Another aritle on the 1 set vs multi set training

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Marijuanair, May 2, 2007.

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  1. Marijuanair

    Marijuanair Remember to have your pet spayed or neutered! OT Supporter

    Sep 6, 2004
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    Recently mens health posted a study on how training just one set really hard is just as good as doing 3 sets, thus cutting your workout time down dramatically. This is another article on it, it talks about the 1 set training vs 3 set, 3 set came out the winner for the other universities that did the study. This is all for strength, not hyperthropy.

    -Strength Training ��� Are Three Sets Strictly Necessary?

    It���s as regular and straightforward as tying your shoes: when you go to the
    gym you complete three sets of each of your chosen strengthening exercises ���
    not just one or two, and not as many as four. Three is the magic number ��� the
    quantity of sets which will optimise your strength gains over time. Whether you
    are bench-pressing, leg-pressing, biceps-curling, hitting lat pull-downs or
    performing any other kind of resistance exercise, three sets must be performed
    before you can consider your routine complete.

    But do you really need all three of those sets to optimise your strength? It���s
    possible that the first set provides most of the physiological stimulus for your
    muscles to get stronger, with the second and third sets offering little more
    than upgraded calorie-burning. Indeed, recent research indicates that you might
    be able to get by just as well with one set as with three.

    In research carried out at the University of Florida, 42 adult weightlifters
    with a mean of six years of weight-training experience were divided into two
    groups, one performing one set of a nine-exercise resistance-training circuit
    three times a week for 13 weeks, and the second performing three sets of the
    same circuit at the same frequency for the same period of time. For each of the
    exercises, including leg extensions, leg curls, chest presses, overhead presses
    and biceps curls, 8-12 repetitions were performed to muscular failure; (that is,
    the resistance for each drill was set so that subjects could complete at least
    eight reps but not more than 12, and the intensity could thus be called 8-12 rep

    After 13 weeks, both groups had significantly improved muscular endurance while
    doing chest presses and leg extensions (muscular endurance being defined as the
    number of repetitions to failure, using 75% of the pre-training 1-rep max for
    each exercise). Both groups also significantly improved 1-rep max strength for
    the five key exercises and significantly enhanced lean body mass.

    The key finding, however, was that the one-set lifters improved all three
    characteristics just as much as those who put in three times as much work!
    Citing findings such as these, one-set supporters like to tell multi-set
    trainers that they would be better off limiting themselves to just one set of
    any single exercise, then moving on to another one designed to produce a
    different type of sport-specific strength, rather than yoking themselves to
    unproductive repetitions of a limited number of movement patterns.

    However, it should be noted that not all research is so supportive of one-set
    strength training. In a recent study by one of the most respected figures in
    strength-training research, Dietmar Schmidtbleicher of Johann Wolfgang Goethe
    University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, three sets proved superior to one. In
    this investigation, 27 experienced female strength-trainers were randomly
    assigned to a single-set group, a three-set group, or a non-training control
    group. Both of the training groups took part in a whole-body strengthening
    programme, working out twice a week for six weeks with such exercises as
    bilateral leg extensions, bilateral leg curls, abdominal crunches, seated hip
    adductions/abductions, seated bench presses and lateral pull-downs. The
    single-set group performed one set of 6-9 repetitions to failure of each
    exercise per workout, while the three-set group completed three sets per workout
    at the same intensity; the rest interval between sets was two minutes.

    Studies support three-set training

    Before and after the six-week training programme, all subjects were tested for
    their one-repetition maximum strength on the bilateral leg extension and seated
    bench press machines. As it turned out, maximal strength gains were greater in
    the three-set group than in the one-set athletes and controls. For example,
    maximal strength in the bench press increased by 10% in the three-set group but
    did not increase significantly in either the one-set lifters or the controls.
    And, although both training groups made significant strength improvements in leg
    extension, the advances tended to be larger in the three-set athletes (15% v
    6%). One of the nice features of this study was that it focused on female
    strength-trainers, whereas previous work in this area was almost exclusively
    centred on males.

    In a more recent investigation from Arizona State University, three-set training
    also emerged a clear winner. In this study, 16 experienced strength-trainers
    were equally divided into one-set and three-set groups, both of which trained
    three times a week for 12 weeks. One-repetition maximums were recorded for all
    athletes for both the bench press and leg press before the study began, midway
    through the investigation and after 12 weeks of training.

    The subjects focused on the bench press and leg press during their training,
    using an undulating-periodisation pattern (see lead article, p1) and intensities
    of 4-rep and 8-rep max. After 12 weeks, the three-set trainers had upgraded
    their leg-press 1-rep max strength by 56%, from 226 to 344kg, while the one-set
    athletes had improved by just 26%, from 269 to 337kg ��� a
    statistically-significant difference. For the bench press, three-set athletes
    upped 1-rep max strength by 16% over the second half of the 12-week period,
    while the one-set group managed only a 3% improvement ��� also a statistically
    significant difference.

    What are we to believe? Bear in mind that the one-set v three-set controversy
    cuts to the heart of the basic question about which aspect of exercise actually
    stimulates muscles to adapt in ways which boost their strength. One theory is
    that training at high intensity (ie with high muscle tension) is the key trigger
    for improving maximum strength. This being the case, the number of sets
    completed would be of relatively minor importance, since exposure of muscles to
    high tension could easily be accomplished with one set.

    However, many exercise physiologists believe that maximisation of strength also
    hinges on the creation of some sort of fatigue stimulus within muscles. In
    support of this principle, research has shown that long, fatiguing isometric
    contractions produce greater gains in maximum strength than shorter,
    less-fatiguing isometric contractions, even when the time duration of muscle
    activity is equivalent. For example, one study found that four highly fatiguing
    30-second contractions induced greater maximum strength than 40 three-second
    contractions of the same muscle group, even though the amount of time in
    contraction was exactly the same in both cases.

    Fatigue helps build maximum strength

    An ingenious recent study also supported the induction-of-fatigue mechanism for
    creating maximal strength. To hasten fatigue in the muscles undergoing strength
    training, scientists actually applied tourniquets to the subjects��� limbs, so
    producing ischemia (reduced blood flow) in the working muscles. Four weeks of
    training with tourniquets (and thus reduced blood flow to the active muscles)
    did not compromise the gains in strength achieved by the muscles; in fact, the
    muscles with tourniquet-restricted blood supplies (and thus, in theory, the
    greatest amount of fatigue) actually made greater strength gains than those with
    normal blood flow!
    These latter studies support the notion that three-set strength training is
    superior to one-set work, since fatigue levels would be higher in the former.
    Indeed, although research findings are inconsistent, the scientific scales seem
    to be tipping in the three-set direction. Thus it would seem reasonable to
    persist with ��� or shift to ��� three-set training. Three sets can provide
    muscles with sufficient intensity and fatigue to induce the greatest possible
    enhancements in maximal strength.
  2. cavefish

    cavefish You ain't a crook son, you just a shook one

    Oct 21, 2002
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    Tuscaloosa, AL
    HIT is for faggots.
  3. Uglybob69

    Uglybob69 I miss beer.

    Sep 17, 2006
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    Cincinnati, OH
    It seems wild how little we acutally know for a fact about how our body puts on muscle.
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