T Nation

contradicting best practices?

I am reading several articles trying to design a good workout. I am looking for the best possible benefit compared to the effort I put. I find so many contradicting practices, on such basic things as length of workout, interval between sets, amount of sets. Anybody can help me through these please?

According to the last ACSM annual meeting, high volume training (eight exercises * six sets * ten reps per workout) increases much more the insulin sensitivity on the next day, than a low volume workout.
(http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/272real.jsp titled under ‘EFFECTS OF RESISTANCE EXERCISE VOLUME ON INSULIN SENSITIVITY DURING ORAL GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST’).

Again, according to the last ACSM annual meeting, total weekly volume has a significant impact on strength gains.
(http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/272real.jsp titled under ‘THE EFFECT OF RESISTANCE TRAINING WITH DIFFERENT WORKOUT FREQUENCY ON STRENGTH AND LEAN TISSUE MASS’).

BUT, according to the same last ACSM annual meeting, ?three sets of an exercise are not superior to a single set for strength gains?.
(http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/272real.jsp titled under ‘EFFECTS OF SINGLE AND MULTIPLE SETS RESISTANCE TRAINING ON STRENGTH GAINS OF PREVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED ADULTS’).

This article suggests big intervals between sets:
‘Testosterone is released in higher quantities by using heavy weights (5 to 10 rep range) using rest periods of 3 to 5 minutes between sets.’
(http://www.criticalbench.com/samples/testosterone.pdf)

This article suggests smaller intervals between sets:
‘4 workouts a week (at just 30 to 45 minutes each)! You should be resting no more than 45 to 120 seconds between sets (depending on the size of the body part).’
(http://www.nutros.com/Nutros/home/news/newsArticle.jsp?typeid=2&nid=170
titled under ‘LAW #8: TRAIN BRUTALLY INTENSELY’).

Exactly the same thing appears on another article:
‘Most experts and scientists agree on one thing about weight training; they all seem to recommend brief, intense bouts of lifting weights as the most effective method for producing results, in both muscle gain and fat loss. Free weights or machines…it doesn’t really matter, as long you’re hitting the weights long enough to stimulate the muscles, which is usually about 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week.’
(http://www.nutros.com/Nutros/home/news/newsArticle.jsp?typeid=2&nid=62).

I am currently trying to achieve muscle hypertrophy. Later I want to focus on strength. And I still can?t figure if I need to go for high or low volume, long or short workouts, big or small intervals between sets.

Thanks
Bob Pit

Fact is that each person is different. Some receive great hypertrophy from heavy weight long rest, some little rest and less weight.

What cant be denied is that if you rotate various types of stimulus everyone will grow not only big, but strong. Bets of both worlds.

Also the stronger you get the better your hypertrophy specific training will go. Due to the fact you will be moving more weight for the higher rep sets.

So in short find what best works for you through experimenting with all of them, and mix it up periodically for the greatest gains.

Hope that helps.

Phill

this is why we periodize. all of these systems work, just not forever.