Working To Failure - 98 Gym
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Chris Feather

Working To Failure

In a typical week of the 98 Program there is a ‘work to failure’ or ‘max effort’ session. These are and always have been a favourite of mine. I feel it really shows the individual’s true character and willingness to suffer. These sessions usually have a ‘Benchmark’. A meterage, wattage, time or number of rounds we feel are adequate. This figure varies due to factors like ability, age and sex. Some people will work to this figure or slight discomfort, then pull out and walk away happy they got close or hit the ‘Benchmark’ They don’t get any fitter or build any type of resilliance. They generally gain nothing apart from burning a few calories and getting a sweat on.

The other set of people work to ACTUAL failure. Maybe they don’t get near the benchmark, maybe they get way past it. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is working to your own point of failure. This group of people generally walk away pissed off they didn’t do better. Most importantly they LEARN something about themselves, they learn how to suffer and recognise what that feels like. They get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Their point of discomfort gets further and further away as does their point of failure. They get fitter.

Which one are you?

I know who I want on my team, in my gym and part of my friendship circle.

Here’s something I read around 7 years ago, after meeting Mark Twight. It set the foundation for my own training, life after my professional Rugby League career and what I endeavour to pass on to others.

“Accurate self-knowledge precedes behavioral change. Honest, thorough self-assessment isn’t easy so a coach must facilitate self-discovery by exposing physiological and psychological characteristics….
… If the mind doesn’t enjoy hard work, or relish suffering and confronting the unknown then no program, no amount of training can be effective. The physical part is easy – it’s just picking stuff up and putting it down – but if you can’t get it right in your head the physical training will not produce psychological changes that transfer to every aspect of one’s life. Without active mental participation sport may not be used as a tool of self-discovery. The muscle we are interested in training is inside the skull.”

-Mark Twight, Page 3, Gym Jones Fundamentals Seminar Handout

Last weeks ESD session

Warm up
6 mins @ 200-250/300-350/400-450 watts
4 mins rest
6 x 30 seconds work @ MAX EFFORT / 30 seconds off
4 mins rest
6 x 30 seconds work @ MAX EFFORT / 30 seconds off
Cool Down