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Sets and Repetitions – The Old Debate

This old debate about how many sets and repetitions are necessary for optimal muscle growth and health started in the world of fitness and bodybuilding with its advent.Some argue vigorously traditional recommendation of three sets of eight to twelve repetitions each while others think that only a repetition, or at most two until the muscular failure are more than sufficient for attaining the desired results.This time I present a classical model, which can be varied according to your preferences and needs.

How do muscles grow?

 When the muscle fiber is subjected to stresses such as those made ​​by running the different types of exercise in a gym, it suffers tears at the microscopic level.The body naturally seeks to repair the damage, which is essential for protein consumption.Moreover, the metabolism is prepared to support the effort that has undergone more effectively, and that is the reason why muscle growth occurs and the fiber is reset in greater numbers, leading to increased volume.The aesthetic effect of a muscular and toned body is undeniable, for which proper diet, rest and regular exercise are essential.

The Best Way to Achieve Muscle Growth

 Instead of performing the exercises disorderly, it is preferable to stick to a workout routine which will make various types of activities to pay attention to all areas of the body and thus you achieve harmonious development.We divide the work in sets and reps to concentrate on a given muscle activity and thereby extract the most of each session.For example, in your session on the back, if you decide to perform an exercise called barbell, divide the work in sets of a certain number of repetitions.

It is accepted without argument that a high number of reps with low weight is suitable to define muscles and worked way, and that a moderate number of repetitions, eight to twelve, is intended to cause hypertrophy.A very low number of repetitions, less than six, is prone to creating strength, which can be used later in the development of volume.

The Traditional Plan

Now checkout the traditional plan by high performance handbook. There is a set, at least, should be devoted to warming up with high reps and low weight and then comes the hard work with two sets of ten repetitions each plus another set of eight repetitions in which the weight is slightly increased to push hard muscle’s micro-tearing.The plan is then determinedas follows;


  • Warm up set for 1 x 12-15 reps with 40%-50% of the maximum weight of a repeat
  • 2 sets x 10 reps with 70% of the maximum weight of a repeat
  • 1 set x 8 reps with 80% of the maximum weight of a repeat, possibly in the last repetition of muscle failure


Why three set and not four?Nothing indicates that a number cannot add more if you want and have enough energy for it.It happens that the exercises should be dosed correctly; if we put all our energy in the first and second exercise session to reach the third or fourth, our performance will not be as good and effective as expected, let alone if we plan to run abs and twenty or forty minutes of aerobics after weight training.As it is usual to combine a large muscle group with a smaller, the number of exercises per session is between six and eight, so it is useless to spend all our momentum in the first two sets.Just as nothing forces us to follow the more traditional way, sometimes it is the shortest path to success.


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