The physiological benefits of resistance training include
increased strength, muscle size, lean body mass, bone mass,
and overall physical function. Millions of Americans spend
a number of hours each
week at the local gym or health club, grinding out set after
set in the quest for lifelong health and fitness.
The American College of Sports Medicine and the Surgeon General
recommend a weight-training program requiring a minimum of
one set of 8-12 repetitions for each muscle trained per exercise,
and some research suggests that multiple sets may maximize
the physical benefits. However, a recent study in Medicine
& Science and Sports & Exercise adds to the mounting evidence
that one set per exercise may be just as effective as two
or more sets.
Forty-two recreational weightlifters (20-50 years old, averaging
6.2 years of previous training) were divided into two groups
and participated in a nine-exercise resistance training circuit.
Group 1 performed one set of 8-12 repetitions for each of
the nine exercises; Group 2 performed three sets under the
same conditions. No significant differences were noted between
the two groups after 13 weeks of training, with both groups
improving significantly in terms of muscular endurance, one-repetition
maximum strength, lean body mass, and overall body composition.
Your doctor of chiropractic can evaluate your current exercise
regimen and outline nutritional and exercise guidelines suitable
to your needs.
Hass CJ, Garzarella L, de Hoyos D, et al. Single versus multiple
sets in long-term recreational weightlifters. Medicine
& Science in Sports & Exercise 2000: Vol. 32, pp235-42.
For additional information on sports and fitness, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/sports.html