Hormones are your body's chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including. Hormones are powerful. It takes only a tiny amount to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body. That is why too much or too little of a certain hormone can be serious

In a unique recent study, Izquierdo et al. (2006) examined hormonal responses in an 11-week resistance training to failure (one group) vs. non-failure (second group) followed by an identical (both groups) 5-week peaking period of maximal strength and power protocol. Subjects were 42 physically active males randomly assigned to the two groups. The results showed that 11 weeks of training to failure and not-to-failure resulted in similar gains in 1RM strength, muscle power output of the arm and leg extensor muscles, and maximal number of repetitions in the squat. However, after the identical 5-week peaking period of maximal strength and power training, the non-failure group showed greater increases in strength, power, resting testosterone levels, and reduced coritsol levels when compared to the failure group. The failure group did have a greater increase in muscular endurance in bench press repetitions and a decrease in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a muscle building hormone.

Taking each set to failure may not be as an important factor as once felt when trying to increase muscular strength, power, and hormonal response for clients. By taking each set to failure, a trainer may actually make clients more susceptible to overtraining and decreased hormonal and muscle power adaptations.

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