Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The importance of failure

Went to the gym to work chest today. Usually I do a 30 seconds of shoulder loosening, warm up with a quick light set, and then hit my max. Last 3 weeks in a row, that max was 185 pounds. Today, I couldn't do it. Failed on each of two reps.


Failure tells the body something. It says, "you needed to do something- and you weren't strong enough."

I have to believe there is a further conclusion embedded in the evolutionary wiring.

"You weren't strong enough, and you were damn lucky to survive."


"Next time you might not get lucky. So get stronger."

And that makes building muscle a survival signal, the highest priority signal for any organism.

It makes sense, doesn't it? Food is scarce. Muscle is expensive. Why should the body build muscle it doesn't need? And what tells it what it needs?

A near miss- coming up short-


I went on to do descending alactic reps until I was exhausted. Then I alternated triceps skullcrushers and lat pulldowns, then weighted dips with "pec deck". All heavy, every set to failure.

I hope I taught my muscles a lesson. Next time, they might not get off so easy.

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