Train to fail? What?! What does that even mean?

As I was kicking off the new year with resolutions and “New Year, New You” in mind, I began brainstorming best practice training methods for my clients. At Infinitely Fit, we use muscle confusion for results, but within that model, how can we help our clients achieve better results?

Recognizing that our muscle confusion workouts rely on a subjective feeling within each individual, which can leave room for the individual to inconsistently bring the muscles to the point of failure, I decided to incorporate a little more “training to failure”.

Train to failure is just as it sounds: You increase weight and/or add reps to bring the working muscles to the point at which they fail to do another rep without resting first. The rest could be thirty seconds, one minute or until your next workout. This is the point of the workout where you stare at the muscle group trying to Jedi-mind trick them into moving. (Is that just me?!)

In order to achieve our best results, we must wear out our muscles. We need to break them down to the point of failure (sounds like my Marine Corps boot camp training if you ask me). The next key to building muscle and strength is to REST! We have to give our muscles rest in order to gain strength because the gains happen during rest and recovery of muscles, not during work and tearing down the muscles.

Think of a scab. If you leave the scab alone and put on triple anti-biotic ointment, the likelihood of a scar is minimal. However, if you keep scratching off the scab, you open the wound. The more you open the wound, the more scar tissue grows over it therefore the scar is bigger and stronger than the skin around it.

Obviously, on our skin we don’t want that bulging, ugly scar, but in our muscles we do because that’s what increases strength. The only way to grow the muscle however, is to allow it to rest. Don’t breakdown the muscle until it has healed. With many muscle confusion workouts your body will be ready again in 1-3 days before you can work to failure again with that muscle group.

In 2016, Infinitely Fit is not just going to be about muscle breakdown because we are about all aspects of your health. The training to fail in exercise can be applied to the rest of our lives. And it’s a lesson from which we can benefit tremendously if we truly learn the skill.

Thanks to numerous conversations with clients, friends, family and my amazing business coach (Jayne at Altus Effect, I am really pushing myself to new heights. I am doing things that scare me. Things that push me outside of comfort zone to learn a little more about myself improving myself for all I encounter to benefit.

This pushing outside my comfort zone has been happening in my life yet I haven’t been embracing it. It’s been happening to me rather than me happening to my life. So now I am ready to embrace the uncomfortable zone of life, and the number one way I am going to do it is by facing my fear of failure. I have begun my mental training to fail program.  As I said to my counselor the other day: “And so far in 2016, I have been successful at failing!”

There are so few things in the world of which I am afraid when it comes to daring adventures and crawly creatures. The number one fear of public speaking is my favorite thing on earth! The fear of jumping out of airplanes? Been there, done that! The fear of spiders? I am the spider killer or releaser in my house (just depends on the spider and size). I’m not a fan of rodents and they give me the heebie geebies, but they don’t scare me. I’m just not that person who is afraid of many things (although scary movies do give me nightmares so I try to stay away).

What truly terrifies me is failing and having everyone knowing I’m a failure. In my own eyes I believe I am a failure, so if I publicly fail, I’m going to be found out. It’s like the Wizard of Oz—will someone pull back the curtain one day and expose me for who I really am? You’re probably sitting there thinking, “This isn’t true. You’re not a failure because you failed, LJ.” BUT, what if we’re talking about you? Would you give me the same speech?

Let’s be honest, it’s not fun to fail. It reveals weaknesses. It exposes us in a place we probably already feel vulnerable. When we fear failure, we believe that if people see us fail, they will think less of us. If you take a step back and think about your own responses to people who fail, have you ever done that? Have you ever chastised someone for failing? I’m guessing not, unless it’s your kid or spouse, but those are different rules, right?! (Is that just me?!)

My guess, is that when you saw someone fail, you encouraged them. You told them that they tried their hardest and they may have missed the mark, but there is always next time. The lies about failure live within us.

You can keep hiding from failure, but wouldn’t you rather have the outlook of Thomas Edison who said, “I didn't fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work.” I know I want that.

So I look at this way, folks; we have 2 choices here.

·         One, we can choose to live behind the lies we have told ourselves. Keep feeling sorry for ourselves, not change our actions; therefore, not changing our results

·         Two, we can buck up, shut up the mean you in your own head, and go for it! Go for it so big that your almost sure to fail. Keep failing until it doesn’t stop you from taking the risks in the first place, and sit back when the new and improved results come.

If you take the second option, I won’t even say, “I told you so!” I’ll just celebrate with you on your awesome results!

In my year of #lean2016, I’m getting rid of every fear that doesn’t serve my life and fear of failure, you have. Got. To. Go!!

This year, #lean2016; I train to fail. I train to fail in my own fitness training and for others, I train to fail in life pushing the boundaries and every self-imposed limit I can find!