1 set working/workout set

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XCLIFFX
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1 set working/workout set

Post by XCLIFFX » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:01 am

According to this site's information about low volume training and its effectiveness, I have a question:

I am on a 2 day split (push/pull), following ABXABXX for the days.

I have been following the directions and routine, but even for muscles like abs and calves, is a warmup set and 1 workout set really enough?

So essentially, every week, I am only doing a total of 2 working sets for abs and 2 working sets for calves (as well as all other muscle groups).

I'd say I'm an intermediate lifter; def not a novice or expert.

Given that the intensity or weight is correct, is this (1 working set) really enough for ALL muscles groups?

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by nygmen » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:29 am

Are you getting the results you are looking for?

If so, yes it is enough. If not, you need more work sets.

What are you looking to accomplish, because the amount of volume you "need" will vary depending.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by XCLIFFX » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:08 pm

let me rephrase: the article i'm referring to points to a few studies. i was wondering if the study included testing for a single muscle group or were all different muscle groups included.

"Many scientific studies demonstrate one set is almost effective as multiple sets, if not just as effective in strength and muscle hypertrophy (Starkey, Pollock, et. al. 1996)."
Does this statement include all muscle groups? From quads all the way down to abs?

The reason I ask is because I think that a smaller group like a calf muscle or abdominal muscle may need a bit more volume, although I may be wrong.

I know it may be different for everyone, but assuming everyone is the same, and that 2 working sets per week is effective for say the quads, does the same hold true for smaller muscle groups?

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by stuward » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:27 pm

Almost everyone needs more volume after a while, however for beginners, anything works. If you're short of time, do at least 1 set.
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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by XCLIFFX » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:54 pm

Stu, that's what I would like to think too, but doesn't this below state otherwise?

"These studies have been criticized for using untrained subjects. Hass et. al. (2000) compared the effects of one set verses three sets in experienced recreational weightlifters. Both groups significantly improved muscular fitness and body composition during the 13 week study. Interestingly, no significant differences were found between groups for any of the test variables, including muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition."

It appears as though the author is stating that studies show that, beginner or experienced (although experienced is vague), one set is really enough.

I'm not trying to argue with the author or anyone else; just trying to make sure I understand the info on this site.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:57 pm

Intuitively, I think you wold want to work the larger muscles more sets, if anything.
Are you having trouble conceiving that you can stress the calfs enough to only need 2sets/wk, whereas it's easy to imagine stressing the Chest enough to get something out of the lower volume?
I can get that too.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:01 am

We don't have any special insight into the articles on the site. We're just forum members like you. We can give you our own opinions and experiences.

I'm sure that almost all of the members who post regularly use multiple sets.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by Ironman » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:01 am

Intermediate lifters need more. The thing you are talking about is for people who are just starting. So it kind of depends on goals as far as what exactly you should be doing.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by jlmoss » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:36 am

Can you link the article that you are talking about so I can see the whole thing instead of tidbits at a time? Hehe

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by XCLIFFX » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:10 am

sure, the link is:
http://exrx.net/WeightTraining/LowVolumeTraining.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by bam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:33 am

I looked into that a couple years ago. I really liked the concept of just doing one set -- it sounds so efficient. The conclusion I came to -- as the article says -- is that it's aimed primarily at the very advanced. I think in order to get the intensiity to the appropriate level you'd have to make it one really heavy set... I think. The risk of injury would be pretty high. I've tried different schemes and have found that 5x8-10 works best for me. I build muscle, have muscle separation and increased vascularity when I complete sets of compounds in that range.
But I would love to hear from someone who has used the one set approach successfully. It would be nice to know if it's just a theory or not.






edit 1: changed "volume" to "intensity"... just in case!

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by bam » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:56 am

Here's an idea.....
Let's say you take the 5/3/1 program and modify it for low volume, high intensity. Something like:
Day 1: MP, Squat, BP, DL 1x5+
Day 2: MP, Squat, BP, DL 1x3+
Day 3: MP, Squat, BP, DL 1x1+
Plus a warm up set for each.
Rest a day in between workout days and rest 2 day after the cycle.
Keep a rep in the can (box, bucket, on the shelf, etc...)
Repeat with the same weights for 3 weeks, deload the 4th week.
Up your maxes and repeat.

Sounds like it might be prone to injury but it might be worth a try.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by jlmoss » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:43 pm

Interesting read... I'm just not sold on any of this stuff about having to take rests anyways. I mean, two generations ago, people were working their butts off hard labor on the farm and other places 24/7 with heavy weight items, every single day, from sun up to sun down. Good fat meals, fried bacon w/eggs fried in bacon fat, etc. for breakfast and some of the same the rest of the day. I mean, I can remember when my grandpa would get pissed at grandma when he didn't have some kind of meat cooked in butter every single meal. He was one of the strongest people I've had the opportunity to meet without the fat and without the big bulky muscles. He lived to the ripe old age of 92 and that was only because he was in a car accident at 85 where one side of lungs were punctured and caved in, an eye bled through or something, serious brain trauma, and part of his skull fractured. I had him slated to live well into his 100'S *shrug*

I just can't say I'm really sold on the part about loosing muscle or not being able to recover from heavy & hard work without 2 - 5 days rest in between. Neither am I sold on the fact that if someone works, and I mean works their butt off equivalent to what they've done a few generations ago, that any type of too much fat/carbs, etc is going to cause weight problems for anyone.

Instead of us going the Paleo diet and working only 3 days a week, has anyone studied and tried to mimic the patterns of the farmers and country folk of two generations ago?

Sorry, I prolly should have put this on a topic all it's own or just not posted it at all. lol, It's just that the link to the one work set per muscle group article that bought these thoughts up again from the back of my mind.

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by TimD » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:02 pm

JL, you're making great points. I'm older than dirt, and remember those generations. Back in the 50's, there was much more manual labor than is out there today, and a lot of the old strongmen, bodybuilders, weightlifters had manual labor jobs on farms, or longshoreman, warehouses, etc, and could workout after a day or two's rest. They weren't usually as large as todays elites, but were talking about very advanced individuals in todays crops. I'm not convinced that unless you're going w/ very heavy weights, all out max that you can generate the need to wait 5 days or so for recuperation. Enough of my rant.
Tim

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Re: 1 set working/workout set

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:24 pm

I don't think there ever was anyone who could make near-max lifts 24/7. What they were actually doing was probably 40 or 50% of THEIR 1RM that steadily. If you start young doing manual labor, doing what you can handle, gradually increase both loading and work capacity over the years you can do some pretty impressive things. But for you or me to try to work near our max capacity like that, we'd fall apart within a few days.
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