It seems counterintuitive but when lifting weights leaving some reps in the tank will actually lead to better gains
It feels great to strength train until you cannot lift anything else. It really feels like you will improve, but actually it just makes it harder to get stronger, and there is a lot of research to prove it.
- This looks at 4 & 2 set not to failure vs 4 sets taken to failure and shows that both groups not taken to failure had significantly greater strength adaptation.
- Two similar papers from Gonzalez-Badillo looking at high-moderate-low volume training that show moderate volume training is superior to excessively high or low. Paper one, paper 2
- This one used maximum vs half maximum sets and looked at the acute fatigue effects and time to recover power (vertical leap)
- This study used 20% vs 40% velocity loss across the set to determine volume and found the group that was only allowed a 20% drop (and therefore stayed further from fatigue) achieved better training results over 8 weeks.
- Another study looking into the acute effects of training to failure or sub maximally.
- You can sign up for Dan Baker’s emails and read more about Velocity based training (VBT) here
- VBT is very similar in principle to the intent to move principle