Tomorrow at the gym, you should stop training on every set before you reach your failure point. When you know you have only 1 or 2 repetitions left in the tank, set the bar down. In some bodybuilding training circles, this would be considered hypocrisy. However, when employed correctly, stopping your lifting before you have reaching your peak of lactic acid buildup and muscle failure can be a wonderful thing
You will need less rest between sets
Training in this manner means your heart rate will not reach as high of a pace as with normal training. You will be able to start the next set sooner. And, you will be stronger when you do so.
You can use a lot more sets
When you rest less between sets, you can work in a whole lot more sets into your 60 or 75 minutes in the gym. This means you are potentially able to nail the chest with 20 goods sets instead of 12 great sets. Will the benefit be greater when using less intensity but moving more weight? This will depend on how you respond to the training. There is only one way to find out!
You can train without a spotter
We all know how dangerous it can be to train to failure when benching or squatting. This danger is eliminated when you place the bar back on the rack when you still possess the strength to safely do so. Many a bodybuilder taking weeks or months off to recover from an injury often wishes he had stopped before that one fateful repetition. If you ever feel like safety might be an issue, try switching over to this training method. You might be surprised at the results.
Supersetting is a breeze
The goal of completing multiple sets, one after another, is to draw a great deal of blood into a muscle group. If you can move from one exercise to another, and then do it again after a 45 second break, you can pull a lot of amino acids into that area. You might see better results, or you might not.
There are disadvantages as well. Training in this manner doesn’t increase strength, because you aren’t training to failure. Training in this manner isn’t exactly all that exciting, as you aren’t overcoming any new obstacles every time. It’s hard to measure progress when training in this manner. However, it is important to note that there are many groups of people outside of bodybuilding circles who do train in such a manner all year. The elderly, people with injuries, and normal folks who just like to “stop at ten every time” routinely don’t make it to repetition failure. Yet they see continued improvement, or at the very least, they defeat the aging process.
Whether or not this training method will work for you is an individual determination to be made. What we can agree upon is that stopping before reaching failure presents a unique set of opportunities and problems which may warrant further exploration.