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I′m sure you′re aware of all the One-Set-Per-Workout discussion that′s been going on at this forum lately. I′m also aware that many of you have now adopted such a routine and are consequently experiencing its rewards! I′ve recently come across some things pertaining to one-set-only workouts I found to be inspirational/motivational, and I′d like to share those with you…
First, Paul Brodeur. He is a 6′4", 318 pound trainer with 10% bodyfat. But, that′s not what′s important. What′s important is the way he trains himself and ALL his clients. ONE set to failure, ONCE a week or more. It is not rare and hasn′t been rare in the past for his clients to simultaneously lose 40 lbs. of fat and gain 30+ lbs. of muscle. He mentions one of his clients, Brad Saunders, who gained 100 lbs. in only 2 years! Yes, with one-set, once a week the entire time. Read this interview:
The above article was forwarded to me by HD_Latino′s trainer, Steve Sellars, who himself trains his clients using one-set-only workouts consisting of one set to static failure. He has had incredible success and in a few cases he has trained clients as infrequently as one set every 9+ weeks. If THAT doesn′t tell you a workout is just a stimulus, well, you′ve got a lot more to worry about than your workout!
I mentioned before that I believe if Mike had more time he would have tested the one-set routine on more people, because the only client he′s mentioned using it has arguably made more known mass gains than anyone′s even heard of. Further, this individual was supposedly a "recovery midget." His name is Sean Robertson, and he went from a bodyweight of 120 lbs. to 252 lbs. in 4 years! Mike knew that was significant if anything ever was. It is fair to say he would have tested the one-set routine on more people. Read through this topic for more on Mike′s client:
Doug Mcguff was a very close friend of Mike′s, and is brilliant in his own right. He has an interesting paragraph pertaining to Mike and this topic in his book "Ultimate Exercise Bulletin 1:"
"Mike Mentzer told me recently that a colleague of his, Dave Staplin, has reached levels of size and strength he previously thought impossible by performing one set of exercise every 20th day! Science (and some anecdotal reports) seems to be suggesting that we have been holding ourselves back. Science seems to be telling us that we need to provide a definite, but brief, stimulus, and then we need to get out of the way and let our body do its thing."
If you′re still hesitant as to whether or not Mike would have researched the One-Set-only routine more, RE-READ THE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS ABOVE!
Perhaps we shouldn′t be so stubborn about training so often. You CAN continue to grow, it′s just that as you get stronger you WILL have to decrease frequency, yes, maybe even further than you expected. You will, however, continue to cause your body to construct NEW fibers AND further construct its existing fibers! I should mention what Doug goes on to say about his plans:
"Ultimately, we weill go to a one-set routine where we rotate between leg press, pulldown, and chest press. However, if more data is collected in support of the very brief, very infrequent routines, we will move directly to that sort of routine.
"One thing I can say for certain to other facility owners: if you are training your clients more frequently than once a week, you are overtraining your clients."
(You can buy Doug′s book from http://www.mikementzer.com)
If you aren′t familiar with John Little′s most recent study, published last month in Ironman, please read through this topic, "A Must Read Article" by HD27:
In this study, John Little ran a 10-week experiment through which subjects ate decreasing amounts of calories AND simulataneously decreased their weekly workouts from 6 sets to only 2 sets. Surprisingly, even with the lowest caloric intake, all subjects were able to simultaneously make the greatest mass gains and lose the most fat while eating the lowest calories and doing the least Volume in their workouts! Why? DECREASED VOLUME LEAVES A GREATER PORTION OF THE BODIES LIMITED AMOUNT OF RECOVERY AND GROWTH RESERVES AVAILABLE FOR GROWTH, instead of using them all up on recovery only. It should also be noted that this study found even 4 sets to positive failure only per week was too much volume for most subjects to even make progress. It is apparent the less volume the use to stimulate growth, the more muscle they gain. He mentions in the article that he will now conduct a one-set study, so we really have something to look forward to…
For an illustration on why a one-set routine is the most growth-yielding, see the topic "Those LIMITED Reserves" here:
We have stressed this point extensively, as has Mike. It was the collaboration of Mike′s knowledge and the findings of Hans Selye ("Stress of Life") that established those facts.
As long as you′re stimulating growth by truly training to failure in only one set, you can continue to grow by regulating frequency as you progress. AS you progress, react by reducing frequency to compensate for the increased intensity. I mentioned one of Mike′s clients earlier, Dave Staplin, who himself saw the rewards of a one-set (per 20+ days) routine. He does an excellent job demonstrating the importance of this point in this article:
Hopefully these pieces of information can feed your curiosity and/or interest…and, of course, your muscular development!