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

Forums Fitness training What is "failure?" in the context of exercises?

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    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?


    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’.


    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 crossfit.com shows a preference for failure, but I know it should not be done daily.


    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



    I totally agree. I am having the most successful workouts when I am super picky about form.


    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.

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