No Pain, No Gain – How Important is this cliche and does it depend?

No Pain, No Gain – How Important is this cliche and does it depend?


No pain, no gain is a cliche applied to many different things in our lives. No where is it more overused than in the fitness industry.

There is a lot to it and there is definitely a correlation between those who put enough time and effort into training versus those who don’t when it comes to results.

Depending on the goal of a particular training session I often coach to keep going till you can’t do another repetition. Or to do as many repetitions as you can in a set amount of time.

However, a recent study has shown that you do not have to do this all the time and in fact strength gains may be maximised by not pushing to failure all the time.

The study used a super tough exercise for most people; the pull-up.

There were 2 groups, one instructed to complete their sets and stop when they thought they could still do another couple. The second group pushed till they couldn’t complete anymore.

The study showed that the first group actually achieved more strength gains than the group that went to failure. This is just one study but there is more and more coming out about this including the theory that maintaining power through a set is more important. And this could be what happened here. As the ‘to failure’ group went through their pull ups, they lost their velocity and power therefore reducing their gains.

So what does this mean for you and me and what can you take from this if you’re just trying to get stronger, be healthier and look better?

As with all studies, the details matter. And you could spend all day researching results and coming up with things that seem to contradict each other.

At FitterFaster, we use a range of different training techniques to ensure that we cover all bases for someone who wants to look and feel better overall or slow down ageing but isn’t interested in achieving a certain deadlift weight or competing in bodybuilding or physique contests.

We also have different classes specifically for those that do want to get stronger, get really lean, increase muscle mass or increase cardiovascular fitness.

I’ve personally spent the last 12 years working on my overall fitness and health, I recently began working more specifically on my strength and physical appearance.  The photo above shows my first 12 weeks.  It’s a work in progress but I’m getting there.

So instead of just ‘going to the gym’ or ‘attending random classes’, maybe it’s time to map out a plan to achieve your specific goals. And then pair that with a nutrition plan that actually works.

If you’d like me to help you map our your training program (obligation free) you can email me [email protected] or text/call me 0429 612975 any time.

Or if you’d like information about our training programs and classes, fill out your details below

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