Single sets or multiple Sets for Building Muscle?

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    Single sets or multiple Sets for Building Muscle?


    Is single sets or multiple sets better for muscle. Most of the studies looking at this topic have been on strength. Recently, there has been 2 papers which has shed some light on this issue. Read more here:

    Is Single Set or Multiple Sets Better To Build Muscle?

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    Calories is the most important thing, so you could have ten people with ten different training methods compete with total LBM gain and the person with the best diet will usually win.

    I prefer multiple sets. As long as the volume in total ranges anywhere from about 15-45 the person should usually have enough intensity and volume to build LBM; that's assuming the persons diet is in contact.

    15-45 total volume is the goal then,

    3X5= 15
    5X5= 25
    3X10 = 30
    4X10= 40
    4X6= 24
    etc.

    Any of those rep ranges are good for mass.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    It seems like more and more research is pointing towards low load, high volume for muscle growth.

    I guess the HIt people do one set for one exercise but do 3-4 exercise for a muscle group.So they are in fact doing a multi set protocol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anoopbal View Post
    It seems like more and more research is pointing towards low load, high volume for muscle growth.

    I guess the HIt people do one set for one exercise but do 3-4 exercise for a muscle group.So they are in fact doing a multi set protocol.
    They also often due at least a couple of warm-up sets working their way up to the top set, so they get a little volume that way as well. As far as applying scientific studies to real world training, it's never a perfect parallel because rarely can you match all the conditions that must be controlled for (age, training experience, drug use, sleep, nutrition, other stressors, etc...) for direct application. Thus you end up having to take some scientific evidence, some anecdotal evidence from others, and your own past training experiences into account when programming your own training. It ends up being part art and part science. As far as the subject of volume of training, most experienced lifters agree with the notion that at least a moderate amount of volume is needed to optimize hypertrophy.
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    Beyond calories, progressive overload is also key. Growth is just an adaptation to a stimulus. And once the load no longer exceeds threshold, there will be no stimulus to trigger adaptation. This is why load, volume, rest all need to be progressively improved upon to continue results.

    Another variable in the equation is the endocrine response. We know that lighter loads with shorter rest periods trigger a greater GH pulse, while heavier loads with longer rest periods result in a greater test release due to training. These changes, however, appear to only last about 6 weeks into any program.

    Finally, how are we defining volume? Sets per workouts, sets per week, sets x reps, weight moved x distance, etc?

    Br
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    Below is an interesting abstract regarding volume and frequency based upon strength training fitness/experience levels:

    Applications of the dose-response for muscular strength development: a review of meta-analytic efficacy and reliability for designing training prescription.Peterson MD, Rhea MR, Alvar BA.
    Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, USA.
    There has been a proliferation in recent scholarly discussion regarding the scientific validity of single vs. multiple sets of resistance training (dose) to optimize muscular strength development (response). Recent meta-analytical research indicates that there exist distinct muscular adaptations, and dose-response relationships, that correspond to certain populations. It seems that training status influences the requisite doses as well as the potential magnitude of response. Specifically, for individuals seeking to experience muscular strength development beyond that of general health, an increase in resistance-training dosage must accompany increases in training experience. The purpose of this document is to analyze and apply the findings of 2 meta-analytical investigations that identified dose-response relationships for 3 populations: previously untrained, recreationally trained, and athlete; and thereby reveal distinct, quantified, dose-response trends for each population segment. Two meta-analytical investigations, consisting of 177 studies and 1,803 effect sizes (ES) were examined to extract the dose-response continuums for intensity, frequency, volume of training, and the resultant strength increases, specific to each population. ES data demonstrate unique dose-response relationships per population. For untrained individuals, maximal strength gains are elicited at a mean training intensity of 60% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM), 3 days per week, and with a mean training volume of 4 sets per muscle group. Recreationally trained nonathletes exhibit maximal strength gains with a mean training intensity of 80% of 1RM, 2 days per week, and a mean volume of 4 sets. For athlete populations, maximal strength gains are elicited at a mean training intensity of 85% of 1RM, 2 days per week, and with a mean training volume of 8 sets per muscle group. These meta-analyses demonstrate that the effort-to-benefit ratio is different for untrained, recreationally trained, and athlete populations; thus, emphasizing the necessity of appropriate exercise prescription to optimize training effect. Exercise professionals may apply these dose-response trends to prescribe appropriate, goal-oriented training programs.

    PMID: 16287373 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    From my research, experience working with clients, and personal results, I suggest that each muscle group (or better yet, movement) be trained no less than once every 5 days.

    Br
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    I've been making great results with reps between 6 and 9

    only 3 sets

    rest between each set 45 seconds or less (shoot for 20 seconds)
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    Thus you end up having to take some scientific evidence, some anecdotal evidence from others, and your own past training experiences into account when programming your own training.
    That's exactly the definition of evidence based approach.

    You take the best available scientific evidence and combine it with the practitioner's intuition and expertise.

    Almost all folks think that evidence based means you ignore the person's expertise and experience. As long the experience and expertise doesn't become the main source of info, you are good.

    Only thing that is doubtful is that you cannot keep going to failure in all sets and still recover in the long run. That's the problem with the acute studies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcjames View Post
    I've been making great results with reps between 6 and 9

    only 3 sets

    rest between each set 45 seconds or less (shoot for 20 seconds)

    Thats how I do it, but with longer rest periods ( a minute or so).



    I am also just realizing the beauty of slow negatives...I read about it for years but never really tried it out till recently.
    True story:

    I give a f**K!!
  

  
 

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