Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward


On Monday our programmed workout looked like this...

4 sets x 6 reps – HIGH BAR (65-75% RPE)

2 sets x 6 reps – LOW BAR (65-75% RPE) *PRACTICE FAILING REPS ON LAST SET*

We instructed our girls to fail the last rep of their last set. Yep, as in with a loaded bar. The heaviest weight they’d lifted that session. Why? So they know how it feels. And why should we know how failure feels? Well I'll let my friends explain it for you..

“If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximising your potential” - Ray Dalio

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I've met people who don't want to try for fear of failing.” - J.K. Rowling

In so many areas in life our idea of failure can be worse than the actual failure itself. We can’t contemplate who we’d be on the other side of failure. What would that mean for our identity? We’d be labelled a ‘failure’.

It’s rare that you can practice your failure, that you can replicate it, and practice it within safe measures. But we can do this with strength training. When we lift weights we know what not succeeding looks like, it’s measurable, it’s hitting depth and finishing at the top of a squat or it’s lifting a heavy load off the floor with a lock out at the top.

And so we get our girls to fail. In a safe environment where they’re supported and encouraged to do so. Then once they know how it feels to fail, they know they’re going to be alright on the other side.

If you’re pushing your limits failing will happen at some point but with time and practice, this won’t frighten you as much. Do yourself a favour, at the end of your next squat session fail the rep. If that’s not possible at your current gym, you know where to find us.


Melanie Corlett