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  1. #1
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Default How many sets for maximum strength?

    It seems that training status influences the requisite doses as well as the potential magnitude of response. Specifically, for individuals seeking to experience muscular strength development beyond that of general health, an increase in resistance-training dosage must accompany increases in training experience

    Untrained Individuals:
    60% of 1RM, 3 times per week, 4 sets per muscle group.

    Recreational non-athletes:

    80% of 1RM, 2 days per week, 4 sets per muscle group.

    Athletes:
    85% of 1RM, 2 days per week, 8 sets per muscle group.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287373
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    It seems that training status influences the requisite doses as well as the potential magnitude of response. Specifically, for individuals seeking to experience muscular strength development beyond that of general health, an increase in resistance-training dosage must accompany increases in training experience

    Untrained Individuals:
    60% of 1RM, 3 times per week, 4 sets per muscle group.

    Recreational non-athletes:
    80% of 1RM, 2 days per week, 4 sets per muscle group.

    Athletes:
    85% of 1RM, 2 days per week, 8 sets per muscle group.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287373


    Near maximal lifting twice a week? heaven forbid....

  3. #3
    Psychosociety Graeme's Avatar
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    I'd never consider 85% near maximal. Sure it's hard but nothing like 95-97% .

    Considering of course that most of us probably work with at least 80% of our max in a workout at some point.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    I'd never consider 85% near maximal. Sure it's hard but nothing like 95-97% .

    Considering of course that most of us probably work with at least 80% of our max in a workout at some point.
    Training at 80% and above twice a week is more than most people suggest here, at least. So, yes, I still consider the article to be somewhat contradictory to this site.

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    SFHW = Win Aurik's Avatar
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    Default

    85% intensity is in the 5-6 rep range. Heavy, but not obscenely so. Now if you were talking in the 95% range, that's an entirely different animal. This isn't earth-shattering news, after all, EK's modified WSBB program has you doing two bench and two squat sessions each week, with a "heavy day" of 5 sets of 5 (coupled with a "speed day")

    Good information there, Doug!
    Go freakin' heavy or go freakin' home!
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    Default

    Good info, thanks Doug. I'd be interested to see their definitions of the three groups, as well as info regarding the program they used. I'd assume they were looking at one specific exercise (i.e. bench press/squat or maybe an OL like Snatch?).

    If they were only using one specific exercise, I wonder how that translates into a more complete program, i.e. balancing CNS + recovery considerations etc with multiple compound exercises.

    I can't see how to access the full publication :-(

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    M&S Power User hpglow's Avatar
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    Default

    I honestly don't know any of my maxes. I never check them, I just fear my jonts would give out under load. I will get as close as a 3 rep max never any further.
    Slow bulking to 190 lbs.
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    M&S Senior Member Skippysje's Avatar
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    Default

    3-5 reps or 6-8 reps for strength training?
    COMPOUND! COMPOUND! COMPOUND! ...isolation.

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    M&S Power User brian62275's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skippysje View Post
    3-5 reps or 6-8 reps for strength training?
    good question.

    I have always worked under the following formula:

    3-6 reps for heavy weight


    8-12 for strength


    12+ (usually 15-20 max) for conditioning


    then ya gotta factor the sets & groups rule....bench, incline and decline...along with close grip?

    db row, bb row and cable row?

    intensity(weight to rest)??

    I always factored about 2-5 mins rest for heavy weight, about 2 mins for strength, and 1 or less for the light work.
    I don't lift to compete or to get huge; I lift to be strong, fit and look effin' sexy!

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    M&S Senior Member Cytrainer913's Avatar
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    Default 8-12 reps

    wouldn't you put that more under the hypertrophy range?

    strength would be more along the lines of 3-5 max 6

    I would also say that for working sets and doing something heavier the sets are at about 5 sets the lower volume heavier days

    the volume would pick up quite a bit for my light days and medium workouts as well.
    Last edited by Cytrainer913; 10-31-2011 at 12:59 PM.
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  11. #11
    VENI VIDI VICI Gabro's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brian62275 View Post
    8-12 for strength

    sounds more like a hypertrophy range
    I do not count reps, I make every rep count !!

    175cm/75kg

  12. #12
    Dark Meat dday39's Avatar
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    Default

    you can probably get a good mix of both around 8 reps

    10-15 is probably more geared toward hypertrophy

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    Former M&S Editor Steve's Avatar
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    Default

    I built a ton of strength in the 5 to 12 rep range. Most bodybuilders do as well. Advanced powerlifters tend to focus on lower rep training, but for 99% of everyone else, they can get as strong as they want to be in the 5 to 12 rep range.

    Progression, progression, progression. In any range. No overthinking required, just effort.

    The 5 to 12 rep range with progression, combined with 3 to 5 years of training, will leave you both big and strong. There is little difference in approaches during these years.
    Last edited by Steve; 10-31-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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  14. #14
    M&S Power User brian62275's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrainer913 View Post
    wouldn't you put that more under the hypertrophy range?

    strength would be more along the lines of 3-5 max 6

    I would also say that for working sets and doing something heavier the sets are at about 5 sets the lower volume heavier days

    the volume would pick up quite a bit for my light days and medium workouts as well.
    Perhaps, then again, when some terms are used loosely, such as building, mass, strength, hypertrophy, etc...at some point it all gets lost in translation.
    I don't lift to compete or to get huge; I lift to be strong, fit and look effin' sexy!

  15. #15
    M&S Senior Member Cytrainer913's Avatar
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    Default sure

    and Again people can build muscle in different ranges but what has been seen to help with muscle size aka hypertrophy it's generally in the 6-12 range and yes some strength built there but to really get the strength up, the area has been seen to be 1-5 ish range and with this helping you to build your strength up then to add more muscle and work the fibers in a range that starts to work the sarcoplasmic fibers and a fuller muscle it's usually above 8 reps(what like the BB lift like-worry less about weight but looks) and if you want to build up the muscle fibers in terms of the actin myosin bridges then hit the heavier sets(1-5 range the stuff PL will use more more worried about the weight being lifted than looks) and you get the best of both worlds.
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    i do 4rep for max

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    I would agree with the numbers in general, it really depends on your overall goals

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    This is a difficult math. For low reps to have strength and some of the muscles,more (sets)volume or frequency(2-3*)can make up some endurance level to more size . It depends on the capability of recovery and so it's hard to tell without being precise. It only react to the body an tells u how u feel. With high weight high volume or frequency is very easy to get overtrained. Just like failure sets or giant sets. Take everything you need to heal fast so you can train it again, for me sometimes I do overtrained and add 2-3 more rest day and the problem solved and I also had my muscle growed.overtraining is not an end of world but you have to sense when you might be overtraining and take some day off for muscles to grow。Most of ppl they don't take days off after a training session. For example running a program like p90x ,normally after 90days of hardworking,you have to let urself go andrest for 5-7days to recover or fresh the whole body like cns,mind,joints or muscle and so.
    Last edited by Qoohhlt; 12-25-2012 at 10:58 AM.

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    I've been powerlifting for a little over a year and feel that the 2-3 rep range is whats worked for me. As far as 85% I feel that on certain days that your doing 4-6 reps yes but more like 90-95% for 2-3 reps. I've been able to get a 415 pause bench, 525 squat in the hole and a 600 deadlift.

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    In my opinion. 8-12 reps are perfect to gain strength. Moreover, you need to include more proteins in your strength. It will give you stamina to increase your workouts with time.

  21. #21
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    Default

    I am pretty new to the world of strength training, but that does not prevent me from reading and learning as much as possible. As to the question of how many "sets" for strength training, from my limited experience, I would say that it varies from 1-5 depending on programming and what stage one is in i.e. novice, intermediate, advanced etc.

    Most of the top novice programs recommend three sets of five reps during novice and even into advanced novice programming. Some intermediate programs introduce varying sets, such as five on volume day with 90% of 5RM, then 2-3 sets on light day, then a single set of 5 for a 5RM. It seems many programs also recommend keeping assistance work to around 3 sets.

    So that is my take on it.....1-5 sets depending on programming and intensity levels. My limited knowledge is primarily in the novice and intermediate phases of training. I know very little about more advanced programming. But I think what I state above holds true for the first couple of years of strength training.

    Although the question was how many sets, most people responded with their opinions of how many reps. The answer as far as I know, according to most if not all research and evidence, as well as just how the human body works, points to 1-5 reps for strength training. Will more reps build strength also? Of course. Just like doing 2 reps will produce hypertrophy, but not as effectively as 8-12 reps. But 8 or more reps does not produce strength gains as effectively as 1-5 reps.
    Last edited by Got2squat; 11-13-2014 at 07:51 AM.
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    i totally agree with this article, having used programs such as jamie Lewis' destroy the opposition which calls for 6-10 sets of 2-4 reps on heavy days (3 days a week) the higher rep range provided great gains for a young athlete such as myself.

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    I don't know ?

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    Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health. Being active increases the amount of calories burned. As people age their metabolism slows, so maintaining energy balance requires moving more and eating less.
    Golfers Elbow NJ

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    To build strength for that you need to repeat your workout in two sets. This will help you to build strength in you.

 

 

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