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  1. #1
    ScipioAfricanus is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Training hard VS Keeping strength in the bank in calisthenics

    Lately I've been pondering on Paul Wade's advice on keeping strength in the bank - that is, stopping your set short of one or two reps before failure in order to stay fresh and reduce recovery time. Sometimes, however, it's hard to tell if it's possible to squeeze a couple more reps without collapsing or if you truly are in the verge of failure.

    So, my question is: how do you know when to stop your set? Is it when the concentric movement becomes way harder? When your form begins to suffer? When you start to swear?

    I'm asking this because lately I've been plateauing a bit. I suspect that I'm selling myself short and not making the effort to put in those last painful reps in order to "keep strength in the bank". Each body reacts differently, but I'd like to hear your experience on the matter.

    Thank you for reading and happy holidays
    Last edited by ScipioAfricanus; 12-27-2017 at 06:15 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    On occassion go all out. perhaps even to technical failure . Once every 10 days or two weeks. Recovery is so important. For pushups I fail in my core and the once solid plank becomes a wet spaghetti noodle. Doing more reps IS counterproductive and looks silly. Technical failure is the limit...Dennis

  3. #3
    MostlyFull is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    When form fails, stop. Pushing out a few crappy reps after that is not worth it. Try for one extra rep next time. Don't think of it as a plateau, merely as the body gathering strength to make the next advance.

  4. #4
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    And form failure includes in addition to geometry, movement stalling or even losing explosiveness. Grind them out until the grind becomes a grinnnnnnnnnd. Watch for it and you will know it when it happens.

  5. #5
    Taking Cattle is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Blog Entries


    Lately I've been breaking through calisthenics plateaus by implementing total body tension techniques, playing with the idea of treating my workout sessions as practice for firing all my muscles as strongly as possible. I haven't really played with total body tension work since I was doing my kettlebell stuff (and to be honest, I realize now that I never really got it right because I had some imbalances I had to fix), but am having great results with it now in calisthenics.

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