When to Do Simple or Multiple Sets?
Becoming strong and with a developed musculature is not a complicated thing at first… You lift something heavy, you work your muscles, you eat, you rest and you start again “Train, Eat, Sleep – Repeat” . If you do it with enough intensity and consistency, you should be muscular and powerful. But if it’s so simple, why do most specialists in this sport insist that bodybuilding is a very technical science? Like most things in this area, there is no true truth or wrong way to build muscle, but there is definitely an optimal way, especially with regard to the number of sets and repetitions that You must do. So, what is the right combination of sets and repetitions to build muscle? 3 × 10? 6 × 6? 10 × 10? This article will shed light on what you should do to maximize muscle growth and strength.
The origin of sets of 3 times 10 repetitions
The three sets of 10 repetitions originated from a rehabilitation protocol created by an army doctor in the 1940s. Dr. Thomas L. Delorme, a passionate weightlifter, found this protocol for wounded soldiers in a hospital during the Second World War. The Delorme program consisted of three sets of 10 repetitions with increasing weight, which he called Progressive Resistance Exercise, and he did wonders. Previously, soldiers rehabilitated with light weights without ever overloading their muscles, and spent six to nine months in therapy. Focusing on strength rather than endurance, Delorme was able to restore soldiers in record time. Thus was born the concept of progressive overload, which is now the heart and soul of almost all bodybuilding programs.
Simple or multiple sets?
Well, story time is over. Despite Delorme’s success with these three sets, many people feel that you only need one set to gain muscle mass and strength. They emphasize the fact that, in the Delorme method, the first two sets were only warming up and that only the third was a maximum effort. The researchers tried to prove the method works better, but without much success. Some studies show that several sets can increase up to 40% more muscle mass than a single sets, while others show that there is virtually no difference. Actually, it’s a stupid argument, because both methods work, but each of us is better suited for different situations.
When to do simple sets?
Simple sets work very well particularly with new practitioners. But for the simple sets, be effective, you must train the muscle to fail. And once your progress begins to slow down, you must make a change.
The key ingredient for simple sets is intensity, not in the direction of grunting and screaming, but to the point where the muscle can not move the load. This ensures complete recruitment of both slow and fast muscle fibers and stimulates hypertrophy.
Simple sets work best for small muscle groups and simple exercises. To gain mass and strength, the biceps, forearms and calves do not need as much training volume (total number of sets and repetitions) as the pecs, back and thighs. And it is much safer to make a sets to fail with a pair of dumbbells for the biceps than to make a sets of 20 deadlifts to fail. Simple sets are also perfect if you run out of time. It is quite possible to solicit each group of muscles with a single set in less than 15 minutes to continue to build muscle and increase your strength. But beware a simple sets to failure can hurt you badly, which can reduce your athletic performance and increase the risk of injury for up to 72 hours. If you are an athlete who plays other sports, this is not ideal.
When to do multiple sets?
Multiple sets work best for intermediate and advanced practitioners who need to keep progressing. They are also better for practitioners of other sports because you do not have to train to fail, allowing you to recover before your next workout, workout or match. If you want to learn how to perform complicated exercises like overhead squat or deadlift, several sets will work better. If you are an athlete, you know that exercises like squats are closely related to your athletic performance. In fact, the more muscular and strong, the more the multiple sets will be useful. Beginners can perform a simple sets to fail and increase the weight with each workout. But once the weight does not increase with each workout, you need to increase the number of sets to keep progressing.