volume or one set?

Hi, although I have “fooled” with weights all my life (48 now) I want to get serious about natural bodybuilding but I am confused. Do I do multiple sets (how many?) and each set to utter and complete failure? Or, as others say, do one set to utter failure because any more is a waste and then don’t hit that muscle again until all the soreness is gone? I am eager to get started but there is a lot of conflicting info out there. Can anyone please set the record straight for me?

My best advice is to start with a well designed program like Ian King’s Limping and Super Strength series. You could even add in his recent 12 week ab series.

Let an expert like Ian get you started and then you can start to fool around with your own workouts later. Read the FAQ for links to those programs.

1 set to failure (after warm-up) per bodypart 2-3x’s per week will get you as big (or bigger) then any other way of training!!! people talk mad shit bu7t they are ALWAYS lill’ guyes that think they are right, THEY ARE NOT!!! split your body in half, legs, back and bi’s then chest. delts and tri’s. work out 3x’s per week and alternate, mon=chest,tris,delts then wed=legs.back and bi’s then fri=chest,delts and tri’s. then mon = legs, back and bi’s then etc…

Despite what anyone else may try to tell you, no one really has the answers to your questions. Stop worry and start lifting. I can tell you that in general most people do multiple sets. Some train to failure, some don’t. Some believe in not working out again until soreness is gone, some work through it. It’s all individual, what works for some will not work for others. Again, just pick a program, eat well and lift.

One set per muscle group is not enough to make decent bodybuilding gains. I personally lift one or two muscle groups per day, performing 12-16 sets per muscle group, most of them are to failure. For each exersize perform at least 3 sets completing 4-5 exersizes for each body part.
This is just a quick version of my split, working a body part usually takes about an hour. Anything less than this split has yeilded little results. I would suggest that you do some reading about bodybuilding before you go down to the gym.

Going to failure is generally a bad idea. You don’t gain much by doing it (you are increasing the recovery time by going to failure, it increases the stress on the central nervous system). The most people do multiple sets per exercise. Read the FAQ. You can do 3x12, 5x5, 10x10, 1x15 - people have different goals / genetics and thus they train differently. Most people periodize their training, one month they’ll do 5x5 and the next month they’ll go for fewer sets and higher reps.

Choose a program from this site (read the FAQ or use the search engine) , stick with a for a month or two and see if it works for you.

Pavel Tsatsouline 1999 Grease the Groove for Strength www.dragondoor.com/ article_index.html
This principle states that repetition = increased synapses and recruitment. Pretty relevant to BB considering it is an anaerobic sport. This might justify the volume approach. Power training can also be used to encourage preferential fast twitch recruitment. The body would rather function aerobically as this is easier and more efficient energy wise so is must be trained to recruit fast twitch fibres in a sport/training environment(Stanton 2002).

The one set approach may not be for you as you may not be able to effectively exhaust your body thus at your training age or level. Not everyone appears to respond the same(heard this before no doubt)

Anyway you may already have done this but go to the search engine (not the forum one, the one on the home page) and type in whatever comes to mind in relation to your topic. I found this and more using “Volume”: High Intensity Versus High Volume Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION

Hate to rain on your parade here, but the reason that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there is - wait, here it comes - people are of different opinions on the subject!

Do you really think that someone will answer this thread and give you the be-all end-all answer? C’mon. Go to the FAQ and start reading. Yes, it will take you some time. No, there are no “right” answers. But you’ll learn something, and by applying it in the gym and seeing what the results are you’ll gain awareness and control over your body.

Good luck.

You haven’t started yet because there’s conflicting information? Oh come on! Then you’ll never get started!

“Overanalyzing and over-planning a future diet or workout plan can often be an excuse for not starting it. Sometimes you just have to toss the book out the window and pick up the damned weights.” (quote from Chris Shugart)

Along with the FAQ, check this out: Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION

Also read everything by Ian King. There is no “best” way.

everyone has their one opinion and every persons body is different. certain techniques cause better results for certain people. Just starting to get serious, make sure your diet and sleep are in line too but as far as work-outs go I started doing 3 set for each exersize/w 12,8,6 reps increasing the weight as you go until failure on the last set. There are so many variations to shock your muscles I could sit here all day. An excellent book to get is the “Arnold Schwarzenegger encyclopedia” very informative
I’ve been working out steroid free and put on 40lbs since getting serious 2 years ago getting big is all in the mind. Good luck and happy lifting jesse

i remmeber reading and artical here , some european power lifter said ,“i dont train to failure , i train to succeed”!

can anyone name 1 person who has built a superior physique using the one set or hit method?