Benefits of Multiple Sets vs. One?

^ for hypertrophy, not exactly for strength. The “You’re Overtraining” article by Jason Ferrugia just got me wondering.

I don’t understand because I would think allowing yourself the most time to recover would make it easier to progress and therefore, grow but then again some people said this protocol provided almost immediate strength gains but not so much for hypertrophy

Well for me it’s been proven time and time again that low volume can and will work for size gains. The people that gain 15-30 lbs of 20 rep squats are a prime example of this. “Well that’s because you need to drink a gallon of milk and a whole chicken with 20 rep squats” Ya think? To me food is what dictates size gains and training stimulus is what dictates that those nutrients go to reparing and rebuilding the muscles.

The people that do those programs are FORCED to train all out because even if you are conservative with your estimate for squats eventually those increases(key) are going to catch up to you and you’ll either give it all for that one set or fail. Kind of shows what sort of trainer you are.

If you bench press 225x10 today, and a year later doing, after warmups, 1 set to absolute failure(in good form) and you are at 365x10 and ate the food necessary to grow, is ANYONE going to sit here and say you won’t have a much bigger chest? What’s best for strength for reps to me is what’s best for size gains when it comes down to it.

How many sets did Branch do in this video?

I think it is optimal to train with multiple sets. Increased volume can help really stimulate the muscles and optimize hypertrophy. I think that most people can’t bring up enough intensity, or train with enough weight, in order to provide their muscles with enough stimuli from only one set. You have to be experienced, really know your body and have a great mind-muscle connection to just give it your complete all on one set. IMO…

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Well for me it’s been proven time and time again that low volume can and will work for size gains. The people that gain 15-30 lbs of 20 rep squats are a prime example of this. “Well that’s because you need to drink a gallon of milk and a whole chicken with 20 rep squats” Ya think? To me food is what dictates size gains and training stimulus is what dictates that those nutrients go to reparining and rebuilding the muscles.

The people that do those programs are FORCED to train all out because even if you are conservative with your estimate for squats eventually those increases(key) are going to catch up to you and you’ll either give it all for that one set or fail. Kind of shows what sort of trainer you are.

If you bench press 225x10 today, and a year later doing, after warmups, 1 set to absolute failure(in good form) and you are at 365x10 and ate the food necessary to grow, is ANYONE going to sit here and say you won’t have a much bigger chest? What’s best for strength for reps to me is what’s best for size gains when it comes down to it.

How many sets did Branch do in this video?

[/quote]

Good post Scott, and I agree with you.

That said, I don’t really think that anyone can say that “x” amount of sets is going to be what works best for everyone. Some guys respond really well to high volume, some guys respond better to low volume.

Also, as That One Guy alluded to, it also depends on your level. As a beginner I wouldn’t suggest that people do low volume training, as they just don’t have the mental fortitude to be able to push themselves hard enough to get the benefits of that type of training. For them, having multiple sets in which to push their body beyond it’s previous limitations seems to work much better.

Finally, CT brought up an interesting point in the “Physique Clinic” thread for Bizarre that ectomorphs tend to respond better to low volume training. I’ve actually never heard that distinction made before, but it does seem to make sense from an empirical standpoint. So, depending on what “type” of phenotype you are, different training methods might work better for you.

time under tension is overrated. That being said for one set. Total time under tension for a muscle group for a training session is underrated. Quality of reps must be taken into consideration too.
10 reps, for example. The force generated, on the 10th rep of a set is going to be a lot less than the 2nd rep of the 5th set with small rests.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Well for me it’s been proven time and time again that low volume can and will work for size gains. The people that gain 15-30 lbs of 20 rep squats are a prime example of this. “Well that’s because you need to drink a gallon of milk and a whole chicken with 20 rep squats” Ya think? To me food is what dictates size gains and training stimulus is what dictates that those nutrients go to reparining and rebuilding the muscles.

The people that do those programs are FORCED to train all out because even if you are conservative with your estimate for squats eventually those increases(key) are going to catch up to you and you’ll either give it all for that one set or fail. Kind of shows what sort of trainer you are.

If you bench press 225x10 today, and a year later doing, after warmups, 1 set to absolute failure(in good form) and you are at 365x10 and ate the food necessary to grow, is ANYONE going to sit here and say you won’t have a much bigger chest? What’s best for strength for reps to me is what’s best for size gains when it comes down to it.

How many sets did Branch do in this video?

[/quote]

You already know I agree with you scott but to add some more to what you said about food I’ll throw in a quote from Doggcrapp:
"I find 9.5 out of 10 times that someone stops gaining its his diet that is the problem. Eight out of 10 times that same lifter wrongly thinks he is overtraining or his workouts are off. The other 2 out of 10 times that person thinks his supplements or ‘juice’ is the problem. I keep trying to brainwash people SUPPLY AND DEMAND, SUPPLY AND DEMAND–if you can make a demand (hard enough training) you can meet the supply (abundance of protein grams). I love when people come to me with this problem of not making gains anymore and they go thru this intricate workout, supplement, and sauce fix and all i say is “double the serving size on all your protein drinks and make sure the post workout drink is 100grams at least.” Boom! they take off gaining again. I know you don’t know me from adam but trust me on this one. Food (protein) is your anabolic. Anyone in this forum who is at a true stalemate, I ask you to try 500 grams a day of protien for 6 months and then come back in here and tell me what you look like. Training is the engine, food (protein) is the gasoline and juice is the Nitrous oxide system. Mondo i would say hit 2 grams per lb of bodyweight that you want to be=500grams. That could be about 200-250 in protein drink grams and you can easily eat the rest "

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Well for me it’s been proven time and time again that low volume can and will work for size gains. The people that gain 15-30 lbs of 20 rep squats are a prime example of this. “Well that’s because you need to drink a gallon of milk and a whole chicken with 20 rep squats” Ya think? To me food is what dictates size gains and training stimulus is what dictates that those nutrients go to reparining and rebuilding the muscles.
[/quote]

exactly. find what works for you and do it. Expirement with lots of types of training and find what is best for you.

What do you guys mean with MULTIPLE sets ? You mean a lot of sets ? like 5,6…7 sets? instead of the usual 3 sets ?

Multiple as in more than 1. And most people are referring to after warmups, 1 “work set”.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
time under tension is overrated. That being said for one set. Total time under tension for a muscle group for a training session is underrated. Quality of reps must be taken into consideration too.
10 reps, for example. The force generated, on the 10th rep of a set is going to be a lot less than the 2nd rep of the 5th set with small rests. [/quote]

dubya…good example! Very well put.

Two things I really hate: TUT and the ‘reps and sets should be inversely related’ rule. I do one set of 5-8 reps on all my exercises and I grow just fine.

When you see bodybuilding workouts they seem to have really low total sets. Is that because those are “work sets” and the warmup sets lead up to the heaviest weight?

I never did well with high volume… seems that i have to eat ginourmous amounts to just gain 1 pound.
And in recent times after the working set, if i try to repeat the same set again, even with some good 3 or more minutes of rest, the quality, weight and reps drop off.

And CT has mentioned the Ectos and low volume in the easy hard gainer articles too.

For the one set pro’s alot of their warmups are what most people would workout with. It just makes them seem more legendary to say they built in on one set.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
For the one set pro’s alot of their warmups are what most people would workout with. It just makes them seem more legendary to say they built in on one set.[/quote]

Well here’s the thing, some count warmups some don’t. Did you see that video I posted of Branch Warren? I would HIGHLY doubt that he tells anyone he does 1 set of incline presses, he probably says 4-5. His body has seen 135-315 1000s of times at this point, that’s not exactly a challenge for him or a reason for his body to grow and adapt.

Yes I would echo what ScottM is saying here.

In fact even Arnold, as a poster boy for extremely high volume (20-30 sets per muscle group), was a big proponent of pyramiding as I understand it.