Originally Posted by Soldier
But avoiding failure is also important. Steve has talked on this a lot. I believe he said he's only failed like 2 lifts in however many years. But avoiding failure isn't about avoiding form breakdown or being scared of heavy weight. It's more about being able to successfully asses how you're feeling and what you're capable of (VERY important for a competing lifter), as well as instilling confidence. If you get used to feeling that you can complete the lift then you're actually training your mind to believe in yourself, if that makes sense.
That's an interesting thing. Maybe I need to explain a little where I'm coming from. Often times I can't really feel my strength and to me doing 5x5 or even 3x8 feels like I'm always about to fail on the last rep of every set. But even when I don't think I can make it, I go for the last rep, and 99% of the time I can get it. If I wasn't so persistent to get to those rep goals, I wouldn't have progressed nearly as fast, even if it leads to failure on occasion. I believe that things will change to the direction you're talking about when I gain more experience and get a better grasp of my capabilities and how my body feels.
I think for the novice lifter failure will happen more often because of this reason, and if it never does, I don't think they are pushing their capabilities as much as they could.