I recently had a discussion with Chris Highcock regarding the implications of a paper authored by James Steele ii. The topic was how failure seems to be the primary hypertrophy trigger from resistance training, regardless of load. Given that, I noted the following:
Of course, load is useful in expediting the point (muscle failure). I have no interest in a 4 minute wall sit, so adding weight would benefit in hurrying that up.Actually, perhaps load should be looked at as how you stay in the range of “comfortable failure.” Some people are going to be fine with low loads to MMF, where others might suffer too much metabolic byproduct discomfort and require more load. Changing the thought from “I’m trying to life more weight” to “I’m using weight to keep from doing more reps/time to failure” could really help people understand the goal.
For the sake of hypertrophy, think about weight on the bar as a means to keep you from having to suffer from some of the downsides of an extended set. While a pump feels awesome, you’re also likely to stop the set because it’s burning, not because you are incapable of generating enough force to continue performing repetitions. THAT’s the failure we’re talking about and the prime hypertrophy stimuli.