Can you perform too may sets/exercises per muscle?

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Can you perform too may sets/exercises per muscle?

Post by KPj » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:53 am

Out of curiosity - can you perform too may sets per muscle?

Reason being, out of my own enjoyment, I like to do a lot of extra exercises in my work outs - when I have time!

As an example, on a chest day I sometimes perform up to 25 sets on chest alone. This could consist of 7 exercises, with sets of 3 but I like to include - what I call - burn sets, where I will do a 4th high rep set, or sometimes I will experiment with up-down sets, drop sets etc or just make something up e.g "21's" with a barbell(bench press), 21's with pec deck (bring handles together, 7 reps left side, 7 reps right side, then 7 reps both sides), before I know it, I have done 20-25 sets.

I do have a set routine of usually 4 exercises, all the messing about happens after this - time permitting, even if my strength is zapped, I will just do the exercises with a light weight.

I don't do this for any particular reason other than I really enjoy training and don't want my work out to end but I do get paranoid that I am doing myself more harm than good. I am aware of overtraing in terms of recovery but can you overtrain in one single work out? e.g too many sets?



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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:35 am

can you overtrain in one single work out? e.g too many sets?

Probably not, since overtraining takes place over a period of time. It might take you more time to recover from a monster workout, though. And if you resume training before fully recovering, you are well on your way to becoming overtrained.

Individuals differ markedly in their ability to handle exercise volume, so a general rule on exercise volume might not apply in a specific instance. Your best bet would be to start a training diary, and record what you're doing. Over the weeks and months ahead, you can use the diary to find out what works and what doesn't.

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:59 am

I agree, an occational long workout shouldn't do you any harm. It may be beneficial, as long as you don't do it too often. However, I wouldn't try it on a day when you're feeling tired and/or weak. Instead wait for a day when your feeling particularly energetic. Also, be careful not to always favor the same muscle groups or you may end up developing them out of proportion to the rest of your body.