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What is "failure?" in the context of exercises?

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:30 pm
by goodluckfox
If you're supposed to stop 2 reps before failure, what defines "failure"?s it the simple inability to do one more rep? By that logic, I have to stop at -2 or so pull ups.

And I also don't understand how to know when to leve up on level one day three? When you can do 10 pull-ups, 21 push-ups, and 21 squats ALL within 5 minutes total? Or 5 minutes for each individual class of exercises?

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:53 pm
by ucffool
I 'think' that failure is when you cannot complete that rep. For instance, you do a push-up and cannot fully extend your arms and end up bringing in your knees or collapsing on your arms. That would be failure. Pull-ups are tricky since for many of us, myself included, we are not doing pull-ups but some sort of 'resistance on the way down'. I think 'failure' there should be judged by the quality... in my scenario, it is when I jump up and instead of slowly coming down in 2 seconds, I just drop.

You level up once you have completed the entire exercise on D3 in 5 minutes, including rests. Remember, until you finish the reps for that exercise, you do not move to the next exercise, taking breaks when necessary to stay 'under failure'.

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:59 am
by Bart
If you have trouble with pull ups I recommend jump pull ups. This is where you grab the bar jump up and pull, the let down slowly. I start this on day 1s when I am unable to do regular pull ups any more.

On the subject of failure I avoid it in my regular routines, but how often should I go until I cannot do any more of a certain exercises, once a week, once every two weeks? Watching the demos at shows a preference for failure, but I know it should not be done daily.

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:36 am
by Admin
I would go once a month at most.
I think they are going to failure because the camera is going ;)

Trust me on this one, staying way under failure to get your pull ups up is the way to go, if you want to be even more conservative stay 2 under technical failure so when your form breaks, not when your muscles go out.

Try it for 2 months and see what happens to your pull up numbers.

Here is a great article that touches on going to failure

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:45 am
by volleyball_man
I totally agree. I am having the most successful workouts when I am super picky about form.

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:03 am
by Bart
Yeah I knew the Crossfit demos were for show, but it gives the beginner the impression that that is an everyday workout. A once a month test of a given exercise sounds like a good idea.