the cumulative effects of illness, multiple drug intake, fatigue, and bed rest [7, 8]. The effects of physical activity and exercise programs on fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in elderly adults have been widely studied by several authors [9–11]. De Vries et al.  conducted a meta-analysis focusing on elderly patients with mobility problems and/or multimorbidity. Eighteen articles describing a wide variety of actions were analyzed. Most used a multicomponent training program focusing on the combination of strength, balance, and endurance training. In 9 of the 18 studies included, interventions were supervised by a physical therapist. Intensity of the intervention was not reported and the duration of the intervention varied from 5 weeks to 18 months. This meta-analysis concluded that, considering quality of life, the exercise versus no-exercise studies found no significant effects. High-intensity exercise appears to be somewhat more effective in improving physical functioning than low-intensity exercise. These positive effects are of great value in the patient population but the most effective type of intervention remains unclear. Brovold et al.  recently examined the effects of high-intensity training versus home-based exercise programs using the Norwegian Ullevaal Model  on a group of over-65-year-olds after discharge from hospital. These authors based their study on the Swedish Friskis-Svettis model  which was designed by Johan Holmsater for patients with coronaropathy to promote their return to work and everyday activities and improve their prognoses. This model includes three intervals of high intensity and two intervals of moderate intensity, each one lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. Included in each is coordination. Exercises consist of simple aerobic dance movements and involve the use of both upper and lower extremities to challenge postural control . Exercise intensity was adjusted using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. Moderate intensity was set between 11 and 13, and high intensity was set between 15 and 17 on the Borg Scale.