What is volitional fatigue?
This is basically when you reach a point where you cannot continue in whatever physical routine you were engaging in, without switching your movement up to avoid using less strength or ‘muscle’. E.g When I’m doing bicep curls and it REALLY starts to burn, I begin to lean backwards so that it adds to the momentum on the upswing of my curl OR since I’ve been a food runner; When lifting heavy trays with 50 plus pounds of food for hours at a time becomes tedious, I change my posture when carrying the tray (bad) because my back can no longer hold me upright stably enough to not drop all the food. Get it?
Another fundamental of resistance exercise is to lift each set to volitional fatigue. Volitional fatigue is the point in the set where you can’t lift one more rep without cheating it up (using momentum, leaning way back, etc.). Although there isn’t a large body of research to prove that lifting every set to volitional fatigue is necessary for maximal benefit, most strength and fitness professionals agree that working to exhaustion changes muscle fibers in a way that leads to significant growth.