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EGYM Methods: Adaptive Training Pushes Muscles Beyond Their Limit

Adaptive Training: EGYM Training Method

The basic concept behind this form of training is to push the muscles beyond their actual performance limit, to the point of something known as “muscle failure”. The goal here is to achieve the highest possible muscle fatigue and the highest workout effect.

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What Is Adaptive Training?

This workout principle was previously only known in the world of professional strength athletes and bodybuilding. It involves workout partners helping each other out during the last reps of an exercise. The best and most famous example is when a workout partner spots a bench press by helping to hold onto the bar. The spotter’s objective here is to assist the lifter by taking some of the weight off the bar. This allows for maximal performance at all times.

EGYM has now transformed this principle into a training method: adaptive training. With this method, the machine optimally adapts the workout weight to the remaining muscle potential during each exercise movement so that the muscle is fully fatigued by the end of the exercise. The equipment behaves much like a workout partner and “helps out” when strength begins to dwindle. It decreases the weight only so much that it is just possible for you to complete the reps again.



Depending on the specific parameters for adaptive training (e.g. 8 reps in 50 seconds vs. 20 reps in 80 seconds), this principle can be ideally used for a variety of different goals, such as muscle building, body toning, or increasing strength, because the weight is automatically adjusted by the machine.


The Benefits of Adaptive Training

Adaptive saves time
Adaptive training provides the same workout effect in just one set as compared with three sets done in a regular method. The required time for working out can be greatly reduced while still achieving the same desired result. A study conducted by Hass et al. (2000) compared high-intensity 1-set workout (adaptive) with classic 3-set workout over a period of 13 weeks. They observed that both groups increased their strength by the same amount despite doing different numbers of sets (1 set vs. 3 sets).

Adaptive is more effective than working out with regular and negative methods
According to Drinkwater et al. (2005), strength training that pushes muscles beyond the point of failure (adaptive) has higher strength growth rates than conventional strength training which has been used up until now because it only trains muscles to the point of failure.

Greater neuromuscular and hormonal response than other training methods
In a study carried out by Ahtiainen et al. (2003), two workouts were compared with each other by looking at the different intensities in terms of hormonal and neuromuscular reactions as well as the effects on short-term recovery. The test subjects were required to max out their reps in the first workout and then days later in the second workout to train beyond failure. The results showed that the test subjects who worked out at a higher intensity also had a higher hormonal and neuromuscular response. By forcing the test subjects to go beyond the limits of muscle failure – a pillar of the adaptive method – led to an increased release of growth hormones, which are responsible for building new muscle mass. The increased intensities, however, also resulted in increased muscle fatigue. As such, a longer regeneration time in between individual workouts (at least 2–3 days) should be planned in order to prevent excessive strain.



Adaptive training is an ideal option for those with little time but who still want to train effectively. The main thing here, however, is to repeatedly push your strength to the limit. After all, where there’s no pain, there’s no gain!

Do You Know Other Training Methods of EGYM?

Literature & Sources

Ahtiainen, J. P., Pakarinen, A., Kraemer, W. J., & Häkkinen, K. (2003). Acute hormonal and neuromuscular responses and recovery to forced vs. maximum repetitions multiple resistance exercises. International journal of sports medicine, 24(06), 410-418.

Drinkwater, E. J., Lawton, T. W., Lindsell, R. P., Pyne, D. B., Hunt, P. H., & McKenna, M. J. (2005). Training leading to repetition failure enhances bench press strength gains in elite junior athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 19(2), 382-388.

Hass, C. J., Garzarella, L., De Hoyos, D. & Pollock, M. (2000). Single versus multiple sets in long-term recreational weightlifters. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32 (1), 235–242.