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Old 03-18-2007, 09:39 PM   #1
skullsmaher
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Are multiple sets per exercise (Or bodypart) really necesary ?

I was reading a littel about volume training and comparing the philosophy of it to that of mike mentzer and just got curious I guess.


Now I know to make progress fro any individual, the best way to go about progressing is to keep track of what you are doing and make adjustments when required etc etc but, is there any "scientific" explanation that defines why multiple sets for each exercise or bodypart, is required to stimulate growth ? Could one set to failure actually be enough to stimulate growth? Is it best to do the minimum amount of work required to grow? How do you realy know what that is and if it is the most optimal way besides just keeping track over a period of months/years ?

Anyone wanna comment ?
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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well, the theory according to mentzer, and i think dogg agrees to some degree with it, is that you should do enough to stimulate a growth response, and thats it. anything else after that is just detrimental and going to give you diminishing returns eg. cutting into glycogen stores, CNS, muscle. the most "optimal" way is that which works for you, which gets you to grow. for a lot of people, one set to failure can be extremely tough because of progression, just the idea of having one shot to do it makes it hard. multiple sets work, theres just rarely any need to go high-volume superset, drop set, slow negative, partial, alternate grip crap that most magazines will tell you to employ in order to get that growth. yes, tracking progress is a great way to gauge progress. if its working and you're growing, then great. thing is that a lot of times you could be doing something that can get you there a lot faster, not plugging DC necessarily, but a basic powerlifting/building/strength gaining-based program.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:59 PM   #3
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Do you think there is any kind of basic layout that can be applied succefully to most people ?
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:00 PM   #4
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I mean, how do you really know when enough is enough when you are lifting ?
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skullsmaher View Post
I mean, how do you really know when enough is enough when you are lifting ?
that's the fun part - trial and error, and finding what works best FOR YOU.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:11 PM   #6
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It is frustrating for me. I love to lift but figuring out what is best and basically everything else besides the actual lifting is difficult and when it isn't rewarding, it is very frustrating.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:15 PM   #7
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Like you said, it's necessary to keep records of everything you do. That way you can look back a few weeks prior and see that "Hey, I got three more reps with that weight than last time," or maybe "I managed 220 pounds last time, but only got 205 tonight," and like you said, figure out what you need to do next.

As far as multiple sets, I would propose that they allow you to get in sufficient volume for growth without going to failure at all, which is less taxing on your system. Sort of the same thing, they allow you to perform a lot more work with heavier weights than you ordinarily would be able to. If you're working with ~85% of 1RM or so, you may only be able to perform about 5 reps. If you only do one set, that's it, but if you instead performed something like 8 sets of 3, you'd get much more work done.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #8
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well to a lot of people, a beginner will do well on a basic powerlifting program. the goal is to get stronger, add either weight or reps every time. www.ironaddicts.com has a lot of beginner/hardgainer type routines that a lot of beginner would do well on.
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:20 AM   #9
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:05 AM   #10
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I think the multiple set training theories are based on research that shows most excercises can only stimulate a limited number of muscle fibres, and theoretically if your only doing bench press for chest you may only be using 80% of your chest fibres, and only achieveing 80% of possible growth.

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