How Sex Affects Muscle Gains

Almost every male bodybuilder has wondered if ejaculating too frequently, could hurt their muscle building gains. Some have even recommended holding off for days to help boost their muscle gains.

Sex & Ejaculation effects immediately on testosterone levels

The basis for the argument that ejaculation hurts muscle gains, I believe is probably rooted from the belief that it reduces testosterone. I used to believe the same thing, until I did research on it. From looking at animal and human studies, there doesn't seem to be any basis that ejaculation will lower testosterone levels immediately afterwards.

Animal studies show a rise in testosterone during mating and arousal. Human studies such as one published in (Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1993;18(3):205-18), have shown men's testosterone levels rise during sexual arousal and even aggressive activies, such as holding a gun. I have only seen animal studies, that measured testosterone levels post ejaculation. Some of these studies show no changes post ejaculation, while others show a rise in testosterone. No study I have seen, has shown a actual drop in testosterone post ejaculation.

So why is it such a common belief that testosterone drops after ejaculation? I believe this is because men get tired and satisfied after ejaculation, leading people to think it lowers testosterone levels. I believe this mental effect is actually from changes in the brain after ejaculation. An interesting study at Department of Pharmacobiology, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados. measured the androgen receptor density (how potent testosterone would feel in the brain) after ejaculation. The study showed a decreased density, post ejaculation in rats. The density didn't return to normal for 72 hours. So, we may feel like testosterone levels in the blood drop post ejaculation, but they actually don't.

Sex & Ejaculation long term effects on testosterone levels

We have established that there is no short term lowering of testosterone levels from ejaculation, but
many think ejaculating too often can lead to lower testosterone levels long term. The only study that looks at more of a long term effect from ejacualation, was done by chinese group (J Zhejiang Univ Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;4(2):236-40). 28 men volunteered to not ejaculate for one week. There was no change in testosterone levels for the first 6, then on the 7th it spiked by 47% on average. However, the next day while still abstaining from ejaculation, it lowered quickly back to normal. I believe this is because the large spike in testosterone shut off natural production, until testosterone levels went back to normal. This study tells me that every 6 or 7 days, there may be a large increase in testosterone, if someone abstains from ejaculation. Then testosterone will naturally balance out to normal afterwards. So, long term there doesn't seem to be much (if any) benefit from abstaining from ejaculation.

Sex & Ejaculation effects on strength

Ejaculation may have a effect on your strength in the weight room. Testosterone has a natural stimulant and energy effect on the brain. High testosterone makes you feel stronger and more aggressive. In that study I cited earlier, it showed a lowering of androgen receptor density in the brain after ejaculation. This lowering could effect your strength because your brain perceives less testosterone, even if it actually doesn't drop. Ejaculation also releases endorphins into the bloodstream. These are opiates that make you feel sleepy. This is not exactly the ideal conditions right before a workout. If you ejaculate hours before a workout, you might be weaker and have less energy. Since strength gains usually help muscle gains in the long run, ejaculating before a workout would not be a good idea for optimal muscle gains. So in that aspect, sex (or ejaculation) will have a negative long term effect on muscle gains.

Do Site Enhancement Oils (SEOS) Work?

Hardcore bodybuilders are now more and more open to the idea in recent years of using site enhancement oils (SEOS) to increase muscle size. Site enhancement oils are an oil based substance that is injected into the muscle to help make them grow. The most popular brand name is Synthol , developed back in the 90's. Synthol is mainly medium-chain triglycerides, with a smaller amount of localized pain killer (Lidocaine) and benzyl alcohol (for sterilization).

Naively one will first think its just the oil inside the muscle causing the muscle to get bigger. They think that as the oil leaves the muscle will shrink back, so it must be injected constantly. That
might be partly true, but site enhancement oils seem to have a more permanent effect by fascia stretching. Fascia is a tight connective tissue surrounding muscles and it's thought that stretching it helps with muscle gains. It is same reason why some bodybuilders do fascia stretching workouts and probably the mechanism I believe is behind muscle memory. Some bodybuilders report that site injections with steroid esters, also seem to have a localized effect on muscle growth where they were injected. This would probably be caused by fascia tissue once again. SEOs are not to be confused with injecting steroids as they contain different compounds and SEOs don't have any anabolic steroids in them.

There is another theory about how SEOs cause muscle gains. Some believe it is due to increased scar tissue buildup. I tend to believe the fascia theory instead because the fascia phenomenon is seen to a slightly less degree by spot injecting steroids and because fascia tissue stretching seems the only likely explanation for muscle memory.

Pro-bodybuilders have been believed to have been using SEOs commonly for many years now, but probably wasn't very common before the mid-late 90's. Pro-bodybuilders have to be careful of how much they inject because they lose the muscle hardness and natural shape with excessive use. Pro bodybuilders only use it as more of an aide in bringing up their lagging muscles.

If someone abuses SEOs for many years, they will start to look like Greg Valentino.

At one time Greg Valentino was a respectable amateaur bodybuilder as
you can see in this picture in his earlier days.

He got obsessed with using SEOs and even got an abcess from it that he drained himself! (Ouch)

Now Greg Valentino is considered a joke in bodybuilding. Greg is a loud mouth jerk who likes to get attention now. Greg always talks about his steroid use negatively and what it did to him, but the truth is everyone knows he used SEOs, which he conveniently fails to tell others. I've seen pictures of others who weren't that extreme, but everyone who overdoes it gives their muscles a ridiculous unproportioned soft lumpy look compared to the rest of their body.

More importantly to any other issue with SEO use, is the health of using them. Their is a serious risk of stroke or death because you could inject it accidentally in a artery instead of your muscles. If you inject it into a artery, you will cause it to travel to other parts of your body, like your heart or brain or lungs. Years ago, Pro-bodybuilder Milos Sarcev almost died injecting Synthol into his triceps.

Preventing Hair Loss while on a Steroid Cycle

Genetics play a huge role on side effects during a steroid cycle, including how much hair you will lose. Some will experience a little increase in shedding during a heavy androgenic cycle, while others will practically see clumps come out when they comb.

Bodybuilders usually report though that it starts to thicken back weeks after the cycle is over with. The thing about male pattern baldness is that androgenic alopecia is a condition that gets worse. Just because it grows back doesn't mean it is the same as before. That is because DHT (or any androgenic steroid) causes follicular miniaturization on hair follicles. Meaning, the hairs get progressively thinner and thinner everytime, until eventually its too thin to see or stops growing completely.

Since DHT and steroids can do irreversible damage to the hair follicles via this follicular miniarturization mechanism, the best way to prevent the damage is blocking via anti-androgens on the scalp. Two common shampoos are Spironolactone and Nizoral, that act as anti-androgens in the scalp. Nizoral 1% can be found in stores, the stronger 2% is via prescription, although over the counter in Canada. Spironolactone is found commercially as a pill taken orally, but obviously it's anti androgen properties would counteract your steroids, so there are sites that sell it in topical solution for your hair.

The prescriptions Finasteride (Brand names Propecia, Proscar, etc) block the conversion of testosterone to DHT via the 5AR enzyme. This will Not be helpful at all for steroid cycles consisting of Tren, D-bol, Anadrol, or any other steroid besides testosterone that cause hair loss on their own. Taking Finasteride with Deca would even worsen your hair loss, since Deca converts to a very weak androgen DHN in the scalp and prostate, weaker androgenically than deca itself and these 5AR blockers would stop that conversion.

The popular over the counter and prescription treatment Rogaine won't do much to prevent it while on cycle. It is more for getting your hair back after the fact. Anti-dandruff shampoos with zinc pyrithione, have shown in studies to have a hair diameter increasing effect, so they should be used regurlarly on and off your steroid cycle for good measure. There is also some hair growth supplements available on the market.

What is Prolactin or Progesterone Gyno?

Most bodybuilders are aware that estrogen can cause gyno. Most steroid users are also fully aware that Trenbolone can cause gyno when taken by itself, even though it doesn’t convert to estrogen at all. How is this possible?

Two major theories of how Trenbolone could cause gyno symptoms have been theorized over the years. They believe that Tren causes the gyno, by directly stimulating either prolactin or progesterone receptors. Anabolic steroids Trenbolone and Deca are both progestins. Deca also converts to estrogen, but Tren does not. They are not to be confused with progesterone, but instead progestins, a type of progestogen, that can stimulate the progesterone receptor. Tren even converts to a metabolite in the body, that binds stronger to progesterone receptors than progesterone itself!

Directly increasing progesterone or prolactin doesn't necessarily mean you will develop gyno according to research. The study (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1988 Jan;66(1):230-2) shows that progesterone works synergistically with estrogen, to stimulate breast production. According to (Clin Biochem 2001 Nov;38(Pt 6):596-607), prolactin only has a stimulatory effect on gynecomastia in the prescence of high circulating estrogen levels. Testosterone which aromotizes to estrogen caused a cause of increased prolactin according to (Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1984 Feb;105(2):167-72). In the same study, Clomid (clomiphene) and Nolva (tamoxifen) showed a reduction in the man's high levels of prolactin. There is no research evidence that I have found, that points to true breast development developing with just prolactin or progesterone alone or caused by non-aromotizing steroids, without any high circulating estrogen levels. Estrogen must be at high enough levels to work synergistically with high levels of prolactin or progesterone, to cause breast development and lactation.

Whether Tren stimulates prolactin or progesterone, without at least moderate levels of circulating estrogen at the same time in the body, Tren can't cause full development of gyno. The real solution to curing gyno caused during a tren cycle therefore, is to take anti-estrogens, to lower circulating estrogen levels. Even if you are taking Tren by itself, you still will have a lot of estrogen circulating in your blood for a few weeks, until your natural testosterone levels shut down. Sensitive people to gyno might have to use a anti-estrogen, even when taking tren without other estrogen converting steroids, to lower natural estrogen levels in the body.

Many bodybuilders recommend using anti-prolactin drugs Bromocriptine or Cabaser / Dostinex (both Cabaser and Dostinex contain active ingredient Cabergoline), or even RU-486 "The abortion pill", which is a progesterone blocker. These drugs have side effects are expensive and not commonly carried by many sources. I have heard reports from bodybuilders that bromocriptine didn't help them, but strong anti-aromatase inhibitors like letrozole did. Therefore, it is better to use an anti-estrogen to combat tren based gyno. The only anti-estrogen I wouldn't recommend for combatting this gyno is Nolva (tamoxifen) because in (J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 Sep;86(3-5):461-7) they found progesterone receptor expression increased, while it decreased with other anti-aromatase inhibitors.

Do Steroids Cause Permanent Low Testosterone Levels?

One major reason why steroid users usually cycle is so they can regain their natural testosterone levels. During steroid use, your testicles shut down their natural teststerone production. Your testicles shrink because they are no longer “active”. As the anabolic steroids leave your body, your body slowly revs back up it’s production again and your testicles grow back in size.

After short cycles or infrequent use, most will bounce back fairly easily, especially with the use of anti-estrogens post-cycle. Anti-estrogens help boost testosterone levels post cycle by lowering estrogen, an important indicator for the body in regulating testosterone production in the testicles. However, there are some people who struggle to get testosterone back after even their very first cycle. It seems to be genetically determined because some can recover no problems without even anti-estrogens, while others have shrunken testicles and low testosterone problems for many weeks or even months. It's pretty easy to tell you have low testosterone, you'll feel like a 10 year old girl scout and you won't even be able to maintain your gains.

Patrick Arnold, a expert in steroid chemistry and use, has said in the past that some people are pre-disposed to having trouble recovering their testosterone levels post-cycle. He recommends an extra long course of anti-estrogens or even possibly HCG as a final resort. Anti-estrogens usually are only taken for 2 to 4 weeks, but those with problems recovering should probably due it much longer. HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) is injected to jumpstart testicles sometimes because it acts like LH, a hormone that directly stimulates the testicles. The one downside to HCG is that overuse will actually cause too much testosterone causes a negetive feedback responce, once again inhibiting natural testosterone production.

Your testicles usually fully recover pretty quickly after one cycle or infrequent use, but long term abuse is another thing. You could possibly damage your testicles by staying on too long or doing too many steroid cycles over the years. It is hard to say how much damage, it would vary by the individual and their history of use. Problems would build up cumulatively, so that is why it is best to do your steroid cycles infrequently, so you allow the body to fully recover in between each one. There are reports of some former pro-bodybuilders or heavy steroid users having to take HRT (Testosterone replacement) because they have damaged their natural testosterone production. Many pro-bodybuilders never go off steroids because they won't even be able to maintain their muscle if they did so. This will surely cause irrevecoble damage to their fertility and ability to produce testosterone.

Does Viagra & Cialis Increase Muscle Building or Strength?

In the last month, viagra as a performance enhancer has hit the news with the world anti doping agency in charge of the olympics thinking of banning it. There is reports that even Roger clemens used it for performance enhancement and that Balco Founder advocated it for all of his athletes. The idea of Viagra being helpful for bodybuilders in muscle building or strength may sound silly, but there is probably some truth to it. Viagra and Cialis increase nitric oxide in the blood, increasing blood to not only erections, but also to your muscles.

Nitric oxide also increases post workout, so it is thought that nitric oxide plays a crucial role in muscle gains. That is why no2 supplements are so popular because they are thought to increase nitric oxide in the blood. However, I believe no2 supplements are a huge scam because they don't actually raise nitric oxide in the blood. You can read more in a previous post Do Nitric Oxide (No2) Supplements Work?

Some possible benefits of nitric oxide in the blood stream from viagra due to the increased blood flow to the muscles, in theory should be better muscle gains, increased muscle vascularity, and a boost in endurance in strength. Although there is no studies yet on hypertrophy or strength, there have been a couple studies on endurance athletes using viagra and it showed improvements in their times.

Obviously there are a few reasons why Viagra is not a good idea. The first being constantly taking it if its not needed will cause you to have a erection all the time, embarrassing yourself. You might even cause priapism, a persistent erection for more than a few hours that you have to seek medical attention or cause permanent damage to your penis. Plus, you will have to go out and seek a prescription from a doctor and if your young, it may be hard to convince him. If your a top level bodybuilder or desperate for any edge you can get, than it may be worth it. Many steroid users buy it anyways because of erection problems during or after their cycle.

Estrogen’s Effect on Men in Muscle Building

Bodybuilders commonly assume estrogen always equals bad because it is considered a women’s hormone. While that is generally true, I believe that your body needs a certain level of estrogens for muscle gains. If you have ever taken an anti-estrogen, you may have noticed a muscle hardening effect, but it’s hard to gain a lot of muscle mass even though they boost testosterone levels significantly. Many bodybuilders on testosterone cycles have also noticed a difference in gains from using anti-estrogens , which is why some either advocate not using them or using low dosages.

Estrogen seems to probably have many different pathways it can help with muscle building. Estrogen helps with growth hormone levels, a important factor in muscle building. Estrogens also help with water retention. Retaining water helps hydrate the cells promoting protein synthesis and storage in the cells. The water retention also helps with strength gains, which should help long term muscle gains. Estrogen also has a vital role in the protein kinase cascade, which is important in the muscle building process.

While excessive Estrogen in men is certainly a bad thing, eliminating it completely through anti-estrogens isn't going to automatically mean a large boost in gains. There are too many ways that estrogens can help your gains, that the boost in testosterone won't fully make up for all the losses from lower estrogen.

Can Taking a Break from Weightlifting Help with Plateaus?

Almost all bodybuilding workout routines today advocate taking a 2 or 3 weeks off from training once in a while to avoid plateaus. Even the old periodization routines developed decades ago, advocate a rest phase. There must be something helpful about a rest that makes it actually productive in the long run if so many advocate it.

Research on breaks from training

The most recent study I found was published in J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):768-75. 46 men did 16 weeks of continuous resistance training. One group completely stopped it for 4 weeks afterwards, while the other group slowly tapered their set volume for 4 weeks. The rest group had a 9 percent drop in strength and an increase in IGF-1, a potent anabolic hormone. THe tapering group had a very slight increase in strength, but also a increase in IGFBP-3 resting levels. IGFBP-3 is the protein that binds to IGF-1 to make it not active while it is binded to the protein.

Another relevant study to our topic I found was J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug;16(3):373-82. 16 recreationally resistance trained men, were seperated into two groups, one put on a break from training and the other continued weight training for 6 weeks. One rep max, power, and hormonal levels were measured at the 3rd and 6th week of both groups. While the bench press strength increased in the restistance group there was no changes in any group for 1 rep max squat, body or muscle mass, body fat percent, or resting concentrations of growth hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, cortisol, or adrenocorticotropin. One theory I have is that because they were recreationally trained, they didn't train often or serious enough to see a serious drop in strength or change of hormones.

Another study published in Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Aug;25(8):929-35 was done on 12 serious long term powerlifters. After 2 weeks they measured their muscle fiber composition, strength, and body hormones. Although their type 2 muscle fibers (mainly responsbile for hypertrophy) decreased significantly (by 6.4%), they had almost no drop in strength and Growth hormone levels increased 58.3%, testosterone increased 19.2%, and the testosterone to cortisol ratio 67.6% increased, whereas plasma cortisol -21.5% and creatine kinase enzyme levels -82.3% decreased.

Conclusion:

The studies i have found support what many bodybuilders and strength athletes knew all along, that a long rest is beneficial for you. If for any other reason, it returns all your bodies hormones and chemicals to a pre-training state again, so you can be ready for the next growth cycle. Think of it as taking 1 step back to take 2 steps forward to bust through your old plateau.

Effects of WeightLifting on Muscle Fiber Composition

You may have heard some bodybuilders talk about how weight training has a permanent effect on your muscle fibers. Two different ways that the muscles can change through vigrous weight training routines over a course of a few weeks, is through muscle fiber composition changes and hyperplasia.

Before we look at studies and theories, let's understand how the muscle is made up. There is two major types of muscle fibers, type I and Type II. Type I are functionally best for endurance. Type II are good for strength and power, but not good for endurance. Type II can actually be dividedfurther into fiber subtypes. Type IIB and Type IIA. Type IIB are white colored, unlike the other fibers IIA and I. They are also the most responsive to hypertrophy (Muscle growth). There are many other fiber sub-types in the body, but the most common are Type I, IIA, and IIB.

There is evidence from studies I have found, that muscle fibers type changes from weight training. In other words, One Type can become more like another fiber type, depending on your type of training. This tells us that our muscles adapts to weight training, so it can try to gain muscle easier in the future. When there is more Type II and less Type I acting fibers, it means it's easier to stimulate future muscle gains. If their is more type I and less Type II, than it becomes harder to gain muscle. It also tell us, that we have to make sure we do the right kind of training to stimulate the right changes in fibers for maximum muscle growth.

Muscle Fiber change research studies

A study published in Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Nov;88(1-2):50-60. Epub 2002 Aug 15. 32 men who were untrained were put into low rep, intermediate rep, high rep, and control groups. High rep group did between 20 to 28 reps with 1 minute rest. The intermediate group did between 9 to 11 reps with 2 minutes of rest for 3 sets. The low rep group did 3 to 5 reps with 3 minutes of rest for 4 sets. The excercises chosen for all groups were squat, leg press, and knee extension done 2 times a week for first 4 weeks, then 3 times a week for the final 4 weeks. The low and intermediate rep group had muscle growth (hypertrophy), but the control and high rep group did not have nearly any. Most interesting however, is that all resistance trained groups had a decrease in IIB fibers and increase in IIAB fibers. Type IIAB sub-type fibers are slightly less effective at building muscle and strength than pure IIB fibers. This study tells us that although high reps around 20 or so do not do much for hypertrophy, they induced the same muscle fiber type changes as even the very low rep ranges(3 to 5 reps).

Another study J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2000 Jul;55(7):B336-46 was done on 18 older men. Half did resistance training, the other half served as control. The routine was leg press, half squat, and leg extension for 16 weeks with 6 to 8 reps to muscular failure and 1 to 2 minutes of rest. Results showed that everyone's muscles hypertrophied, but IIB fibers decreased and IIA fibers increased. Once again, the fibers are changing away from the IIB fibers.

One other study I found published in Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1990;61(1-2):37-41 They had 12 college age men do strength resistance training for 7.5 weeks, than 5 week break to then go onto 5.5 weeks of endurance training (high reps light weight). The other group started with endurance then went to strength. Results showed that both groups in phase 1 had hypertrophy and increase in sizes of all the major fiber types. The endurance group that did strength in the 2nd phase, also had more hypertrophy gains in all fibers during the 2nd phase. However, the group that went from strength to endurance in 2nd phase, reversed all hypertrophy gains in all fibers. This tells us that endurance training after strength training reverses all hypertrophy in all the muscle fiber types. The reason the endurance group probably had some hypertrophy even in phase one, is probably cause they were untrained (not previous lifters).

The results are stunning for me from these studies. I thought it would show a change to more IIB at the lower rep ranges. Instead, all the common rep ranges of lifting for bodybuilders, whether they be in the 6 rep range or the 20 rep range, all had similiar changes in muscle fiber types. The studies also show us that the common rep range bodybuilders use between 6 to 12 reps, all stimulate the major 3 types I, IIA, and IIB for hypertrophy simultaneously. This is well known by bodybuilders and this is why it is the best rep range for muscle gains. The last study cited is useful in that it tells us that switching to endurance training after strength training, will lead to muscle shrinking. This is something bodybuilders have known all along from experience. You can't maintain muscles lifting weights at the 15 + rep range, as you had gained from lifting in the 6-12 rep range. This is one reason why I don't advocate high reps during dieting.

Training to Failure Best for Muscle Building?

The most basic question everyone building muscle and strength has, is should I train to absolute muscle failure on each set or just get close to it. When I first trained, I assumed everyone went to muscular failure. Later I learned this topic has become quite controversial.

Two opposing viewpoints on Training to failure

Usually the low set volume advocates, say you should give every rep to failure and sometimes even pushing beyond that, with forced reps. They believe intensity is what ultimately stimulates muscle gains. Anyone who does sets right to failure vs. a couple reps short, will tell you there is adifference in intensity.

High volume routines usually don't advocate to failure. It would be too grueling mentally and on the bodies recovery, to do a high volume set always to absolute failure. Some routines don't really say much on the matter. These routines focus on the fact, that as long as your progressing by adding weights, that is what actually matters in the end. Some workout gurus are so adamant about their position on this, that the only way to change their minds is to use actual studies to find out which is the best way to train.

Research Studies on training to muscular failure

Only in the last few years has studies even been done on training to failure. The first one was published in J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):382-8. They had 26 basketball players divided into a failure or non-failure resistance training routine. The failure group did 4 sets of 6 repetitions every 260 seconds. The non-failure group did 8 sets of 3 repetitions every 113 seconds, a shorter rest interval and more sets to make up for a change in the lower intensities of the set. The failure group was found to have a larger increase in strength compared to the non-failure group. This is not shocking since many arguing against failure, have thought that failure training benefit is for strength gains and not actual muscle building. One also has to consider the time under tension differences, one is doing only 3 reps and the other 6 reps and a different. I'm not sure that by adjusting set rest time, number of sets, and repetitions, you can accurately figure out whether training to failure is beneficial because your changing so many different factors.

The following year another study was published in J Appl Physiol. 2006 May;100(5):1647-56. Epub 2006 Jan 12. In this study one group did failure training for 11 weeks, the other did non-failure training for 11 weeks. Immediately after this, both groups did phase 2, where they all did the same workout to see the effect of the previous 11 weeks of training differently. Both groups were found to have the same one rep max. What was more interesting is that they found an increase in muscular endurance in the failure group and power in the nonfailure group. More importantly was they found that the non-failure group had lower cortisol levels, higher testosterone and IGF-1 levels. This means that the non-failure group were inducing a more anabolic environment hormonally, which means they should get better muscle gains. I was surprised to see that that the one rep maxes were the same and that power was better among the non-failure group. I believe the differences in resting hormone levels, gives us a much better confirmation that not training to failure is better for muscle building. I've read that the last rep to failure releases a lot of cortisol and that may be what explains the higher cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels.

JM Willardson, a renowned excersie research scientist who has done some many studies that I reference on this blog for many of my articles published a abstract on the issue of trainig to failure in J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):628-31. Willardson there is not yet enough studies to prove that training to failure is not ideal, but he did recommend it for busting through plateaus. He doesn't recommend it for long term because he believes it leads to higher chance of injury. Whether or not you believe training to failure is better for muscle growth, there is a definite higher chance of injury.

Conclusion:

I don't think the controversy will ever be ended because there is always those who don't want to listen to research, but instead rather follow what some bodybuilder did years ago. Training to failure is very popular because it is hard not to train to failure. I know when I workout, I usually wind up training to failure because I can't resist, even though I know it's not needed for muscle building. It helps me judge my progress in strength because each workout I'm using the same reference point, by going as far as I can on a set.


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