Fatigue Training for Building Muscle


in Muscle Growth, Workout Routines

Ways To Build Muscle Fast – Fatigue Training.

Every now and then, you have to follow a different and more effective type of training – fatigue training – in order to make your muscles to grow, and there are quite a few exercises that make this possible, such as drop sets, supersets or pre-exhausting the muscles.

A lot of controversies surround this particular type of training, some praising it as the most viable muscle building method, others condemning it as dangerous and irrational. Where does the truth lie? Let us find out.

What is fatigue training?

The purpose of fatigue training is to induce sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and it is usually achieved by working out at an intensity of approximately 75 % of the 1RM, with repetitions that vary in the range of 10 to 15 for a single set, the resting period being shorter, between 45 and 90 seconds.

The term “fatigue training” comes from the fact that the performed exercises use, directly and rapidly, a significant quantity of the energy stored in the muscle cells, tiring the muscles in a very efficient way.

When you are choosing the numbers of sets for your workout, you first have to take into account the factor known as “time under tension”. This is the minimum amount of time for which the muscles should be tensed in order for the hypertrophy to occur.

Because of this element, you are generally required to perform a higher number of total sets in the resistance training routines compared to the fatigue-training ones.

In fatigue training, you must have a time under tension longer than your immediate available energy. The best energy sources for the short-term anaerobic exercises are the ATP and creatine phosphate deposits. However, these are available on very short term and, because of this, they will be depleted in 5-10 seconds.

After this, the body starts breaking down glycogen for energy, producing, this way, the lactic acid and the burns felt in the trained muscles. Therefore, the time under tension has to exceed 10 seconds for every set of exercises performed in fatigue training.

How can you stimulate your muscles more and better?

This is a common question among trainees who find themselves hitting a plateau in their muscle development, but the answer if very simple: push them even further when they are tired.

Here are three effective techniques to obtain complete fatigue:

  • Drop sets – Work the muscles gradually, with short resting periods and with heavier and heavier weights, forcing the fibers of the muscle to lift more while they are exhausted;


  • Supersets – Stimulate different muscles with various exercises, allowing them little rest to help with lifting when the fast-twitch fibers are already fatigued.


  • Pre-exhausting the muscle – This method involves performing a single-joint or rotary exercise, followed almost immediately by a compound or linear exercise to obtain absolute fatigue. This is a different approach compared to the supersets since you use heavier weights for the second exercise and you have a short resting period in between the two exercises.

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