So training volume was 50% higher for the quads than for the triceps and biceps. The human body is very resilient and handles high levels of stress well in the short-term. Leg press is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to So, what’s going on? One feature of this study is that all the subjects supposedly trained to failure. To get a free copy of the workout emailed to you, please click or tap here. I’ve been trying to gain muscle mass and I’ve been doing 5 sets of 10 reps per exercise. That’s because non-training stressors have the potential to slow the rate at which you recover from and adapt to your workouts. Muscle Evo is a proven training program for people who want to focus on gaining muscle while minimizing fat gain. In much the same way, higher training volumes may help slow responders see a more “normal” muscle-building response to lifting weights. In fact, you could probably tolerate three sessions of 8 sets. Seated row Here’s something else that’s very important. While building muscle doesn’t require taking each set to failure, you do need to train hard and push yourself. A study lasting eight weeks doesn’t tell you what’s going to happen after 16 or 32 weeks. Set one: Warm up – 1 set of 20 repetitions; 50% of maximum load; Set two: Warm up – 1 set of 12 repetitions; 60 % of maximum load; Set three: Warm up – 1 x 8 repetitions; 70% of maximum load; Set four: Work set – 1 x 6 repetitions; 80% of maximum load, Set four – 1 x 6 repetitions: work set – max workload. The cadence of repetitions was carried out in a controlled fashion, with a concentric action of approximately 1 second and an eccentric action of approximately 2 seconds.”. Each workout can consist of a total of around 15-25 sets, but the number of sets for a specific muscle group in that workout should be at around 10 or below. And it was this gap in the research that the authors of this new study set out to fill. Leg extension. If you want to get strong in the big lifts like the bench press, squat and so on, this isn’t the program for you. How Many Sets Are Needed To Build Muscle? Choosing a workout schedule and sticking to it is key for making gains. When your muscles adapt and grow from sets and reps of resistance weight training, they aren’t responding to numbers, they’re responding to tension. 4 sets x 6 reps = 24 reps High to moderate intensity. Around 85% of your training should be within this moderate intensity loading zone. A high volume of training performed against the background of a low-stress lifestyle will produce very different results to that same volume of training paired with a high-stress lifestyle. In one study, subjects with lower stress scores saw greater gains in the bench press and squat after 12 weeks of training compared to subjects with higher stress scores [7]. Also, because you’re targeting endurance improvements, you want to decrease the amount of rest between sets: 30 seconds to a minute. It combines the latest muscle-building science with old-school training principles to get you lean and strong. Doing 15 sets for your legs, taking every set to failure, then doing the same thing again a couple of days later is brutal. Try this method for a month, performing three full-body sessions a week: Do five repetitions per set in your first workout, 10 reps per set in your second workout, and 15 per set … Here’s how the researchers sum up their findings: “These results suggest that (a) a moderate progression of 20% in the number of sets is more beneficial than a vigorous one, and (b) sharp increases in weekly volume may not always result in greater increases in muscle mass due to a likely training volume ceiling effect, beyond which increases in volume are not followed by hypertrophic gains.”. This is something that’s shown up in animal studies. They may respond better to a more "abbreviated" style of training, where often 1 exercise per small muscle and 2 exercises per large muscle are used with sets per exercise never above 2, and often 1. But, in the long run, chances are you’re going to end up getting injured. Personally, I’m not convinced they were training to failure. However, persistent exposure to such stressors ultimately overtaxes the body’s ability to respond, leading to an overtrained state.”. Recommendations Rep Range for Mass The bottom line is that most of your training should be done within 8 – 10 reps as this has been found to be the best rep range for size. Starting at lower volumes and then gradually ramping it up over time will let you see if the increase in sets makes enough of a difference to justify the time and effort involved in doing so. Warm up: 1 x 30 repetitions – Rest 40 seconds and perform the following super sets. Squat You’re not going to see the same results in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond. Set one: Warm up – 1 set of 20 repetitions; 135 pounds; Set two: Warm up – 1 set of 12 repetitions; 185 pounds; Set three: Warm up – 1 x 8 repetitions; 225 pounds; Set four: Work set – 1 x 6 repetitions; 250 pounds; On week two, you will want to keep everything the same except the last set. First, these are the results from just one study. In most cases, 10 to 15 sets per week spread among 2 to 3 workouts will help to build mass. In fact, none of the participants were classified as “non responders” after the higher volume of exercise. Instead of training it once a week with 18 sets (which is way too much for one workout), do three workouts of 6 sets. Bonus Question Research can guide your decisions, but it only tells you the average response in a group of people. 3 x 20 repetitions – Rest 30 seconds in between each set. Most, however, will be better off with a training volume that’s slightly below what is “optimal” for muscle growth, but one that leaves you feeling fresh, motivated, and free from pain. In his view, a couple of hours a week would have done the job just as well. The other 15% can be made up of … And the way to do it is by starting out with a lower training volume and gradually work your way up. How Many Sets of Deadlifts for Mass. A good recovery plan takes both kinds of stress into account. Barbell Curls super set with Close Grip Bench Press. If you want to lose your gut, without having to follow a set of confusing diet rules, cut out entire food groups, or eat foods that you don’t like or have never heard of, the Gutless nutrition manual will show you how it’s done. Research in rats, for example, shows that muscle protein synthesis plateaus after around 10 sets (see figure below), with no further increase after 20 sets [9]. That’s because there’s an upper limit on the amount of stimulation your muscles can respond to in any given workout. To quote the researchers directly: “Sets consisted of 8 to 12 repetitions carried out to the point of momentary concentric failure, that is, the inability to perform another concentric repetition while maintaining proper form. If you're wondering, "how many sets to build muscle?' You can also switch up your exercises. Ideally, you want to find a training volume where your repetition strength is increasing, you don’t feel tired and worn out all the time, and the program is one you can stick to. For 1-2 muscle groups at a time, it’s doable. Subjects in all three groups did 8-12 reps per set, with all the sets carried out to (or at least close to) muscular failure. Shoulder press The best rep range for building mass is 6-12 reps. It’s been proven to have a slight advantage in studies, and it allows you to pack in a higher number of quality reps over the course of each week. Ten or more sets per muscle group per week worked better than 5-9 sets. However, the number of studies to look at the impact of more than 10 weekly sets were few and far between. The benefit of any increase in training volume has to be weighed against the potential negative effect it can have on connective tissue. I’m glad i ran into your article. And the closer you get to this ceiling, the smaller the return on your investment of time and effort becomes. That’s why it’s important to experiment. 1 Set … Most ideal for strength goals, but also suited for building muscle. What’s more, the subjects taking part in the study were young men. Nor can anyone else. In fact, the group who saw the biggest average gains in muscle thickness were the ones who did six sets of squats, twice a week. If you have great genetics, age on your side, you’re benefiting from some pharmaceutical assistance, or you’ve spent many years training your body to handle high training volumes, you can get away with it. Just because a training program involves a large number of sets doesn’t mean that all of those sets are effective at stimulating growth. That’s not too bad, especially considering that the men had moved beyond the beginner stages of training, and their workouts lasted less than 15 minutes. But not for your whole body. Across all the muscles studied – biceps, triceps, and two of the muscles that make up your quadriceps (vastus lateralis and rectus femoris) – the high volume group saw the biggest gains in muscle thickness, followed by the medium and then the low volume group.


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