• A Single Set Not As Good As Multiple Sets

      by Anthony Roberts

      The majority of coaches and trainers, outside of the most hardcore HIT sycophants, agree that multiple sets of a given exercise will produce significantly greater results than doing a single set. Then again, most of the extreme-HIT crowd also believes that Mike Mentzer was an accomplished philosopher. I’m not disregarding the idea of intense training (*of course), but I think that there’s more than enough data to establish that maximal results aren’t achievable by a single set.

      Unless we’re talking about a single set of breasts.

      Res Sports Med. 2010 Jul;18(3):157-75.
      Outcome effects of single-set versus multiple-set training–an advanced replication study.
      Fröhlich M, Emrich E, Schmidtbleicher D.

      Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Saarland, Institute of Sports Sciences, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. m.froehlich@mx.uni-saarland.de

      The starting point of this review is the assumption that single-set training (SST) can be regarded as an equal alternative to multiple-set strength training. On the basis of 72 primary studies, the meta-analysis dealt with the problem of single-set vs. multiple-set training (MST). The effectiveness of these training methods was examined depending on various interventions. Apart from qualitative decision aspects, the effectiveness was checked on the basis of effect size. Generally speaking, it can be stated that MST, depending on factors like age, training experience, duration of the study, etc., offers several advantages over single-set regimes (F = 3.71; df = 1; p = 0.06; eta(2) = 0.02), especially when combined with periodization strategies, and it can be applied very successfully for increasing maximal strength in long-time effects. Therefore, the outcome effects of both methods are the same in short-time interventions. For longer-time interventions (F = 15.74; df = 1; p < 0.05; eta(2) = 0.12) and for advanced subjects with the goal of optimizing their strength gain, however, multiple-set strategies are superior (F = 7.32; df = 1; p < 0.05; eta(2) = 0.06).
      source: http://www.anthonyroberts.info/2011/...o-single-sets/
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