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The debate around training to muscular failure has raged for decades. Is it necessary? Is it practical? Is it safe? 

Expert opinion is all over the map, ranging from one extreme of low-volume, maximum-intensity, “beyond-failure” training to the other of high-volume, low-intensity, “never-even-close-to-failure” training; and every degree and permutation in between.

Which philosophy is right? Or at least the most right? And more importantly, which is right specifically for you and your circumstances and goals? That is, are you training hard enough to efficiently and effectively achieve your goals?

In this episode, renowned expert Lyle McDonald settles these questions and more, including what true muscular failure is (physiologically); why, in some ways, proximity to failure in training matters more than many other programming variables like load and rep ranges; why many people could benefit from more proximity to failure in their training rather than less; and more.

And in case you’re not familiar with Lyle, he’s a health and fitness researcher and author, and one of the godfathers of evidence-based fitness space whose work has greatly influenced my own, especially in the beginning of my career.

In this interview, you’ll learn:

  • What failure is (technical, muscular, and volitional failure) and why proximity to failure is such an important factor in training for muscle growth
  • How close you need to be to failure for maximal muscle fiber recruitment and growth
  • The effects of training to failure on fatigue and how that interplays with training volumes
  • Whether “beyond failure” techniques like dropsets and forced reps can be effective when controlled
  • How to gauge and achieve effective reps for enhanced muscle development
  • Guidance on the optimal proximity to failure for sustainable results
  • Practical tips for reaching the optimal proximity to failure and incorporating variety in training to maintain long-term progress
  • How often you should test true failure to ensure your training intensity is sufficient
  • And more . . .

Whether you’re seeking to optimize your workouts or someone curious about the science behind muscle growth, this myth-busting discussion will give you science-based clarity on one of fitness’s most persistent debates. 

So give it a listen and you’ll be far better equipped to gauge your workout intensity and program it sustainably for better gains.


0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!

3:20 – Why is Training to Failure Crucial for Muscle Growth?

08:29 – What Does Muscle Failure Really Mean and How Does It Impact Growth?

24:00 – Is Proximity to Failure More Important Than Your Workout Program?

33:11 – How Can You Optimize Volume and Reps for Maximum Muscle Growth?

43:06 – Save 25% on Pulse and Recharge! Go to and use code MUSCLE

44:33 – Why Are Rest Times Crucial for Maximizing Training Effectiveness?

54:05 – How Do You Recognize and Achieve True Muscular Failure?

1:01:41 – What Are Reps in Reserve and How Can They Optimize Your Training?

1:11:35 – How Can You Accurately Identify a True Failure Rep?

1:14:34 – Are Forced Reps and Other “Beyond Failure” Training Techniques Effective?

1:23:00 – Why Is Variety Important in Your Training Regimen?

1:32:01 – Where to Find Lyle McDonald’s Work?


Mentioned on the Show:

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Lyle’s Website:

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello, and thank you for tuning in to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am your host, Mike Matthews, and today’s episode is on the topic of training to failure, which has been debated for decades now, is still debated. Questions like, is it necessary? Is it practical? Is it safe? Expert opinion, all over the place, has always been, still is, it ranges from one extreme of very low volume, maximum intensity beyond failure training, like Mike Mencer’s training style, for example, which is having a bit of a moment, again, at least on social media, and then you can find jacked experts who advocate for the exact opposite high volume low intensity never even close to failure training and of course you can find every degree and every permutation in between and so then the question of course is which of all of these philosophies is right or at least the most right and more importantly Which is right specifically for you, your circumstances, your goals, that is, are you training hard enough to efficiently and effectively achieve your goals?

Well, in this episode, renowned expert, Lyle McDonald, answers those questions and more, including what true muscular failure is, physiologically speaking, technically speaking, defining the term specifically because there are different definitions for muscular failure. And if you have the wrong definition, that can compromise the effectiveness of your training.

In this episode, Lyle also talks about why proximity to failure matters more than many other programming variables that many people pay a lot of attention to, like training load and rep ranges, and rep techniques like drop sets and supersets and forced reps and so on. Lyle also explains why many people could benefit from more proximity to failure in their training rather than less and more.

And in case you are not familiar with Lyle, he is a health and fitness researcher and writer. And he’s really one of the godfathers of the evidence based fitness space. His work has greatly influenced my own, especially in the beginning of my career, and that’s why I’ve had him on the podcast several times.

And I always enjoy hearing his thoughts about how we can get fitter, leaner, and stronger using science based diet and training methods.

Lyle McDonald has returned. It’s been, it’s been a while.

Lyle: Yeah, it’s been, I don’t know, probably two, over two years. I know your email was sitting in my inbox since, I want to say 2021. And, uh, I kind of checked out of the industry and decided it was time to get back. And thanks for having me after I kind of blew everybody off for so long, so yeah.

Mike: No, I was, I was excited to when you emailed, I was excited because I wanted to have this conversation. I thought it was interesting.

Lyle: Well, cool.

Mike: And so what that is, is proximity to failure is, I guess, the broad heading. Why don’t we start with. Explaining why this is even important. Why are we going to talk about this for an hour or whatever?

Lyle: Yeah, so first some definitions, because I think this is where a lot of the confusion comes from. Like when we say talk about training to failure, like what does that actually mean in either a practical sense or physiological sense? Because over the I mean decades at this point, there has been a long standing debate over this issue.

Um, and I don’t think arthur jones back in the 70s necessarily started it, but he really brought it sort of to To a head in terms of recommending, you know What the h. i. t guys that you need to take each step to concentric failure But what does that mean and there’s been multiple definitions and this is part of the problem, right?

If you go back all the way back to delorme and we’re talking about the early 20th century and he would He was one of probably the early people with any sort of logic to training And he would recommend three sets of 10 and the first set was at 50 of your 10 repetition back the most you could do the heaviest way you could do 10 repetitions with and then set two was at 75 set three was a 10 rm and then there was His progression system, but even then he defined it as you know, 10 rm was the maximum weight that you could lift through the full range of motion and that is sort of a generalized definition But since then there have been others In terms of one is technical failure Which is you only go to the point that your technique starts to degrade and a lot of studies use this and I Dislike, I mean In a practical sense, I don’t disagree.

I don’t want people going past the point that your technique is failing But at least in a practical sense in a research sense In a training sense, I think that introduces a really complicated variable It introduced well two variables one is how do we define this right? Most of these studies don’t ever say what that means.

Well, we have them do back squats until the point of technical failure. Well, what does that mean? Is that when you are squatting very upright and you tip over how many degrees is it when your knees start to break in? Like what are we defining that number two? It introduces the issue of technical competency I read a study and they go.

Well, we have people that have been training for two years Consistently and we had them squat to failure Or beginner studies are even funnier. Uh, yeah, right. You’re gonna take a beginner who can barely their technical failure Or compare that to someone A high level power lifter a high level olympic lifter whose technique doesn’t break under any conditions How close they’re getting to actual?

Physiological muscular failure, which is what i’ll get to next are going to be very different things a highly qualified power lifter with beautiful technique may be able to get however many more reps just because their technique is more stabilized under load. Then there’s my favorite failure, which is volitional failure, which basically means stopping the set.

I don’t want to do this anymore. Well, I mean, that’s a set like volitional. It is when the person decides that they would fail on the next repetition. But to me, that’s an utterly ridiculous argument for the reasons that I’ll explain. Is that so does that mean that if I do two reps and I decide that my next rep would be failure Even if I could technically do eight more Is that the same stimulus as actually going for eight more reps because that’s what that seems to imply Well, they just it is it’s you stopped when volitionally you decided you were done Which is also the issue we get into what exercise is being done.

How good is the person’s? Internal drive someone with extremely a lot of years under the bar with extremely high drive can push way harder Muscularly into that before they just most people and again, i’ve been in the gym for 30 years I’m old. Well, i’ve been in the gym for damn near 40 years, but 30 years professionally I’ve watched a lot of people squat and it is interesting It’s better now people’s technique i’m seeing a lot more technically sound squats Because social media is both good and bad in this regard But more people are at least being exposed to better technique, but i’ve watched a lot of people squat And most people when they decide they’ve had enough Is nowhere close to what I would consider in terms of bar speed in terms of those things. So I mean I

Mike: I would say that that would apply at least in the gym that I go to That’s to most yet.

I would say most exercises most sets of most people I don’t pay too much attention to what other people if I just look at the at the movie reel in my head And and think about you know, how people the general intensity of the training. It’s not particularly

Lyle: shows that That people

Mike: it’s like two or three hours of a lot of submaximal work.

Lyle: Of basically doing a lot of warmups and I’ll talk about bar speed here in a second.

But if we’re talking about muscular adaptations, and here I’m going to focus on growth because strength is a different thing because you’ve got neurological factors and technical type don’t muscle growth and we talk about what is needed to stimulate growth and muscle fibers. All that matters as far as i’m concerned is how close the target muscle was to muscular failure But what does that mean?

What does that actually mean to fail? And basically, all right Let’s say you’re doing a leg extension. Let’s just simplify it Right. All you’re doing is from here to the top and back again You’ve got whatever weight is on the bar a hundred units hundred pounds, whatever ten plates Whatever it is on the machine that requires you to generate some amount of force Now, you start the set.

Beginning of the set, like, let’s say it takes a hundred units of force, or just abstract units, to lift that weight through the full range of motion. You start the set, your muscle’s fresh, you’re recovered, you can generate a hundred fifty units of force. Weight’s moving real easily. So here’s a hundred units you have to get to do a full rep.

A hundred fifty, a hundred forty, every rep, your force output Is getting lower because the muscle’s getting tired at the point that you can do 110 units of force It’ll start moving slow. At 105, you’re working at a hundred. You can barely finish the repetition at such a point that you, that Muscle Force production cannot achieve a hundred units of force.

You cannot complete the repetition. That is what I would in a physi, in a purely physiological sense, the muscle doesn’t care when your technique fell apart. The muscle doesn’t care when you decided to quit from a, the standpoint of sending a adapt at adaptive signal to the skeletal muscle, the target muscle.

All that matters is how much mechanical tension it had to generate over a certain number of repetitions. There’s a metabolic work component. So let’s say, just as a comparison, let’s say that we know that In a back squat that your quads let’s say you’re using his target your quads that they could generate enough force To perform 10 repetitions with that weight before they would physiologically not be able to generate enough force Well, if your technique falls apart, it’s rep five because you don’t have stabilized technique.

Well, that was technical failure Does that mean your quads experienced a stimulus there are five reps from physiological muscular failure Let’s say that you stop it Rep five because you don’t feel like doing it. Does that mean your muscle magically knows? Well, hey, it’s still failure Even though no all it all muscle senses tension and metabolic work All it all the muscle knows is that it was nowhere close to its limits.

So to me The best definition of failure, in a physiological sense, is an inability to complete a full repetition, despite providing maximal effort. If you just give up, that’s not failure. It’s volitional failure, but I think that’s a dumb, I think that’s a dumb definition. Because your low back gave out on back squats, and your technique fell apart, or you gave up five reps from what your quads would experience.

Right, and this is one of the problems and we’re going to talk about reps and reserve and what that what that means So just again, so this point will make sense reps and reserve is a way of Defining how many reps you are from hitting muscular failure. All right So again, we’ll go back to light extension to simplify.

Let’s say we know that you could complete 10 repetitions And then could not complete repetition 11. Repetition 11 would be the failure rep. And we do tend to conflate those. We tend to say that the 10th rep was failure. Technically, the 11th rep was the failure repetition. Whether, whether you tried or not.

Right and even that like going well, I just think I would have failed on the next rep Like the only true way to know you achieved muscular failure is to try to do the next repetition And be unable to complete it in the strictest

Mike: Although with enough experience, I mean, well, yes, you can you can develop a bit of a sense for it

Lyle: Yes, you can absolutely develop a sense for it based on bar speed and past experience and the amount of pain You’re willing to put through so reps reserve Is a way of defining how many repetitions away from failure yours so zero reps in reserve mean you could not have done another repetition Right.

So if, if 10 reps was zero reps reserve, you would not have completed repetition. 11, one rep in reserve mean that you’re one, one rep away. That would be nine reps. Two reps reserve is eight, seven, six, five. Okay. So that’s what reps and reserve is. And I know we’re going to sort of talk about that later. And what you typically see with that reps and reserve is that there is a change at bar speed and somewhere, depending on the movement, depending on the person, somewhere between, you know, two and four reps reserve, you tend to see bar speed starts to slow.

And that’s pretty much every study in in the history of ever so oh, I know what it’s getting at So let’s go back to the squat Studies we’ll talk about. Oh, we have them squat to two reps in reserve Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that that was true if we’re trying to train our quads for hypertrophy We don’t know for sure that the quadriceps Experience to reps and reserve right?

We tend to really confuse these issues The goal is not to take the exercise to a certain reps and reserve or failure, whatever your goal the goal from a Stimulus standpoint is to take the target muscle to a certain reps and reserve And this is the big problem I have with all these studies using complex movements using back squat using definitions of failure That have nothing to do with actual muscular failure again If I put someone in the back squat and their technique is bad Their five reps in reserve for technical failure might be 10 for their quads.

I mean, I don’t know the thing is I can’t say Yeah, if someone has really bad levers for squatting because they have long femurs and they’re bent over that’s me I can almost guarantee you the two reps reserved was in their low back whether or not their quads got there They might they might not have I can’t say and that’s the thing We don’t actually know but we do know that people with bad levers don’t tend to build big legs with squats They get way more when they take their low back out of it.

Mike: Or you just, you just make a mistake because you’re deep in a set.

It’s hard. You’re, you’re a good weightlifter, but you shoot your hips up faster than you should have. Yes. And then, and then it’s a grinder. And then you think like, well, I guess that, I guess that’s it. I barely completed that.

Lyle: And that might’ve been quads. It might’ve not been, it might’ve been any number of factors. If I put you on a leg press where the only. I mean, we could define technical failure a little more strictly not hitting the same depth needs, but there’s really no technical failure to occur. If I take you to two reps in reserve, and for now, let’s say I have a magic wand to know when you got there or based on bar speed, I can have a pretty good idea.

That that was a that was two reps reserved for the target muscle And if I put you on a leg extension and have you do it to two reps and reserve I can say without debate That it was your quads So when we talk about all this we get into all these competing variables and I just find a lot of the definitions of failure Well technical failure Could be because your technique sucks could be because like you said an accident happened It could be that your low back gave out.

Well, if your goal is to target the quads, how is training it? I mean deadlifts are even worse like this whole thing without a deadlift and i’ve asked people Okay, what is the deadlift train? And the answer is not Everything because there is no everything muscle, right? Like what typically gives out on deadlifts and people do them for reps could be grip say they use straps Usually low back which if you’re trying to train low back is fine But does that mean the upper back got a stimulus?

Does that mean the legs got a stimulus? We don’t know it might or it might not have so in a physiological sense from the standpoint of what the muscle experiences it in terms of Tension and metabolic work only valid definition. I can I think is the inability to complete another full range repetition again Despite maximal effort now that gets into other things you brought up experience Learning to push hard is a skill that requires being pushed hard by a sadistic coach like myself or just doing it over time And i’ve given people experiments in the videos that they never do because they don’t want to have to admit that i’m right They go look when you think you’re a failure You’re probably not. Well,

Mike: I do that regularly in my training, just as a rule. I mean, I avoid it on certain exercises. I went, when I was younger, I would do it. I would be willing, more willing to do it in a back squat or just in a barbell deadlift, but now not as much. However, however, if I’m doing an isolation exercise, just something where I’m not concerned about injury, then I often will out of, let’s say I’m doing three or four sets for that exercise.

I often, at least in one of them, just to keep, keep myself honest, just, I have my little RIR that I’m trying to get in and go, well, let me, let me see. I think I, yeah, I think I could do one more, but maybe I can do more than one. Let me go for it.

Lyle: And people often really surprise themselves. I, when I put up those videos on my years ago about that, several people in my group were like, I thought I was at failure and I went back in after watching your videos and I put 30 more pounds on and got seven more reps than I thought. I’m like, until you really had someone either do it yourself or have someone really talk you through it. Rep by rep. You know, I just said, just, yeah, get on a safe exercise, get on a hammer chest press or leg extension.

Something you’re not going to get rekt if something goes super wrong, it’s like as long as the weight is still moving, keep pushing. After you do that rep try it again and keep as long as it’s moving the tiniest bit keep putting again You’re not doing this all the time people when I did that series.

They were like, oh, I could advocate failure I’m like go back. I said actually explicitly not that i’m not recommending this But what i’m saying is that to know where it is You have to actually experience it and that’s the other problem with the reps and reserve thing And I think this leads us into the main thing you want to talk about is it has been shown repeatedly That people’s estimates of their reps and reserve is generally pretty bad, but gets better with experience Right you take beginners And anyways, the studies are weird because like you’re in the middle of a set and they go How many more reps do you think you can get and then they have them keep repping and they?

But that’s the only way to do it, right? What I tell people I go look pick a weight that you think is your 10 rep max that you can only get 10 reps With and just go see what happens where you keep and i’m like, maybe you’re right But based on 30 years of experience in the gym, I can guarantee you in 99 Percent of the case you’re wrong what you think is your 10rm is not any worthwhile So as people get experienced they get much better within you know, a rep or two Although I do think and you maybe you’ve done this frequently in my head Like if I were to ask you, Hey Mike, any more reps do you have during a set? You went to, you’d probably only get to like programming a self fulfilling profit. Yeah, absolutely. I do it. This is so dumb. I’ll super sound like extensions and leg curls. And like, I try to keep the reps. Uh about the same just because I like my workouts are drawn up more for aesthetic purposes than anything else I just like yeah, this is four by eight This should also be four by eight because I like symmetry, but it’s like oh well I failed at eight on that one somehow I always seem to fail at eight on the other one and how much of it is real and how much of it is just self but That is a problem with this and it hasn’t…

Mike: I’ve experienced it even even more in so, so currently I’m, I’m just doing a maintenance routine three days a week, kind of a push, pull legs with a little bit of extra volume for arms and, uh, but.

Before that, for about two years, I was pushing pretty hard five days a week, maybe 70 to 90 minutes and, um, going for primarily just gaining strength in the big exercises, blah, blah, blah, and had it periodized and was more, I would say, systematic about how I was going because maintenance, you can kind of just have fun with some heavy weights, get a pump and you’re fine, right?

And so, uh, previously though, At the end of the training blocks were four months, I believe three or four months. And at the end, I would, I would do a round of am wraps on the big exercises to see if I’ve made any progress over the last few months. Uh, and so, okay, so, you know, uh, going to put whatever it is to 75 or 2 95 on the back squat and see how many reps I can do.

And I was doing that for about two years and something I noticed is that. On those AMRAP days, which I was kind of excited for ’cause it was fun. Uh, and, and I, I felt almost like that, uh, reminded me of, uh, playing sports as a kid growing up. Yeah. A competitive feel. Okay. I, I, this is, this is the day I’ve been working three or four months.

And, and let’s see what I can do. And consistently I would outperform my expectations and, and my expectations were based on the data I had. Uh, on my training leading up to those days, where if you were to look at my numbers, you would have predicted that I would have gotten six reps or whatever. And I’ll go in there and get nine and it just would happen consistently.

I do it on the squat, deadlift and bench press. Those are the three exercises I would use to test my whole body strength. Right, right, right. And there was definitely a psychological component. There was expectations and just being excited and looking forward to it. And that seemed to add several reps to whatever weight it was.

Lyle: And and that is you know, that’s the other issue this gets into like I see it as like, you know There’s the whole psychosocial model of pain people have different abilities to push, you know into the into the darkness And there is that effect, you know, arthur jones famously said when you think you’re at failure And he’s like if I stepped up and put a gun in your face and said get another repetition You’d probably find a way and I don’t disagree with that.

But again, that is a function of learning To push her and that is something that it is it is a skill And it does have to happen over time, you know when I used to train general population it’s the same thing and it would be like, you know, they would be like He said maybe like eight nine ten i’d be like Just try a couple more and they’d get it and i’d stop them like I wouldn’t grind them into dirt And they what what did they learn?

Okay where I think i’m done I can go a little bit further and you do it over time I remember a famous story some olympic lifting coach And he had an athlete he gave him five by five in the back squat and the athlete went four by five and then Three on the last set And the coach and this is not something I would recommend a lot said do the whole thing again And he made him repeat the entire workout and he got all five by five now That’s awful, and I don’t believe in punishment as training.

But what did the athlete learn when you think you’re done? You’re probably not But it does it takes practice and certainly again anyone listening to this I am not advocating everyone trained to failure all the time despite some lies that were made By people that were too ego driven to admit that I was right about something and I won’t mention who um Who that’s what that was when I checked out of the industry when someone just bold faced lied about me And nobody brought people are still whining about stuff.

I said a decade ago But they don’t care that this person is telling a bold faced lie And that’s when I checked out for two years. I’m like, I give up. I quit. Regardless, not recommending that you do this all the time. It’s not for everybody. There are different psychologies. Not saying that failure is the only way to train, but if you’re gonna follow some workout that says you need to be working at two reps and reserve, you gotta know where it is.

That means spending some amount of time learning not only what true failure is, but how to get there.

Mike: I want to follow up on that in particular. I do want, though, to just quickly have you comment for people who don’t understand why proximity to failure is in some ways it’s just as important in terms of programming as how many reps you’re going to do and how much weight you’re going to use.

Like these things actually need to go together to produce effective training.

Lyle: Right. So this gets without getting super, super into the weeds. Yeah, this is right. So we have simplistically two types of muscle fibers. We’ve got type one, which are more endurance, smaller. And then we’ve got type two, which are the higher threshold fibers, more for force and power.

Now, when we start to exercise, they tend to be recruited in an orderly fashion, something called Henneman size principle based on force requirements, right? So if you start brisk walking, it’s type one. Jogging you start to get some, you know, a little bit more type one at some speed early type two Sprinting all out till eventually you get full fiber recruitment and you can also get this with fatigue Right, like if you are running hard early in the workout, you may be recruiting Predominantly type one but as you start to fatigue and it gets harder and harder and harder those will come in due to fatigue So in the weight room the same thing happens, right?

If you’re doing let’s say you’re doing low load training and you’re doing 20 25 of one rf that that stuff in the early part of the set It’s only type one muscle fiber and it won’t be till near the end That you actually require the type two muscle fibers to be recruited And what it ends up being and I gotta write about this forever ago This highest threshold muscle fibers, which have the most potential for growth don’t get recruited at maximum until Roughly 80 to 85 percent of one rn that’s about five to eight repetitions Or in higher repetition sets taken closer to failure So there’s kind of two ways to get full muscle recruitment Which is you can start real heavy and do lower repetitions Or you can start with a lighter set like a set of 12 and take it And what what actually ends up happening when they’ve looked at this with like emg and muscle fiber recruitment is If you do a set of 15 to failure You do a set of five at 85%, that’s a limit set.

Mike: Which, which for people listening, that’s gonna be close to failure for most people. Oh yeah. 5 85 for five is five. Maybe you have one more.

Lyle: Yeah, yeah. Depending on the person, some will get one. You know, there there’s a little variation. What you see is that in terms of recruitment, the final five repetitions of the 15 rep sets is neurologically equivalent to that five that that set of five and we’ve seen the same thing in the low load training We know that with that low load training you have to go to muscular failure to make it work Because that’s the only way to get full Fiber recruit the last five repetitions of that 25 rep set is Neurologically physiologically the equivalent of that heavy set of five.

They don’t get me wrong I’m, not saying that fives are the way to train for for growth or whatever But what you see when you start looking at all the studies is okay and sets of eight I guess you’re doing a set of eight and eighty percent of one a rep. That’s about an eight rep max by rep two or three You’ll get full recruitment.

It’ll you might get it from rep one two It’s hard to really say it’ll depend on the person But with heavier sets you don’t have to go to failure to get grub Because let’s say you do a set of eight out of ten or right two reps in reserve At least the last three or four of those repetitions three four reps of that eight reps up will be a full recruiter Whereas if you’re using low load training, you do have to go to failure to get grub Because you don’t get full recruitment until those last five Then if you look at it in terms if you start comparing the reps and reserves and look at it in terms of bar speed what you basically see is that Regardless of how many reps you take to failure set of 15 a set of five or even a max single the last five reps of the set of 15 Look move about the same as the last five of the five reps of the set of five Yeah, and last rep of each set looks exactly like a 1rm because what is it one repetition maximum?

It is the ability to generate force if you got to generate 100 units you can do 101. Well, when did I, when did I say failure occurs during a higher rep set? It’s when your momentary force production is that level. So if all you can generate is a hundred at the end of a set of 15, the end of a set of five at the one rm, of course don’t look the same because your force production is identical to what’s required.

So when you, so the proximity reps and reserve matters in the sense of if if you’re doing a set of 10 with five reps and reserves you’re getting Well, maybe one repetition under full recruitment conditions. Now, if you’re doing a set of five at a fibro, you’re getting all fibro. And that gets into, you know, the current, the effective reps model, and I don’t want to delve too deep, but the idea there being that the growth stimulus occurs from the total number of effective reps, being defined here as reps done under conditions of full recruitment.

Now, I’m not saying this model is right, we need some more direct data, but to me, A makes the most logical sense. Because let’s think about this if you don’t recruit a muscle fiber It cannot grow like sort of like by definition, right now We could make the argument that yeah doing all those submaximal sets You’re maybe getting some type one muscle growth, but we know that they don’t grow very much.

You cannot recruit you cannot Stimulate a muscle fiber to adapt if you don’t recruit it in the first place and force it produce mechanical tension This to me seems like the most logical statement in the world and yet somehow People are still debating this If you do not say the third time so if you do not recruit a muscle fiber during an activity during a training It cannot grow and that gets back to the squat example Let’s say that two reps to reserve on the squat are really five reps and reserve on your quads You didn’t get into full recruitment for the quads.

Maybe you did for the low back or the upper back or another muscle group. That cannot possibly give you an optimal growth stimulus for the quads. And that’s the thing, it doesn’t give none without recruiting those high threshold fivers. And you typically don’t see that occurring. Like I said, on a set of five, it’s from about rep one.

Yeah. On a set of 10 to failure, it’s probably rep six through 10.

Mike: Now, what about in the squat though? Let’s say if somebody who’s pretty good at squatting and they’re doing sets of five or six, or maybe they’re doing sets of eight and they have pretty good form and it is predominantly a quadriceps exercise, meaning they’re doing it right.

Lyle: Yes.

Mike: In that case, then would you say that. It could function.

Lyle: Oh, no. Yes. I mean, no, absolutely. Like don’t mishear me. I’m not saying that squads are inherently bad for quads I’m saying that telling people to go to technical failure if they have bad lovers It may or may not be it just adds another component to the definition of failure because clearly I mean I was I got short femurs I was built very well for squatting.

I could squat even in in flats very upright. I could take it to the point I mean and I I did like true failure in the squad Means descending into the bottom and getting stuck and having to dump the bar on the pins and i’m not recommending that Did I do it? Absolutely what I recommend to most absolutely not Because it’s a good way to get wrecked But yeah If you are built for squats and this is what you see like we could do a whole nother hour on my ranting about exercise selection when someone says That squats are great for quads Go look at their biomechanics.

I guarantee you they’re built for the movement. It is a good exercise for them Find someone who says squats are not good for quads and either they don’t know how to squat well Or they’re not built for it So this it’s a matter of context for some people squats can be a good exercise or like look at look at you know the average olympic lifter But they all have about the same mechanics.

They’re all built very, very, very similarly, which is short with short femurs. So yeah, of course they, for them, it’s a great movement. And if they’re going, they’re doing a set of five and they’re doing, you know, so the first bar speed drop, which is probably two to three reps from reserve. Absolutely. And they just do a ton of volume.

So yeah, it absolutely can be the same thing with bench press people who say, ah, the bench is great for packs. Go look at how they’re built. They’re always barrel chested with short arms. And for them failure and they tend to have very even musculature, right? If they’ve got short arms with strong triceps, it’s not their triceps failing on the bench, right?

Again, you got big Lanky arms like me if i’m bench pressing assuming i’ve got good technique and I did I was very stable Uh, because I did it for years and years and years like okay, and I hit two reps in reserve Well, what failed what was two was it my triceps? Was it my pecs? We don’t know it depends on the person it depends on the biomechanics depends on the levers Whereas if I do a peck deck and I go till well, I know it was my packs that fail generally So so yeah that that that’s just an individual thing But if we’re looking at some pure physiology and how close you need to be a failure you have to get at least some number of Effective reps now as a quick tangent, which is why I do think this model makes more sense This gets back to what you said as a burial we’ve had Well a 30 year argument and certainly in the last five years about Sets and reps and volume and frequency and this and that and the other and all these different studies And when you look at them in the aggregate Which you always have to do when you start looking at the different things that people have made work sets and reps don’t matter Three sets of 10 and a 20 rep max.

That’s a warm up, right? You look at the the cody hahn study that mike isratel was on that did build up to 32 sets They were doing repeat sets of 10 at four reps and reserve With like a 10 minute break because the way they set up the workout So they did a ton of warm ups and the growth actually turned out to not even be fiber growth It was it was fluid.

It was my sarcoplasmic growth because they were not getting ineffective reps if you start to look at different systems of training whether Depending on the total volumes, the sets and the reps, failure, all these other variables, right? So I’ve seen the number thrown around that let’s say 25 effective reps is optimal.

Like per workout, I’m not saying it first for an individual muscle group. Yes So i’m not saying that it is or isn’t Like I think I know chris beardsley is throwing in that number out and i’ve read The article he wrote on it a dozen times and no one can explain to me where that number comes from It doesn’t matter.

Let’s just assume that it seems kind of low Well, but is it per like if you’re talking about maximal muscular contractions, that’s five sets of five I mean, that’s not but but regard. Okay, so let’s say it’s 30 like whatever under maximal conditions, right? I’m, not saying total reps saying total maximal contractions Okay, so let’s look at say Five sets of eight to failure or whatever.

Let’s look at sets of eight to failure. We know that the last Four to five repetitions will be under you know, effective reps. So you’re looking at So about five to six sets of eight. All right. Now let’s back off to two reps from reserve. Now each set you’re doing, you’re doing sets of eight at a 10 rep max.

Now we know that each set is going to give you about three effective reps. Yeah. Well, you’re going to need about eight to 10 sets per workout. Now, let’s say you’re, you go to even for, let’s say you go to

Mike: which also is kind of the normal prescription for an individual muscle group that that’s, that’s, I mean, I, I’ve said the same thing that if you’re going to train one muscle group in a, in a workout or however many muscle groups going to train, you probably don’t need to do more than 10 to 12 total sets in that session.

If you think you do, you’re probably not training hard enough.

Lyle: Well, right. But then so then let’s say you look at like there was a there was a study and it did like leg extensions and one Group used three minutes of rest and the other group used one minute or something like that and what they did was they They took the number of of reps like they equated the metabolic work between legs And they found that growth was the same but what they also found was that that sub maximal group Sorry, that’s what it was.

It was that one group did like two reps short of failure or maybe whatever It was something like that, but they needed about 50 percent more set Okay, so now if you take someone who’s running around on a short rest interval and is getting lower quality sets They need about 15 sets per muscle group.

Well in my mind Looking at it that way in terms of the total number of maximal contractions per workout helps to It builds a unified model Like yeah, if you’re gonna go all out if you’re gonna go absolute dorian yates level muscular failure four to five Maybe six sets depending on the muscle group is about all you’re gonna have Like anything more than that is just going to be wasted volume and you’re not going to have the energy to do it if you Prefer if you’re not good to go going to failure and some people are make no mistake They don’t have the psychological drive.

They don’t enjoy it. They get burned out on it I’m, not saying that’s the way to train. They go. All right. I want to be a couple reps short of failure Well, they’re going to need somewhere between 8, 10, maybe 12 sets if you want someone who’s going to do the old school short rest interval, low quality training or some of these high volume studies.

My favorite that people take so super seriously is study by Borgato that compared 16, 24 and 32 cents per week is one of these ridiculous volume studies. They did, they did 8 sets of 10 RM back squat on 60 seconds. Crap. Just show me. I’d like to see a video of that. They called it technical failure. So I guarantee you, like, if you went to true muscular failure, even if you stopped short of getting pinned, by set three you would be, you wouldn’t get up off the floor.

Yeah, correct. But, and then they did light extensions by 8 to 10 R. M. on 60 seconds. Yeah. And they, they found that, yeah, you, basically you need massive volumes to compensate For either low intensity or low quality training and that and if you were I I think when is someone We start mapping it out and looking at in terms of that in terms of effective repetitions a lot of the supposed contradictions Regarding set and rep recommendations and all these different types of training systems will go away Actually, let me add one more thought to that.

I think you had another thing that’s being apparently promoted. You look at things like rest pods Like my reps by uh, borscht fagerly blade and i’ve known him for 20 years and i’m probably still Mispronouncing his his last name and I do apologize for that dog crap by dante trudell, which was a very similar thing I do believe blade was actually the first to talk about effective reps and this was back on my forum back in the 2000s and his The idea here and in dog crap, which is another a little bit different rest pause system very similar So in this you take that first step to consent for failure Right the idea is to get maximal recruitment in in blades version You stop at the first rep speed drop I believe and then you rest you take a very short rest interval like 15 seconds Like a number of big breaths and you go again And the thing is that in that short rest interval those maximally recruited fibers don’t derecruit Right when you go back you’re not starting Early in that that size principle thing So the idea is get to the maximum number of effective wraps in that one drop set and again Blade said years ago that one mire rep set and typical mire upset you do like a set of eight to within one or two reps reserve rest 15 seconds four or five more three or four more one or two more you’re getting like total 20 total reps.

Yeah, but like 12 of them would be considered effective reps And he said years ago that one mire rep set was the equivalent of about three to four straight sets So if you were to do two minor rep sets or two dog crap sets You are getting essentially that same 12 maybe as many as 15 effective reps per set So in those two drop sets you’re getting the same 24 to 30 or so effective reps So again, we’ve got can do a couple of drop sets which is lower volume the same number of effective reps You can do four to five sets eight all out all out failure You can do 10 to 12 sets at two reps and reserve or you can do 15 sets per workout to make up for low quality.

Mike: Do you, do you subscribe to that position that one mile rep or one dog crap set is the work equivalent, um, bottom line equivalent of,

Lyle: I think there was actually a study

Mike: for the purpose of, of not, let’s say not just maintaining because that’s so easy, but, but actually trying to gain muscle and strength.

Lyle: I mean in practice it sure seemed to work. I mean, I do think in dante’s system I do think the maximum loaded stretch added a little bit of volume But I mean practically both of them had their people had success with that system. Yeah, so Again, i’m not saying that the effect of rem’s model is correct and data may come out tomorrow that says it’s absolutely wrong But it makes logical sense to me because again, you cannot train a fiber that has not been recruited to get Maximal type 2 fiber recruitment, you need to get into what we are calling the effective rep rate, which is in depending on the intensity could be again, five reps of a five rep set.

The last five reps of an eight rep set the last five reps of it I think it also explains why so many different systems have just worked over the years, right? People have gotten bigger doing higher repetitions They’ve gotten bigger doing lots of low repetition sets And I think if you math it out this way a lot of those contradictions fall away Now what I would like to see I want to see where like is there a per workout optimal range?

Where beyond that you’re just doing junk volume, you know, I think we go back to the worm the worm ball Meta analysis from Forever ago 20 years ago and he put together a zillion pieces of data and admittedly wasn’t not a lot of advance And he showed that approximately 40 to 70 maximal 40 to 70 total repetitions per workout And most of these studies were using supposedly failure like i’m not going to go pull 80 studies to figure it out but presumably, you know, it would And was what gave the optimal growth and less than that was less than optimal more than that was actually didn’t give the maximal growth You know, and if you’re looking at that Okay, if we’re doing, talking about sets of eight, you’re looking at somewhere between five to eight maximum sets of eight.

You’re looking at somewhere between six to 10 at two reps in reserve. Like it all sort of, you know, it, it all kind of falls out of that. So, yeah, so I, so then I guess the next question becomes like, how close to failure do you actually need to be?

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com now. Place an order for pulse and recharge, save 25 percent and check them out. I want to quickly ask you about rest times, just for people wondering. So you had, you had commented on these shorter one minute rest times being suboptimal and because it’s suboptimal, you have to make up for that with more volume.

Sure. I just, I’m just, I’m just. Thinking with some listeners who are wondering why that is. And then also trying to square that with the circle now of this dog crap, my rep approach where it’s even less, it’s even less rest and that actually is effective, you know? So if you want to just quickly explain how, how does inter set?

Lyle: Then the in yeah the mini set thing and I think it’s just a map duration like at a minute You do are you’re gonna get some recovery between the sets? So you’re not going into the second set with maintaining maximal recruitment Just because it’s it’s not going to be like it does it does seem like a contradiction And I think it’s simply that with that 10 15 second rest You’re not getting enough recovery that when you start the next set you’re having to start again from Submaximal baseline.

Yeah levels. Yeah Um, and you see, you know, you see this in in other activities as well Right, like you have an interval training and you’re doing all out minutes like You know if you’re doing a minute you you gas like if you take 10 seconds You can keep going a little bit longer if you take a minute The first 30 seconds is very easy again Like trust me if you do a dog crap set and take it to failure as soon as you start that mini set The rep speed starts out slow.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I’ve done quite a bit over the years and I think those those sets are like three to five reps at at best.

Lyle: Yeah And also what i’ve found in my own experience playing around with a lot a lot of it depends on how heavy the first set Is like if I only get eight reps to failure on the main set.

I’ll get like eight three one exactly Get like 15 reps on the first set. I’ll go like 15 532. It depends on the muscle group. Depends on the exercise I get it’s not as much for me I don’t get as big of drops on isolation movements to say like a hammer chest press That’s because my triceps personally give out on the chest press compared to a tricep push down that’s more isolated So yeah, so when you take a minute Those first few repetitions are easy again because you’re getting Enough recovery not full recovery if you took two minutes, but with 15 seconds You’re not it’s basically just to give you a little bit of a break.

We go back to that that idea of your you know You’re as you’re partaking during the set, you know And one two, three, four five you get to here at eight if you rest to 15 seconds Your force production only comes back to here Initially, whereas if you rest a minute, it’s coming way back up.

Mike: And as far as training effect, this, why, if you only rest, let’s say a minute and you’ve gained back, uh, 30 units of force production, why can’t you just go do your next set and.

Take it, take it. Let’s say you take it up to failure. Now you’re going to get fewer reps. But again, for people wondering, why is that less effective physiologically than resting adequately to recover? I mean, if it’s the beginning of your workout, you’re going to recover all of the force production that you had in that first set.

Lyle: It seems to be when you look at the couple of studies that have looked at this, it’s simply that the weight drops are so massive, like the absolute mechanical tension just keeps dropping and dropping and dropping so that like the total again, do it with a minute rest. Like, unless you’re dropping the weight quickly, you’re going to be going like 10, 62 repetitions.

You’re just not getting the same amount of mechanical work unless you drop the weight enormously. Like, this is a really.

Mike: Could you look at that through the lens of effective reps? Even your effective reps are going

Lyle: down. I think so. Cause you’re like, it’s like you’re getting enough recovery between the sets to be starting at a higher force level, but then there’s also just, there is a cumulative fatigue, but it’s more metabolic.

It’s more acidotic that’s occurring. I mean, it’s a good question. And I, I think I’m, I’m basically hand waving it away, but I’m just telling you that like, that’s what the studies have seen when they come. I mean,

Mike: practically also, if you’re using heavier weights, so let’s say if you’re working in the rep range of four to eight, or certainly let’s say four to.

To six if you take that first set close to failure and you and you rest a minute I mean you’re gonna get

Lyle: you’ll drop about three maybe on that

Mike: on that second set Maybe even two if it’s a four that might

Lyle: even turn into a one to two Ken leister wrote about that one time he had a workout because he was very h.

i. t proponent He was like take your first set to failure and rest 60 seconds You will either drop half the reps or have to cut the weight and have to maintain the rep right? Yeah loads drop so so so rapidly Under those conditions, I mean that can happen even with higher repetitions where you’re having to adjust the load To to keep the repetition range depending on what you’re talking about Uh, but yeah, like because in that in the paper that kind of looked at this they were trying to equate the total Like work volume in terms of like the total volume load, which is wait time sets time of weight times wraps total and to equate the volume load.

They had to do 50 percent more volume. So I, you know, it is that just whatever the total amount of work, whatever amount of stimulus that is like, yeah, there are still questions. Make no mistake to me. The effective reps is the best model we have now. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be replaced. It just seems to be the only way I can rationalize all the different systems of training, all the different sets and volumes.

When you look at all the studies in the aggregate, the ones that seem, you know, to require higher volumes, are using short rest intervals, are using lower quality training, whereas the ones that aren’t, it actually goes back to Rep’s Reserve thing. I vaguely recall James Steele and James Fisher, who were kind of on the HIT, the high intensity training failure end of things.

In the studies they’ve done on estimating reps and reserve People are way better at it on machines than they are on say a squat sure because again Anyone who’s done high rep squats you have I have i’ve grinded out 20s for you. I did it for Forever till I burnt out on it It’s generally systemic fatigue.

Same thing with deadlifting. You are breathing, you are gasping, you’re breathing like a freight train. It is not local muscular fatigue, whereas nothing hurts more than high rep leg extensions with short rest intervals, because it is so local. Like I said, so if you’re doing these studies that are like, oh yeah, we did, you know, 15 sets or however many sets of squats on a short rest interval, I guarantee by the end they’re stopping that much.

That much shorter failure because it’s central it is volitional or technical fit also with short restrooms on complex movements your technique Leg extensions just hurt but on squats here. I had a buddy who tried it. He’s a highly trained squatter olympic lifter And he’s like, yeah, I tried to do eight sets of 10 on 90 seconds and by set four Like I mean, he’s built for squatting.

He’s like I couldn’t do it I couldn’t get that strength for no matter how much I lighten the load So so yeah, so I guess that’s that’s kind of the best I can come up with and I guess the only other question I know you had one thing you wanted to bring up and we’ve got hopefully a few more minutes Like how close to failure you need to be like how many reps and reserves?

Yeah, practically

Mike: now. So people are thinking, right? So, so what modifications should I be making in my training, if any, but you know, how should I be thinking about this for tomorrow’s workout kind of thing, you know?

Lyle: Right. Well, so the first thing I would say for most people is you gotta find out where it actually is.

Cause I can say for the grand majority of people, What they think muscular failure is and what it true like true true muscular physiological muscular fitter I can almost guarantee them that what they think it is is not what it is And i’ve been on the internet a long time. I know everyone trains harder than any 10 trainees But I also know what i’ve seen in the gym and Unless the internet is the magical Unicorn trainees that I have somehow never come across.

I mean whatever when i’ve been in high level power lifting gyms That’s a very different thing. But if you’re talking about the average trainee They are not training as hard as they think I mean and you brought this up earlier and I would also say this If you physically can do 15 sets for a muscle group by definition You’re not training as intensely as you think because it cannot physically be done I can drop anybody in two or three truly all out sets I mean like will not be able to get up off the floor and again I’m not saying this is how you should train i’m making a point.

You’re ever in austin. Trust me. I’ll prove it to you There was a research group that put up some videos of what they were doing in their studies one time. And they did it, they had someone do a set of leg press to true failure. The guy finished the rep and just rolled out of the machine and collapsed on the floor.

You’re telling me you can do 15 sets of that? You’re lying to me and you’re lying to yourself. So the first thing is that and what I would recommend Then go into the hospital with rhabdo. Yeah, exactly Like i’m not you know Go dorian yates has put up some videos of him He trains people now and like watch him take people to a true All that set of light presses and that person will collapse on the floor afterwards It cannot be done for a high volume by definition So the first thing people need to do is figure out where that is and like to your point pick an isolation movement Pick a bicep curl something You’re not going to get hurt on and just do rep after rep after rep when it starts to move a little bit slower Dig it in keep it moving Every rep you get lower it big breath.

Try another one Try another one until it physically will not move until no matter how much effort you’re exerting now compare that To what you previously thought was your limit or like the problem is if I go, you know Estimate take away to go. Yeah, I think I could do 10 reps with those and then just see Just do rep after rep after rep this football catch one time as coach and he said yeah He went and asked his male and female athletes To estimate their 10 rm and without fail the men way overestimated how much weight they could do and the women were like 50 Again, this isn’t meant to be some like commentary on gender studies show that everyone is about half of what they think they are Men, men tend to be more

Mike: egotistical than women.

Yeah, very much. I don’t, I don’t think that’s a controversial

Lyle: statement, . Yeah. I, I don’t want people, I don’t want, I think that’s biological actually. Yes. I don’t want people to hear me going, uh, women are weak and don’t push hard. ’cause in my experience, no, no. I think it’s just less ego, I think is what it is.

Yes, exactly. I just wanna make sure that message is not being my experience. Once women learn to push hard, they’re actually. They push harder than that in mics depending on the movement regardless They are built to

Mike: push babies out, which is uh,

Lyle: I

Mike: I came across some research on that some time ago that basically the conclusion was that the researchers they couldn’t explain how Women could survive that much pain that biologically the amount of pain that that um A woman experiences on average in childbirth.

Yeah should kill them, but somehow it

Lyle: doesn’t Yeah, and there’s I mean and I agree and there was there was just there was another data set Back in the day. There’s like oh women have lower pain tolerance than men, but it’s very Stimulus specific. It’s like yes put their hands in cold water And that’s one thing is women do run colder, but in other situations, it’s absolutely the opposite and it has to be um But so yeah And then I would tell someone okay, you’ve just done that all outside of bicep curls or pushdowns or machine chest or something go Okay, now think back to the last like take your final failure rep and sort of look back at the previous three or four reps What were the movement dynamics usually about three to four reps it starts to slow down a little bit You’re having to exert a little more or effort So if you made it to 15 and you think back, all right at rep 11, that’s what well That was four reps reserve.

You’ve now learned a very valuable thing now it for me What I’ve noticed is it seems to be exercise specific Yeah There’s some movements for me that are just like eight nine ten done for whatever reason shoulder seems to fail real quickly for reasons Pressing any pressing for me is that that could be because biceps are giving out or a stabilizer, whereas like leg extensions are just like just for me, chest just grinds and grinds and then it’ll just barely make it through the sticking point and you do to a degree have to determine that, you know, given exercise, given muscle group, maybe it’s fiber.

I don’t know. It just it is what it is. But you need to first get an idea of like, all right, I would generally say if the bar doesn’t slow a little bit maybe not But if it doesn’t, you know, you look at the average that one one two, three, four five six seven eight nine You know grindy grindy grindy it didn’t slow You’re not even within four reps to failure.

You’re not even four four reps in reserve rather and going to what you said about I watch people at the commercial gym in my gym when i’m for me to see anyone take a set to where it slows down A little bit is rare. I mean i’ll see it

Mike: It’s just the more experienced weightlifters. Generally, those

Lyle: are the ones I’ll, yes, I’ll see it.

And it’s usually people doing certain movements and usually they’re going very heavy, like I’ll watch someone back squatting, you know, they’ll have three wheels on each side and they’ll usually go to like the first bar speed drop, or maybe a rep in there. And again, I’m not saying it’s not generally safe to grind squats to limit failure, but.

If it didn’t slow down at all I can hold I can guarantee you that you’re kind of nowhere close to what your true reps and reserve are and at least some of the early studies did find that a Three to four reps reserves seem to be about The range and again if we go back to that effective rep model in a sub maximal set in a higher rep set You’re not going to even approach full recruitment till about that point And you may you may get more recruitment as you go But beyond a certain point recruitment is maximized and also the idea that the people can’t max can’t maximally recruit all their muscle fibers Is that true?

But regardless like if it doesn’t slow at all, I can guarantee you did not recruit those high threshold fibers at all This

Mike: is one of the reasons why I have personally always enjoyed, or for a long time now, uh, heavier training, let’s say in that rep range of four to eight reps, and I’ve seen it now, anecdotally, work very well with many, many people, partly one of the reasons because I think it helps mitigate the mistake of just not training Hard enough because when, when you have to do a set of six or seven or eight, if you are there, if you’re paying attention at all, in terms of your, of your load, there are going to be some effective reps in there.

Maybe you’re not, maybe you’re not pushing to a true one RIR or zero RIR. Maybe it’s actually a two or three, but you did get some effective training in there because the weight was heavy enough. It didn’t, you didn’t make the mistake of you were supposed to do. 20 reps and you were supposed to go to a zero or one RAR and you, you ended that at an eight RAR.

Lyle: Okay. You did another warmup set. Great. Um, yeah, no, and I, yes, I agree with you completely. Most people you watch in the gym are just doing repeat warmup sets. The bar is never, and that’s why they can do so much volume. And, but even with that, like maybe with short rest intervals, they might, because of cumulative fatigue start to get, but even, but even with that, right, like let’s say you’re doing, that loses

Mike: its efficacy quickly.

I mean, I made that mistake before I knew what I was doing many years ago.

Lyle: You all did. It also, I think we can know at no adaptations to speak of really for years. Yes. I think we could also get into the issue, you know junk volume and you’re generating all you’re doing is extra work Like that was part of dante’s philosophy.

And again, i’m not saying this is universally, right? He believed that volume was what overtrained And there is an element of truth to that he wanted to generate the maximum stimulus In the least volume possible that was sort of underlying philosophy of dark rep and again not recommending it It burns a lot of people out Not everyone has the mental the mindset or the drive to do that and you don’t have to there are multiple paths to the goal But I can say with some degree of certainty If you are never getting to the point where the bar is slowing at least somewhat you’re not getting anywhere close To an effective rep now.

Yeah, if you go to the first bar speed drop and that’s four reps reserve You might need to do a higher volume and that’s fine It’s not my preference because i’m old and i’m in maintenance and I don’t want to be in the gym that long anymore I I you know, i’m built for failure. I prefer intensity. So I gravitate towards the low again I’m also in maintenance and have been for years.

My trainee is an elite female power lifter I don’t take her to failure because I have to worry about systematic fatigue between day to day to day But I take her close I mean she’s within a couple of reps and if you start to look at the research typically what you see is Three to four reps and reserve Is about the minimum intensity and that would be your first bar speed drop under most conditions some of it Does find that as you that with greater proximity To failure as four three two one reps reserve There is frequently more growth and then at least one of the review papers you might as by eric helms and a couple of others They contended that going to a true failure could be a negative due to excessive neuromuscular fatigue and that gets a whole separate issue Because I remain unconvinced That somehow three sets to failure causes excessive neuromuscular fatigue, but 26 sets of quads is somehow less fatiguing But when you compare three sets of 10 six sets of five at the same weight Well, yeah, you’ve compared three work sets to six warm ups.

I have no doubt that the failure is more fatigue But again, i’m not saying you should go to failure You frequently do see bigger repetition drops set to set to set with failure rpe ready procedure exertion is maximum Not everyone’s good for that But, you need to know where it is first, and once you know where it is, somewhere between 0 and 4 is gonna be the sweet spot as far as I’m concerned.

And you’re going to simply have to compensate. By adjusting volume base, you know as you get closer to zero You’re going to be able to and need to do less volume And as you get farther from zero, you’re going to need proportionally more volume And again, even if we don’t think of it in terms of effective reps even within that reps reserve I think that starts to eliminate the supposed contradictions In different training systems.

Yeah, if you want to do 15 sets at four reps reserve cool You want to do four sets at zero reps reserve? Cool, you want to do eight sets at two reps and reserve big picture stuff It’s probably going to be a wash in the long term I mean even go back and look at you know, arnold and those guys they trained hard You know, they would do 15 20 sets per muscle group many of which were warm ups But if you look at their actual work sets, they went till it started to slow and that was they didn’t grind You know, then you had dorian and he would only do four work sets to failure, but make no mistake at least You know, he’d do like three or four warmups because you’re not going to go to a hammer incline press and throw four wheels per Side and and do that cold, you know, probably if we went in and tried to add it up He was probably getting a little bit more but his four limit sets Brutally to limit and he usually had his partner help him through the last couple were probably the physiologically equivalent Of arnold’s 15 or lee haney who was kind of in the middle.

He said stimulate don’t annihilate He was kind of mid range volume not going to dorian level intensity going a little bit harder than arnold intensity You look at naturals it all kinds of comes out in the wash in the long term and there are other systems That are more periodized and you’ve mentioned this more frequently early in the cycle You may be going three to four reps reserve so that you’re and then as you as the weights go up And presumably, they’re going up a little bit faster than you’re adapting.

A couple weeks in, you might be in the three reps reserve range. A couple weeks in, you’re in the zero to one reps reserve range. Then it gets grindy, then you stop and start over again. One thing I often recommend, and this goes back to something you said, and then we can wrap it up. Since most people, even if you know what failure is, I I like the way you put it you got to keep yourself honest You’ll have someone let’s say they’re doing four sets of eight to ten supposedly two reps in reserve Maybe they’ll get a little lazy every few workouts take that final set and do an am rep as many reps as possible Take it as like don’t do it on the first set because then the next three sets will be very bad You know get your work in on that fourth set Go all out till again safe movement till it will not move any further and see what happens If you were supposed to be in an 8 to 10 rep range and you only got 12 Well, you’re you’re perfect.

You’re right where you need to be. You’re two reps to reserve Don’t change anything and if you get 15 reps on that final set You need to stop sandbagging add a little weight to the bar next time And again, i’m not saying do that every workout add some weight. You’ll be right where you need to be Every few workouts keep yourself honest and that especially the intermediary in the advanced level because not everyone’s good at reps and reserve Again, it is a skill but even with that my trainee i’ve asked her reps and reserve or rp and it for her It’s easy easy easy hard She does.

Once it gets past a certain point, it’s all hard. She’s terrible at it. So I don’t do it anymore.

Mike: You mentioned also some people fail very quickly. I think of one of the guys who works with, he’s always been very strong, very explosive and then fails. It’s weird to watch and, and he knows how to work and he’s not afraid to push to failure, blah, blah, blah.

That’s just physiologically. He’ll just, he’ll put 315 on incline bench and it’s just rep, rep, rep, rep, fail. It’s odd actually.

Lyle: I had a training partner and I I don’t know if it’s neurological or fiber typing where it is very much Uh a go no go thing some people have great grind some people It just and he’d be in the middle of a set it might be and it’d just be like just exactly like you said and suddenly everything would just shut off for whatever reason.

So there, but that’s another reason that you kind of have to do this. I also don’t think that’s the average training. I’ve seen.

Mike: No, no, no. I mean, there’s like a, that’s the extreme. And then you may get the extreme grinder.

Lyle: All they see is these sort of, these reps slowdowns occurring in a fairly consistent manner and there’s variability.

On the exercise on the person, but again, you don’t know until you know until you’ve actually tried to do the next repetition. The next repetition. You will not know for you personally comparing between individuals is a fool’s game. It’s a matter of you figuring out for you. They depend on the movement, the exercise, but until you figured it out, you will not know.

Then you can decide and if you want to follow a established training program that puts you at on average two to three reps in reserve Cool. Now, you know what that actually means for most people who think they’re at four reps reserve based on what i’ve seen more like eight um And doing it every so often at the intermediate level where you may not be adding weight rapidly Every three or four weeks just test it out and see where you’re at Especially if you’re just not good at it if you’re not good at knowing Knowing your reps and reserve or it’s one of those movements that just fails really quickly for you Just do it do an all out set last set of an exercise That’ll let you gauge something else and then we’ll definitely wrap this was another I think a recent one that eric helms I forget it was an intervention study or a review and it pointed out that like most people suck at those My words not obviously not their language.

Most people are bad at those that said it may be important for these studies to do a Sort of a not a break in workout, but sort of like a familiarization To teach people what actual zero reps reserve are because otherwise telling them to stop at two reps and reserve Means nothing in any of the unless they happen to be really experienced and really experienced people don’t typically Go into these they’re not the typical subjects because again, I don’t care if you’re a college student Who’s got four years of training?

I’ve watched these people train and the grand majority of them.

Mike: I was, I was once a college aged male with four years of training and I didn’t, uh, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have, uh, I wouldn’t have been very useful in that study of two reps in reserve, go squat to two reps reserve. Okay, sure.

Lyle: I don’t want anybody listening this to think that I’m being like some utterly.

Self superior, you know on high we all went through it Yeah, I went through the difference was I I got very involved with like the old hard gainer philosophy Just because that was my mentor early on which is more low volume and more intensity So my once I got through college where I guarantee you I did the same stuff as everybody listening to those because we all went through It right.

It was like, oh, you know, I was dumb and I read the magazines. We all did we didn’t know any better You can’t you can’t know what you don’t know and Through that the focus was on low volume higher intensity and I did a lot of training like that And that happens to be like and i’m I was a good endurance athlete I know how to hurt because you have to be To go an hour all out and so i’m very good at it, but not everybody’s built for it Psychologically physically physiologically not all movements lend themselves to it your whole workout doesn’t necessarily have to be like this Right because people again when I say these things people go well, you just you like failure Have I ever said that anywhere?

No, what i’m saying is you got to know where it is That’s very different than advocating it, but it’s also movement specific, right? Let’s say i’m training someone and they want to bench and okay on bench press They might do sets of five at an eight rm. Keep it technically solid. Keep the quality up Keep the bar speed up their power lifter.

They’re doing triples at at a five rm, right? I’m not going to push them to grindy failure. Let’s work that point in the cycle We get a little work in. Okay, now we’re going to go do some, some body buffing work. Now we’re going to go do a machine chest press. And maybe I want to get a little more volume, and I’ll have them do four sets of eight at a 10 RM.

Right, we’re going to get some, and then I want to burn them out. We’re going to go to the crossover, go to cable crossover, peck deck, two sets, don’t stop until it doesn’t move. There’s nothing that says these are mutually exclusive, which is another thing that people tend to think. Uh, or or get that conclusion like you can do a mixture of those depending on like I said the excerpt I’m not going to have someone squat till they get pinned at the bottom.

Yeah by and large I’m going to leg press them a lot closer to limits And when I want to just torch their quads and make sure i’m going to have them go till it doesn’t move anything By and i’ll adjust the volume as we go.

Mike: Let me interject. I have two more questions before we wrap up, just because I’m just curious as to your thoughts.

So, so the first question is, uh, when, when you’re talking about going until the weight doesn’t move, that that looks differently with different exercise. So you take a leg press and every what’s going to happen is you’re going to. Uh, go to depth and, and that’s going to be the end. You can’t, you can’t press it up.

However, if I think of any sort of pulling exercise, especially if it’s a machine hole, I was just pulling today. So I’m, I’m thinking of sets today where I’m pulling until. I can get a half rep now that that’s it. I, I’m not, there’s no full contraction that’s happening that I’m stuck here basically. And, and that’s, that’s where I end the set.

Or I think of a peck deck where maybe you can get it, it’s going, but you get to here and you’re just like, yeah. Just just for for people listening so they understand would you consider those points failure now? Yeah, it’s kind of a half rep I could just go back up and then I could do another little maybe it’s a quarter rep now you know.

Lyle: Right and this is you know, and we can get into those sorts of like weird pedantic argue.

Mike: I know it is it is it is a bit fussy, but I just wanted to I just wanted to mention it for people wondering.

Lyle: And absolutely it is the inability to complete a full repetition despite giving maximal effort.

And if that’s where you get stuck, you know, if you’re doing a hammer, that’s exactly what I was doing. Yeah. And that’s it. That’s, and no matter how hard you told me, it’s just not moving. That’s failure. If you’re doing chest press, it’s just like, and usually it’s, you know, at the sticking point and you’re like, That’s that would be the definition of physiological muscular failure in that context Like then again, we could spend another getting into the weeds of like this is the issue with biomechanics And really what we’re talking about is inability to get to the sticking point and you could technically do more partial reps at the bottom or someone helped you the top and you could do top partial rep and like That’s just a bunch of semantics to try to get it and that’s just detail stuff But if you’re doing a compound movement failure will occur when you’re unable to complete the full range repetition Because even that you have to define like task failure you have to define what you mean by that right like that’s in the research they talk about this and it’s you know like so in endurance training you’re trying to you’re riding a bike you’re trying to maintain 200 watts and you can no longer maintain 200 watts you can still do 190 right even in the gym you can do drop set Like it’s not failure doesn’t mean the muscle is exhausted.

Yeah, it still generates force It can’t generate enough force to complete a full range of motion Which usually means being unable to get it through the sticking point There’s all these other variables and stuff, but in the most general sense. Absolutely Okay, good. And that’s a good segue into 15 second rest, then you can, you know, let a tiny bit of recovery.

You can do a few more repetitions and then it’ll, you know, it’ll go eight, three, one, and then you’re cooked where each set is still being defined in the same way and ability to complete the full repetition.

Mike: But that’s a that’s a good segue to my next question, which is, uh, what are your thoughts on? I guess it could be referred to as beyond failure training.

So here’s how even this is, it seems to be having a bit of a resurgence. Uh, right, right now on social media and elsewhere, people are, I see more people talking about mentors training principles, but what I’ll see is things like I’ll see forced reps. So you know, I’m doing my, my, my, my hammer pole and I’m stuck here and I have my buddy now.

Taking a little bit of load off it so I can, you know, force through that rep or I’ll see it, let’s say I’m on the leg extension now and I’m doing my reps and I go to failure and then now it’s, I’m resting not 10 or 15 seconds. I’m now, you know, I’m resting just a few, a few seconds, 3 to 5 seconds. And then I grind out another one and then I wait another 3 to 5 seconds.

What are your thoughts on these types of techniques?

Lyle: I’m not. Well, it depends like a i’m not a huge fan because I think they get overused But again, it’s a matter of like, okay, you have to incorporate that with volumes because yeah, like Going back to the the slightly assisted rep you’re trying to do a bench press As far as other units of force, you can only do 95 assuming your training partner is not of the all you upright row approach to spotting.

He gives you just enough help to get through the top. Okay. Does that mean that what we defined failure as before was not really failure. Like I said, it’s not that the muscle is exhausted. So I tend to be trying to be very careful in my definition is that at least in the terms of just defining concentric muscular failure, it is the inability, maybe we should put it, you know, voluntarily or.

By yourself to do a full repetition, but like yeah, if you keep the volume low, maybe i’m not a big, you know You do like heavy eccentrics and you forced repetitions where somebody’s helping you a little bit to get through it in very small amounts Maybe you know where you’re getting that extra rep or two I think the chinese olympic lifting coaches do that to help their lifters get a little bit more out of squats They give that little bit of help to the top to get a little Although some of that’s probably safety is to get them get them to the top so they can rack the thing So i’m not a huge fan more because of the way people use them, which is they do it Try to do it on top of high volumes of training.

Yeah, you’re doing it if you want to do three all out setups And you know, you can recover and get that little or do it on a final set to get a little bit of extra work That’s fine If you’re doing it, you know dorian did but he also did four total work sets once a week And if you go watch his videos his training partner gave him a little bit of help on the leg extension Just to get those final couple through the sticking point just enough to keep it moving, but he did very low volumes so it’s a matter of use like I don’t personally generally do that with people but Somebody wants to do it.

Just keep the volume low if you’re going to do 15 sets and do force reps on every set You’re going to have a bad time Um as far as you know doing that little bit of extra rest between repetitions Yeah, we all do that too as it gets a little harder to get that.

Mike: At least at least one or two seconds You got you catch your breath and you’re going you’re going for it.

Lyle: That one pound back of you know One unit back of force ability That allows you to get that next repetition a little bit easier And like yeah, if you want to get really really really Anal compulsive about it.

You can start. Oh another definition. I see which I truly don’t like is an inability to maintain the target rep speed Because that by definition is ensuring that from a hyper trophy standpoint sports training is totally different We’re talking about maintaining quality and bar speed. That is a completely different thing from a hyper trophy standpoint You’re like, oh your goal is a two second rep as soon as you go slower than that.

That’s failure The only thing you failed on is making that a productive set like I think that’s just the dumbest one But yeah, you take you know an extra second to catch your breath Usually see that on like leg press and hack squats because it’s more systemically fatiguing Got the old breathing squat where that was deliberately part of it to allow you to work and get more total work at that Same way, but it was also only one set we’re trading intensity in this sense or the total, you know work stimulus per set For volume in that sense, I suppose I just typically see it Being misused and I don’t know, you know for the average person just you know, don’t do it a lot I definitely don’t like mac, you know, he sent pure eccentrics, you know People help you to the top or you’ll see people like I mean I’m, you know doing a leg extension where they hold it at the top and you Try to physically force them to the bottom and stuff like that.

Like there are easier ways to tear muscle They’ve been doing it that way. But again as every once in a while thing, maybe It is funny or

Mike: or not. It sounds like Yeah, or just stick to straight sets and take them close to failure

Lyle: Yeah, getting within one to four reps reserve adjust your volume if he you know to me Again, watching the average gym, that’s usually a young kid thing on bench press, having everybody, all you, upright row, bench spot, bounce off the chest type stuff, I think if you look at People, you know in the long term, uh that we’re looking at longevity of training.

You’re not seeing a lot of that Being done or being done sporadically, you know Do it every like we talked about if you want to do an all hour grinder set Three or four weeks to keep yourself honest great all for it Unless you’re going to keep volume very low. I wouldn’t do it all the time But again, we’ve got this the other thing I find really frustrating about the industry is During these debates and I get it social media.

We can’t have nuance people are treating these variables as Independent. Oh, well, there’s frequency. There’s volume. There’s intensity There’s reps and reserve these all factor in If you want to train higher frequency for whatever reason you have to keep either the volume lower for workout or the intensity lower Which may mean more volume per workout if you want to train at a higher intensity You must do lower volumes on the same token if you want to do lower volumes, you don’t have time I don’t want to be in the gym anymore.

I don’t enjoy i’ve been doing this for too long I’m only going to go and do a couple sets I have to if you’re only going to do two sets. You’ve got to work to failure or very close to it If you want to do 20 sets, you cannot work close to failure I wouldn’t personally do that. But some people whatever they the gym is their hobby I think there’s more productive things to do with your life.

There’s lots of good video games out there. Go play power Right, like, but if that’s what somebody wants to do, then so like, there’s all these interacting variables, you know, if you’re going to be at four reps reserve, you’re going to need to do proportionally more volume to compensate for that, you’re going to be at zero, you need to do less, if you want to do high volumes, you got to bring me etc, etc, etc.

There’s all these competing variables. And in the discussions, you just don’t like sitting with a neuromuscular fatigue thing. Studies are comparing equivalent volumes, three sets of 10 to three sets of six sets of five. Transcribed No, I want, show me 3 sets of 10 to 15 sets of 8 to 10 RO. Are you really going to tell me that the 3 by 10 to failure is more fatiguing than, like, let’s compare real world training.

I get it, it’s science, it’s got to be controlled, I understand why they do it. But when I see people in this industry go, Oh, training to failure is too neuromuscular fatiguing, and they go, but somehow 45 sets to failure for eight straight weeks or 52 sets per week. Oh, no, we love that study. Fine. Explain to me the contradiction.

Explain to me how 3 to failure is bad and 26 sets of quads twice a week. That’s there’s no, there’s no consistency to it. Not to mention the fact that. Even if three sets of 10 makes your vertical jump worse for 48 hours Why does this matter for bodybuilders who only train a muscle group twice a week or once a week?

Yeah, i’ve yet to see that explained either But the point of this all being is that there are all these interactions between volume frequency intensity Whereas we’re intensity of using here being proximity to failure, not percentages or any of that other stuff.

Mike: And I think for most people listening, the recipe that is going to serve them best.

And so this is, this is people who, let’s say that take, take a guy. He wants to gain Probably 25 to 30 pounds of muscle over the entirety of his weightlifting career. And he wants to have some abs take a woman. She wants to gain maybe 15 ish pounds to the right, you know, in the right places. And she wants to be relatively lean, but still look feminine for those, for those people, you have moderate volume, moderate to high intensity, probably.

Moderate to maybe even low to moderate frequency is an, is a, is an approach that will get them there and that you mentioned longevity and that’s a lot of people listening. They care about not just getting jacked at any cost they want to, they, maybe they want to get kind of jacked, but, but they also want to stay fit and healthy and they want to be able to do this for the rest of their life without breaking.

So that’s generally the approach I’ve tried to recommend to those people. Now, as you said, strength athletes, that’s something else. People who want to become bodybuilders, that’s something else.

Lyle: Yes. Yeah. I mean, at the extreme, but even with that, just a final story. Matt Gary is a powerlifting. He’s apparently the coach of the U.

S. powerlifting team, which is a thing. He’s even said that he especially powerlifting like longevity is important if you want to stay in the sport. He says he’ll get people that come to me and go, can you put 50 kilos on my total in eight weeks ago? Well, maybe probably but it might break you and you’ll probably quit afterwards, right?

And that’s the other thing again. I like science. I believe in research. I think it’s important When you look at these papers, you’re like, oh for 12 weeks, we did this one thing and saw this growth Well, that’s great. But what about the long term? What about you know? You have to 12 weeks is great. But what about over the next year?

What about over this given time frame in the long term? And I think you know i’ve watched the industry went through volume for five years I think it’s interesting that mike fencers we’re coming back into the intensity range I’ve been sort of middle, you know middle of the road most of the time where it’s like moderate volumes Hard enough without grinding you into dirt or getting you hurt Which allows progression over time, allows you to have a life.

We’re not talking about wanting to be elite bodybuilders. It seems like after every wave in the industry, we all kind of come back to that. Right. If you look at those general research supported. And the 20 sets a week, depending on how heavy you’re going once, you know, I tend to prefer a little bit higher frequency twice a week per muscle group.

I know people have made good gains once a week. Women may need a little bit higher frequency than men, neither here nor there, somewhere between 0 and 4 reps reserve, depending on the volume, the exercise, the personality type, which is something that doesn’t get considered. Do you look at. Successful hyper trophy programs and the coaches that I see Having success in the long term, you know as much as I think success leaves clues is very trite and silly There is some truth to it If you look at dog crap my reps brian haycox hyper trophy specific training that nobody probably remembers my generic bulking routine what you typically see is Roughly 8 to 12 week training cycles Where the goal is to set progressively smaller, you know, small prs over that duration Then you back cycle and do it again and back, you know scott stephens fortitude training It’s all kind of and we all seem to sort of come back to that every few years as people get Super excited about one thing or the other I mean like yeah for most people Doing some mentor style training every once in a while would not be a bad idea because that will teach them where to learn You know learn you’ll know what failure is.

That’s for sure. You’ll know what failure is That burns you out, you know, you can go back and we could make it make super hand waving arguments You know, there’s that old the best workout is the one you’re not doing and which taken to the logical extreme means that whatever workout You’re doing today in the gym is no longer the best workout.

You should change your workout Now the workout you’re doing you should change your workout again during the workout Which is me being dumb, but the people are like, oh when I change to a different style of training I seem to start growing again, and I think a it may just be psychological people get bored doing the same thing But I think I could make some very hand waving arguments.

There are different components of growth in terms of nervous system function muscle, we’re now Sarcoplasmic versus myofibular growth. I think it’s possible at the higher levels that you could see Rate limiting systems. And when you change to a different system, maybe, or maybe it’s just variety.

Mike: I mean, the details of a change matter too.

I mean, what are you changing from? You’re changing from a bunch of 20 rep sets that actually are kind of a bunch of warm up sets. And now you’re doing a bunch of six or eight rep sets that are actually pretty hard. Well, Yes, then you would expect better results.

Lyle: And then everyone, you know, you see people that are doing lots of low volume training and they go back to moderately higher volumes and maybe they work out or make better or whatever it is.

Some of it’s just variety. A lot of studies on diet find that people lose weight initially just because they like, they’re more attentive to doing something new. And you can’t deny that again for The general jacked population athletes will do the same stuff for a year because that’s what they, they, they, the focus, it’s a different, whatever makes them a better athlete.

They’re just going to do. And I’m not saying that’s better or worse. I’m just saying that it is but for the general person You’ve got life that gets in the way You have the realities of children of these different factors that all play into it and for them people get bored And it’s changing the workout to something that novelty Makes you work a little bit harder or differently because you’re more excited about it.

I have no problem with that Was it for me I could do the same thing for months on end and never get bored, but that’s me And that is you know, the personality component Tends to get ignored as people promote. Well, this is what works for me. Well, and what are your goals? What is your person someone wants more volume?

Cool. I’ll just make sure they’re working hard enough I just won’t let it but to truly wrap this up because I think you know, you need to get going is Most people aren’t even working hard enough not saying you have to grind to failure Unless you want to and are good at it, and that’s fine. Keep your volume low.

You have to know where it is And once you know where it is It will actually allow you to use all these awesome work at two to three reps reserve workout Types of training programs that are out there like even with some of the you know, the ais that are like, oh Put in your rp and your reps and reserve.

Yeah. Good luck The people that are good at that don’t use these apps the people that are using these apps don’t have any clue What their true rp or reps reserve is?

Mike: I don’t even know which apps you’re referring to. I haven’t played.

Lyle: Oh, I mean I read there were spreadsheets and stuff There was old one.

It was like a power lifting spreadsheet It was like, oh, you know put in your your rp or reps reserve on your squats and we’ll adjust your weight week to week Stuff like that. It’s like look the people that are good enough at doing this Don’t use these apps. People use things that don’t know what they’re.

Mike: The psychological subjective element to just, it just enters too much variability.

It’s just, it’s not that simple.

Lyle: And until you get good at judging rep speed and really knowing that by doing it for a while, you don’t know. But it’s so funny to me that because I actually talked about, well, this is what failure is, and this is why you have to know what it is. People like, well, while this advocates training to failure, are you people?

I’m not using complicated language. I said over and over and over again. I’m not saying you must train to failure regardless Then I look at these other training programs that are like, oh at the end of every deadlift workout do an amrap. Yeah, right Most of these other training programs recommend going to failure.

Yeah amrap deadlift. Sure. I mean i’ve done it I’ve done 20 rep deadlifts. I would never recommend it, but i’ve done it Once I’ve done that.

Mike: I didn’t even in my, I had mentioned, uh, there was a point when I was doing am raps every three or four months, but on the deadlift, it wasn’t a, it wasn’t a true am rap.

I would, I was willing to push close. I was willing. I mean, I was, I was like, you were saying, I mean, it’s, it’s cardio by the end of the set and my quads are on fire. Everything’s on fire. But could I have done, uh, at least another rep or two, probably, but that was enough. I’ll give myself credit for my little one RM calculation.

Lyle: Yeah. But to tell it, but it’s, they’re saying, yeah, do an amrap on these movements. The end of every workout to adjust the training. And I’m like, that’s how you burn out and break. Supposed failure way more than I ever have. You know, do a block of it, do a mentor block, figure out where it is, do it every three or four weeks.

If you’re an intermediate to make, keep yourself honest, or if you’re good at it, if you’re really good at reps for reserve, you may never need to because you can keep adjusting it. So I think.

Mike: Yeah, yeah, great discussion. Uh, every, everything that I wanted to cover, why don’t we wrap up with where people can find you and your work, anything in particular you want them to know about.

Lyle: So my website is and has always been body recomposition. com. I’ve got a zillion articles. I don’t update it because i’m not convinced people read websites anymore Um, i’ve got my store which is where I sell all my books. I do do consultations if you want help With that to set up a training type stuff My Instagram is mcdonaldlyle that I don’t really use very much.

I alternate between, uh, dog pictures, dad jokes, and the occasional video. I’ve got a very active Facebook group called, again, just search for bodyrecomposition. com. That’s where you’ll find me best, and I, I always like to point out I have a lot of very, very smart people in their field. Who have expertise in areas that I don’t such as we got five top physios ob gyns people ask these obscure medical questions And there’s always someone who’s like i’m a critical care nurse that deals with this.

I’m just like, holy crap I learn constantly from the people in my group. Um, I have started doing youtube videos again We’ll see how long that keeps up including a q a you know finding my channel I think it’s that one’s a lot of mcdonald, but you’ll find me So yeah, I mean i’ve been online since it started so it’s all kind of bodyrecomposition.Com

Mike: Awesome. Well, um, thanks again for taking the time. I look forward to doing another one.

Lyle: Absolutely.

Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people.

People who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, Mike@muscleforlife. com muscle F O R life. com. And let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about.

Maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future. I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.

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