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# of sets?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Cab00se, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Cab00se

    Cab00se Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    This article from exrx on low volume, high intensity weight training describes the basis of the Max-OT training routine. It suggests that low volume training (one warm-up set and one, maybe two, workout sets) is potentially more efficient than higher rep methods.

    Do those of you who adhere to the Max-OT philosophy believe that one or two workout sets is enough to sufficiently overload a muscle?
     
  2. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Provided your set is performed with enough intensity, not only is one set enough but you can get to a point where 2 sets is actually overtraining. I am speaking of a level of intensity that 99.9% of the population probably cannot achieve however.

    That's why I don't do HIT per se, I just cannot achieve that type of intensity. I stick to around 3-4, MAYBE 5 working sets total. Heck I only do 2 working sets for hamstrings (although I do squats on hamstring day too, since I do quads as well that day). 2 extremely heavy and intense s.l. deadlifts and I'm wiped.
     
  3. ethan

    ethan Well-Known Member

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    2 sets definitly works for me... I do a max of 2 sets per exercise, sometimes only 1 for the smaller muscles.
     
  4. BBN

    BBN Well-Known Member

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    It's tough for many, This is the same theory as the 20 rep squat. I used to laugh at it until I was told what it was about and quickly realized that I didn't have the balls to do it. It basically involves the regular weight you'd use for 10 reps, but making yourself go through the twenty reps. Either a barf bag or wheelchair is needed after this one set of 20 reps.
     
  5. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    The regular weight I can use for 10 reps is not a weight I could use for 20 reps. That's what training with high intensity is all about. Some people do do it with 20 reps (I guess), some with 10, some with 4.

    If I could go to the gym tomorrow and perform 20 reps with my normal set's weight, then I wasn't training with the type of intensity I thought I was all along.
     
  6. BBN

    BBN Well-Known Member

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    you're exactly right brotha. Most people only go halfway on squatting.
     
  7. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Good point, especially if we take it a step further. I think the squat is one exercise that is so badass that doing it with moderate intensity might even be as beneficial as doing (for instance) a leg press with almost 100% intensity. I don't know what it is. I didn't squat for like 3 years and did really high intensity leg presses and extensions. Then I put some moderate squatting in my routine, took out the extensions, and did some leg presses and stiff legged deadlifts and my legs grew like weeds!
     
  8. Juicefree

    Juicefree Well-Known Member

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    It really takes at least 3 sets to sufficently break down the muscles.
     
  9. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Why? Wouldn't it depend on weight and intensity?
     
  10. BBN

    BBN Well-Known Member

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    I personally like doing DEEP squats for 3 sets & 10-12 reps followed by 2 sets of leg presses, 2 sets of walking lunges and 2 sets of leg curls. I love walking lunges. Should I drop the leg presses if I want to do lunges or keepem' both? thanks
     
  11. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    That's not true. Provided I can find it in myself to put forth the level of intensity needed, I promise you I can sufficiently overload a muscle with one set.

    I'm not saying this level of intensity is common nor am I saying it is easy to achieve/find, but it is possible.
     
  12. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the falling out and even vomiting after one set of legend isn't possible for everyone. Let see what we can do with three sets for thights and hips use 70-80 % of 1rep max weight in exercises. say your 1 max rep is 130 lbs, use 90 to 105 lbs for leg extension.

    First do leg extensions. Straighten your leg, slowly and pause at top, now lower it 1/4 of way down, then move back to straight leg position and then lower to start. this is a 1 1/4 rep, do 8 to 12 reps or until you fail. Now go right away to leg curls.

    Use 70-80% of 1 rep max. bend knees , attempt to touch buttocks, pause, then lower 1/4 way, then back to buttocks. everything is slow and controlled for 8 to 12 reps. now next to squat or leg press machine.

    We are only going to do 4 reps with a 70-80% weight like before with one big exception, we will take 30 seconds for a rep. The machine gives you more safety. we want to make time go into real slow motion. Watch a clock or let a friend call off seconds, you should hit end of positive movement at 15 second mark and take 15 seconds to complete negative move.

    Report back if this was too easy for you. tell us what weights you used. When you finished were you breathing hard? Well you might do a one dumbell pullover, slow and controlled for 8 to12 reps, expand that chest before starting heavy BB row or cable row for lats.

    Notice that 1 1/4 rep, slow motion and pre-exhausion are all intensity efforts along with heavy weights. :gl:
     
  13. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

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    The fact that there is so much debate about this I believe very well illustrates the fact that there IS NO OPTIMAL set amount. People will say 3 sets is necessary but I've seen success with people only doing one (or 2 if you include warmups). People swear HIT is the way to train but I know people with phenomenal results doing more.

    Perhaps "optimal" depends on a variety of factors and there is no cut-and-dry cookie cutter solution.

    Jeremy
     
  14. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I can agree with that. I think the new trainees should have a number of options presented. Keep their minds open to the many ways to skin the cat. But settle on one and give it a shot.

    I am concerned that they can overtrain or injury themselves if they move to extremes. Also if they drop out and give up too soon due to ineffective measures.

    I am lazy, I want the biggest bang for every minute I spend at a labor. I sure don't like to spin wheels and get no where.
     
  15. NEdge

    NEdge Well-Known Member

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    I firmly believe that if you are training to be a better overall athelete, periodization is key. If you are training to increase your 1RM or a specific move, SAID is key. On the other hand there seem to be infinite ways to increase muscle size and it may be as mute as whether using a treadmill is better than a stationary bike for fat loss becuse of the intensity involved!

    Actually, I think for building muscle size diet may be more important that the precise exercises/reps/sets etc..
     
  16. Juicefree

    Juicefree Well-Known Member

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    ^good call
     

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