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What does strength training feel like?

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I have never really done hard core strength training before so I am not sure what it should feel like?

How should failure feel like? Is it where the muscle is hurting soo much that I cannot do another rep or is it just when the muscle won’t contract to do the rep but otherwise not painful.

How much should I have left in the tank after the first set and how much after the last?

How should I feel the day after? Should I be feeling sore (DOMS) or should I feel a bit tired but otherwise ok?

Thanks for any input as i'm not sure I am pushing hard enouph.

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. - The Mentats

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What kind of program are you on? If you're on a linear progression, like Starting Strength, Grayskull, StrongLifts, or what have you, the weights should be pretty easy for the first couple weeks. Don't worry though; it'll get plenty hard as you add weight!

Failure is when you are physically unable to do another rep. It's not that it hurts too badly (though it probably hurts pretty badly), it's that you contract as hard as you can and make no progress, or negative progress. For example, if you're trying to get that last chinup in, and you're pulling up with all your might, but you only get like 30% of the way up and then start coming back down, that's failure.

Regarding "reps in the tank," that depends on your programming. Steve recommends that you leave one or maybe two reps in the tank. Going to failure all the time won't help you build strength more quickly. I like the linear progression programs because there isn't any question on this kind of stuff; you have a weight and you have a set/rep scheme, and either you make that or you don't (hint: you almost always do). Just make sure you maintain note-perfect form whatever you're doing. Preventing injury is more important than getting a set of 5, because if you hurt yourself how will you get the next set of 5, or the next workout? Safety.

You should be pretty sore at first (funny walks are common), but after awhile the DOMS should go away. I was squatting heavy 3x a week for a couple months with no soreness. If you're doing the big lifts right, your CNS will also be taxed, leading to that "kind of tired" feeling. This is a good thing! Growth Hormone FTW!

Good luck!

More weight. -- Giles Corey

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Okay Gathris.

This is an extremely complicated subject,

However, I shall try to answer you i simple terms,

#1 Strength training feels like you are pushing yourself to become stronger. It is hard to describe it in stronger terms without entering more exacting terminology.

#2 Failure feels like nothing more than committing to a rep and not being able to complete it. Imagine wanting nothing else but to complete something but falling short. There are several different forms:

* Being unable to complete a set due to exhaustion

* Being unable to complete a rep due to a high weight

BOTH have their own purpose. They are both useful tools in accomplishing goals. Use them both but exhibit proper care

Left in the tank: This is an interesting topic.

Personally: I believe that you should always leave something left in the tank. I believe that the number one factor in progress is consistency. You must continuously improve yourself if you want to improve, Does this make sense?

You always want to be improving.

Feeling the day after:

Okay this is subject to great debate,

DOMS is a very personal feeling. I don't really feel it much anymore (except when I'm feeling ill etc). As such, I don't really worry about it. From my experience. DOMS tends to decrease with time.

DOMS is primarily due to unfamiliarity with a specific muscle group.

This is personal experience. If evidence exists otherwise please link me to source material.

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