Originally Posted by elizabeth_c
My workout usually consists of three sets of each exercise, 6-10 reps (depending on the exercise). I try to push myself to do as many reps as I possibly can in *each SET*. In fact, I keep track of all reps/weights and at each workout try to do at least one more rep per exercise or more weight. Sometimes I will add an extra rep in the first set, and exhaust myself, rest for the usual 60 seconds, and then do the last two sets at the same # of reps from the last workout.
Recently, I started to wonder if working to failure means only pushing yourself to that point where you can't do another rep for *only the LAST set*. So which is it? What should I be doing?
Thanks in advance.
Yes, the latter is much less likely to result in overtraining. I would try to stop at the point where you could do another rep and avoid failure altogether.
As the weights get heavier, training to failure becomes more and more of a strain on your recovery ability, and IMHO, eventually gets counterproductive. Olympic lifters never train to failure and make excellant strength gains.
Also realize that you can't add weight and/or reps every workout forever. At some point you are happy to add weight to the bar on a monthly basis.