Connect
To Top


Muscle/Training Research


Fail First, Then Grow

Should you fail before you even really get started? At least two scientific studies say yes. In the first, published in the July 2015 issue of the European Journal of Applied Physiology, subjects performed one set of leg extensions, using 20 percent of their one-rep max (1RM) and repping to failure. They then did three sets of eight to 12 reps at 75 percent of their 1RM, a routine they repeated twice per week. After eight weeks, the pre-exhaust group increased their 1RM, the cross-sectional area of their quadriceps, and their muscular endurance more so than the control group who just did the three sets of eight to 12. Research published in the January/February 2016 issue of The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness backed those results, but at a higher weight. Subjects in that study did a pre-exhaust leg-extension set at 80 percent of 1RM to failure to lead off their twice-weekly workouts, which consisted of three sets of 15 to 20 reps at 50 percent of 1RM. After eight weeks, those who added the additional pre-exhaust set experienced greater increases in one-rep strength, endurance, and work efficiency—although the quads did not grow more as a result. Still, though, a leadoff set to failure could give you a leg up in your training efforts.

It’s No Big Secret

Here’s why exercise order matters: It can affect hormonal responses, says a 2016 study published in the Asian Journal Of Sports Medicine. Researchers compared the effects of starting with large muscle groups first versus leading off with smaller bodyparts on serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), testosterone, and cortisol levels in 25 untrained college-aged men who did three sets of 10 reps maximum to near fatigue in their workouts. While the order didn’t impact the number of reps they could muster, and IGF-1 and testosterone increased immediately post-exercise for both protocols, doing large muscle group exercises first and then progressing to small muscle groups produced greater anabolic hormonal response compared to the reverse sequence in normal-weight men. Of course, in muscle building, hormones matter—so it makes sense to do legs, back, chest, and shoulders before arms, calves, and abs.

Vaporize Vaping With Weights

Got a nasty vaping habit that you’re trying to shake? Consider hitting the weights to help your cause, Brown University researchers suggest. They tested 25 long-term smokers, providing a brief smoking cessation counseling session and the nicotine patch before putting part of the group on a 12-week resistance-training program. According to the report in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, at three months, 46 percent of the resistance-trained group had abstained for seven days from smoking, compared to only 17 percent in the control group. After six months, 38 percent of the resistance-trained group reported seven days without a smoke break, compared to 17 percent of those who weren’t training; more prolonged abstinence rates were 15 percent and eight percent, respectively—almost double. Meanwhile, those training lost 1.3 pounds and half a percent of body fat, while the control group gained approximately that same amount on average.

 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Featured Post

  • Testosterone Myths

    Destroying the six most pervasive myths about therapeutic hormone treatment. By Brett A. Osborn, DO, FAANS, CSCS and Jay Campbell  ...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 24, 2017
  • In The Bag

    You carry your whole life your gym bag, you might as well get a good one. By Amanda Burrill, MS  ...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 23, 2017
  • Immensity Through Intensity

    Use these unique training techniques to put your hypertrophy into hyperdrive. By Eric Broser   If there is one essential lesson...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 21, 2017
  • Five Foods For Muscle

    To add more mass, try adding these underrated foods to your plate. By Team Iron Man   If putting on muscle...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 16, 2017
  • Fat Loss Research

    “Cap” The Calories Turns out the burning sensation you get from chili peppers isn’t just for your taste buds. Capsaicin—the culprit...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 14, 2017
  • Core Values

    Doug Miller is serious about bringing transparency, efficacy, and integrity to the supplement industry. By Mike Carlson   “Necessity is the...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 13, 2017
  • Fall Guy

    By Amanda Burrill, MS   The holidays are approaching and out to try and derail your diet, but there are ways...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 10, 2017
  • What The Pros Take

    Five world-class athletes share their daily supplement programs. By Mike Carlson   The quest for a lean and muscular body is...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 9, 2017
  • ThreePeat or Mr. Consistent

    Olympia Men’s Physique champion Jeremy Buendia makes history—again. By Mike Carlson   PQ: “It is our responsibility to be a good...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 8, 2017