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You're A Failure!!!

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When is it good to fail?


A. Never

B. Sometimes

C. Always


The answer really depends on what kind of event or activity you are undertaking. Since this is an exercise forum, I will follow that path. It is always good to fail during resistance exercise.


What? Always good to fail?! Yeppers. Failure is a good thing when lifting weights or doing other resistance exercise. Working a muscle or muscle group to failure, until you can't do another repetition without breaking proper form, is a good thing. Working to failure is one of the best ways to develop muscle tone and mass.


By working to failure, I don't mean putting yourself in any danger. If you lift free weights, you know you should have a spotter, but we all have or either know someone who has lifted without a spotter. I bet more than just myself have found themselves under a barbell they couldn't move and had to flip/roll it off of themselves. In this instance, failure isn't a positive.


So, I want to work to failure but I don't have a spotter. What are my options? Well, you could join a gym and workout when there are number of people there. You could also go the machine route. If you need to workout at home because of time constraints or family obligations, the machine route is one of the best options. There are literally hundreds of machines out there of all types and in all price ranges. What you get will depend on your personal needs, goals and desires. Some machines are really large and complicated. Some are amazingly simple, yet still effective. Some of the larger sporting goods stores have a variety of machines available for testing. Online research followed by a Saturday test drive session can be very useful in determining what suits your purposes.


Another good and low cost option is to get a quality resistance tube set. They are large rubber bands that have handles on the ends. One brand, LifeLine, offers a variety of band strengths. The bands give you a good, solid, safe resistance workout that simulates many traditional weightlifting exercises.


I have been using a resistance band set that I got at Walmart for around $10 over the last few months. I have found it to give a really good workout. It is doubly efficient because the band puts tension on the muscles during both the up and down stroke. By "using the negative", slowly lowering the arm after a curl for example, you work the biceps and the triceps during the one exercise. This continuous tensioning, allows you to develop and define more quickly than you would with traditional free weights. With the free weights, as you tire you tend to get less rigid about form and holding tension as you lower the weight, that isn't an option with the bands. The elasticity of the band doesn't allow you to just 'drop it'.


If you make resistance training part of your exercise program, remember to fail. Find a safe, affordable means that suits your lifestyle and work those muscles to failure. You will be tired, grumpy and sore in the beginning, but the payoff will be well worth the effort!


Travis Autry


P.S. If you read this far, thank you. I hate to see forums sit idle. If our community is going to grow and benefit the members, we need new posts of all types. In my feeble way, I have taken it as a mission to post something new as often as I can and to reply to as many as possible.

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Wow! You said a mouthful (or a keyboard full?)


I know that resistance training would be a good addition to my routine, but I have been concentrating more on aerobic stuff lately. Actually, until recently I had become less active, but lbs. pile on quickly, especially around the holidays so I'm back at in full force.


I don't belong to a gym, so I am left with early morning walk/run during the week and the same on the weekends except for longer periods of time. Sprinkle in with that some push ups and Ab-doer (worlds only aerobic abdominal routine...ever here of it??).


My New Year's resolution was to do a minumum of 4 days/3 hours of exercise per week. So far, so good.


As for more resistance training, I'll have to stop by Wal-Mart and take a look at those big rubber bands!

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Hi statdeac,


Thanks for the reply! I am beginning to think we are like the Marines, at least when it comes to 'the few'.


It looks like you have your ducks in a row. If what you are doing works for you, keep at it. I wasn't doing anything even remotely serious regarding exercise until a few months ago. During my teens and 20's, I did a lot of weight training. In my 30's I slacked off for some reason, nothing definable as I reflect on it. Now, I am back on my horse and I feel the best I have in years. Heck, even my wife said I was looking better. Y'know I must be on to something if she is noticing me after 12 years of marriage!:)


The thing about resistance exercise is that it increases the effectiveness of your aerobics. Increased lean muscle mass helps you to burn more calories, more quickly and for a longer period after exercise. A good, balanced plan that combines the two is the best approach.


Update on resistance bands: During the holidays, I won a pair of Lifeline Gym cables on Ebay. These things make my original resistance band feel like a toy! The other night I found that Walmart has a LifeLine Gym set for $18 and change. If you go for one of the resistance bands, spend the extra 8 bucks and get the Lifeline package. It is well worth it. When I finish a workout, I am tighter than a steel drum and shaking all over from the exersion. I find both feelings to be exhilerating! But I am somewhat of a glutton for punishment.:cool:


Does that Ab-Doer really work? I like the lower back massage thing it has on it. I still do my ab exercises on the floor. I would love to have one of the Power Tower, pullup/dip/kneelift/pushup, things but we don't have the room for it. I test drove one at Dick's Sporting Goods and got a really good workout.



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