I'm a fat weakling who just started out. I keep hitting failure before I actually start to feel a burn, and I'm not making any progress. What should I do here? Less weight, more reps? More weight, less reps? Fewer sets?
>I keep hitting failure before I actually start to feel a burn,
no you're not. you're just pussying out. next time you hit failure, lower the weight for that set and then start over from the start using that reduced weight
"feeling a burn" is not the same as getting stronger, or making progress.
since you're new, you should read starting strength. the book will teach you some very important things. it explains why and what compounds are important. it has good guides on how to learn to do those lifts and how to fix common problems that surface while learning. it also explains how to program your lifts to get you stronger. there's a bunch of other good stuff in it but those are the most important.
good luck with your resolution, faggot.
You should follow your fucking program.
I see this weird Dunning-Krugger effect all the time on /fit/. People who are just barely starting out, who therefore, by definition, don't know what they're doing, immediately assume there's some flaw or gap they need to correct in a program scientifically constructed by experts in sports medicine and physiology.
I guess I should be understanding, since so many programs are in fact barely that, and are random garbage shat out by youtube or fitness magazine celebrities.
Now that my rant is over, the solution is to keep doing your program.*
The problem is that the initial period of strength training is neurological: it is your body learning to consistently achieve peak activation of an entire muscle. Therefore, early failures will often be, rather than a failure of the muscle fibers, a failure of the central nervous system to fully activate the muscle.
Actually, the solution might also be to switch to a less shitty program. Are you doing reps to failure instead of a set number of reps? That's a useful tool for intermediate and advanced lifters, it's an absolutely terrible idea for a rank beginner.
Less is not only correct English, it's the preferred way.
Eat. Lift heavy weight. 5x5 ( 5 reps, 5 sets ) 5 reps consists of a weight that you can barely do 6 reps with. ie. going close to failure each time.
Get it ? Eat, sleep, drink water, lift.
Take a picture of yourself in the mirror now.
Do what I said.
Take one a year from now.
Then post again.
Ps. use a calorie calculator and put it on mass gain mode, count or eye out your calories. Get a 500 approx. surplus. No shit food. Its all in the sticky
The 'burn' or 'feel' of an exercise is a bullshit method estimating its effectiveness.
If you are unable to add scale weight to your lifts after training twice with a certain weight then your doing something wrong, probably your routine, but otherwise just keep going.
Progress is always slower then you think, it takes months and years not days and weeks.