Failure Training Delays Short-Term Recovery

Many guys train to failure to maximize muscle hypertrophy. Power athletes often use failure training to enhance athletic performance and increase strength and power, but they must also perform on the playing field and might be hampered by overzealous training programs. Spanish researchers compared short-term recovery following a high-intensity failure workout versus an intense but sub-failure training session. Failure training resulted in reduced repetition velocity, impaired neuromuscular performance, greater muscle damage, delayed hormone recovery and greater heart rate variability up to 48 hours after the workout. Power athletes might benefit from failure training during the off-season, but it is probably not appropriate when they must also perform well on the playing field. (International Journal of Sports Medicine, 37: 295-304, 2016)

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