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Started By falnu (LA, CA, U.S.A.)

Started on: 11/14/2004 8:38:02 AM, viewed 3782 times
One set vs Multiple sets

The Single Set vs. Multiple Set Debate

Since it′s becoming clear that, under most conditions, a single set is insufficient to promote maximal gains in muscle strength and size, this debate is in its final days. So how about hammering a few final nails into the coffin of the single set mentality?

Single- vs. Multiple-Set Strength Training in Women (Schlumberger et al).

In this study, 27 experienced women (experienced in weight lifting, that is) were recruited to participate in a 6-week training program that consisted of 2 days of strength exercise per week. Each training day consisted of 6 total exercises. Group 1 performed a single set per exercise for the 6 exercises, group 2 performed 3 sets per exercise for 6 exercises, and group 3 performed no exercise. Reps were kept in the 6-9 range for the exercise groups.

In these subjects, the 1 set group, as expected, gained more strength than the control (no exercise) group. However, statistical analysis revealed greater improvements in muscle strength in the 3 set group vs. the 1 set group. If this is shocking to you, you′ve either not spent much time in the gym or you′ve been brainwashed by the late Mike Mentzer.

Three Sets of Weight Training Superior to 1 Set With Equal Intensity for Eliciting Strength (Rhea et al).

In this study, 16 men were recruited to participate in a 12-week training program that consisted of 3 days of strength training per week. While training intensity was designed to be equal in both groups, one group performed 1 set per exercise while the other group performed 3 sets per exercise. Reps were kept in the 4-8 range.

In these subjects, the 3-set group out-performed the 1-set group in bench press and leg press strength, again demonstrating that multiple sets are often superior to single sets for muscle strength.

While these studies show that multiple sets performed for a given exercise are superior to single sets, the other associated exercise parameters must be recognized before the results are extrapolated to other training situations. In both studies, the subjects weren′t elite lifters or athletes. In addition, the total work per muscle group was low in both conditions, as was the total amount of work for the week. Therefore, the results may be most applicable for the average personal training client. When dealing with experienced trainees and elite athletes, we′ve got an entirely different animal.

source: http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/qa/afc/afc_mar282003.htm

This Topic has 51 Replies: Displaying out of 51 Replies:

afrdmd (Bala Cynwyd, PA, U.S.A.) on 11/14/2004 10:04:31 AM

So what′s the deal with experienced trainees and elite atheltes? I didn′t see their experimental results.


Ferrari (Gatineau, QC, Canada) on 11/14/2004 10:17:20 AM

Lucky for all of us that the website that this was posted on isn′t biased.

Also we know for a fact that the people who did the study weren′t biased. I for one would like to know who commissioned the study and to the see the actual study.

Just one small point here. If the purpose wasn′t to make 1 set look bad then why didn′t the researchers also have a 2 and a 4 set group?

dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 11/14/2004 11:51:56 AM

Yeah, it′s a bogus study.


Analyzer (CDA, id, U.S.A.) on 11/14/2004 12:29:29 PM

I′ve read many of those studies also, the main problem is, they can do all the studies in the world to prove something good or bad, BUT, when you have real life examples of huge success with BOTH methods, it makes all those studies moot.

Check intensemuscle.com, for Doggcraps training, those guys are getting HUGE, I would venture to say they are growing MUCH faster than any volume trainee I′ve observed who posts their logs.


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