I wrote a post on muscle failure. Physical therapists will often strap a 2 pound weight on your ankle and say do 30 kick thingies. I’m guilty of this. For an injured muscle or muscles that have never been exercised ever, this will build some strength. However, if you really want to build strength in a muscle, you have to take it to failure. You have to work the muscle so hard that it stops working, for a few seconds. I remember in PT school a professor who has a GCS – this is a certification that means she is a specialist working with geriatric patients – was working with a 90-year old man and she was actually taking his muscles to failure and she told us the patient said “my muscles feel alive again.” Now, right after a stroke you don’t wanna do this, you need to be really gentle at first. But when you’re chronic like me, the muscles need to fail – a lot. Read this.