Should You Train To Failure With Calisthenics?

If you’ve just started doing calisthenics, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of exercises you can do. On top of all that, the logistics of training and knowing what to train and how to do it most effectively can be tough.

Among the many logistics of training is the idea of training until failure but should it be done? Should you train to failure with calisthenics? The answer to this and more will be covered in this article.

More specifically, in this article, I’m going to go over exactly what training until failure is, what the upsides and downsides are and anything else you need to know about this matter.

Let’s get into this!

What is training until failure?

Generally, training to failure is completing each and every set until the muscles you are working on cannot go any more. For some, this is believed to exhaust and break down the muscles more than any other form of training. While this is debatable, it certainly is a very demanding way to train.

An example of training to failure might include a singular workout such as push-ups and/or pull-ups. This may include 6-8 sets total and will not include a fixed number of reps.

Since there will be no fixed number of reps, each and every set will go all out. This means that said individual will not stop until they physically cannot complete another rep. This will be completed when the total number of sets have been reached.

The upsides and downsides of training to failure with calisthenics

Like any form of exercise and/or training plan, every single one will accompany upsides and downsides. And yes, you can be assured that training until failure has both of these to contend with.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at them!

The upsides of training to failure with calisthenics

  • Training to failure can amplify endurance. For those of you who don’t know, endurance refers to how much abuse someone can take – (physically or mentally) before they give in. In this case, since training until failure pushes your body to the limit with every workout, your body will have no choice but to adapt and grow to be able to handle more training stimuli.
  • Training to failure can cause more muscle growth. If it is muscle growth you desire, training until failure may just be for you. Generally speaking, muscles grow through a forced adaptation. This forced adaptation can only ever be the result of an extremely intense training regime, which may or may not include training until failure.
  • Training to failure can increase overall strength. As you can imagine, training until failure is a hell of a beating for your muscles but because of this, your muscles are forced to adapt to greater lengths, this includes getting stronger. Don’t get me wrong, there are much more effective ways to get stronger than this but training until failure will undoubtedly unlock some more strength you never knew you had.

As you can see, training until failure has some pretty solid upsides that simply cannot be ignored, however, like anything in life, it also has its downsides too, let’s take a look at them.

The downsides of training to failure with calisthenics

  • Training until failure can be very exhausting. For some, this downside can be very impactful as some people already lead very tiring lives. For others, this may not be too big of a worry. Regardless, because you are quite literally forcing the body past its limit, training until failure is without a doubt a very tiring way to train.
  • Training to failure can damage your joints. Now, before I delve any deeper into this, I need to state that this only applies to those who are prone to having bad joints. For a normal/healthy individual, training until failure typically carries little if any risk to your joint health. For those of you who do not possess the most fluid of joints, please rethink training until failure.
  • Training to failure may go against your current goals. Training until failure, generally, is a training technique utilised by those who want to build as much muscle as possible. If this is not your goal and your goal is simply to develop a stronger physique with minimal physical change, training until failure may not be the answer you are looking for.

After a little read through the upsides and downsides, you will now possess a very strong understanding of what training until failure has to offer.

In this next section, I am going to present a very specific subject that will help you decide whether to implement this form of training into your routine. Because of this, you must keep in mind all of the upsides and downsides listed above.

Consider your goals

If you have read any of my other articles, you will know that when it comes to deciding what to do with your training, considering your overall goals and what you hope to achieve is very important.

In this case, when deciding whether or not to start training until failure, you must consider whether or not the upsides to doing this benefit your long-term goals and desires. On top of that, you must also pay close attention to the downsides…

The downsides, like the upsides, also affect your long-term goals and whether or not you will achieve them efficiently and effectively.

If you are having trouble with this, go back to the section where the upsides and downsides are highlighted and take note of the number of points listed and see how many of them align with your goals and from what category they come from.

All in all, training until failure accompanies numerous upsides and downsides. It can be a very effective way to train but it all depends on your goals. Using the list provided above, go through it and decide whether or not training until failure will benefit you and the goals you one day hope to achieve.

Good luck everyone!

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