There was an interesting topic on MDA yesterday regarding a test which suggested that 1 x set of reps was just as effective as 3 x sets of reps for building muscle. This interests me as a 1 x set workout routine is similar to the Victorian body builder Eugene Sandow who claims he built his impressive physique using a light weight/1 x set routine.
I use some weights but mostly bodyweight stuff. At present I start my routine with 3 sets of pull-ups. I aim for 3 x 10 reps. I normally achieve 10 on the first set, then 8 on the second followed by 6 or 7 on third.
Would I be better off doing one set to exhaustion and leaving it there?
Does anyone out there have similar experience of achieving results using this method?
Yes!! I followed the protocol and put on maybe 2kg of muscles ... but most of all, I gained a lot of strength and look quite better than I used to!
What you need is stimulus to grow and then rest to do the growing. If you can obtain that stimulus from a single set, then you will be fine. If you can't, you may need more sets or more weight.
Female, 5'3", 50, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
I can squat 192.5lbs, press 75lbs and deadlift 210lbs
If someone was experienced and could give one set everything they possibly could to the point that even if someone put a gun to their head any more movement of the resistance would be impossible.....then I'd say for sure go with one set.
As most people are actually unable to push to such limits I recommend at least two. Being one of the biggest proponents of HIT training on the forums I often find myself second guessing this advice, however with my own workouts unless I'm 100% sure that there was not a drop left in the tank then I'm going to do an extra set.
It is funny you raise this though as I've been doing two main sets for my legs and the soreness has been nearly unbearable. I'm struggling to walk up steps two and even three days later. After maybe 5-6 days the soreness is just subsiding so I am actually thinking of hitting my legs with just the one all out set.
Well I think I'll give it a go!
I am quite interested in giving FrenchFry's advice a go. Although I know nothing about Calisthenics and I'm not keen on working out every day. It also requires working out in the morning. That ain't gonna happen as I have a job to hold down!
If that helps, I also tend to work out fasted. I feel rather sluggish in my efforts when I am in the middle of digesting a meal.
So yeah, give it a go and report back! The morning push-ups don't take long (10mn rest all in all + push-up time) so there is hardly any excuse not to do it
I'm inspired guys. Gonna sort my routine out to allow time in the mornings. I am a classic skinny/fat guy and struggle to build significant muscle, so i hope it works!
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