those two-hour-a-day, 15-sets-per-bodypart workouts are driving
you to the brink of madness, listen up: You might be working
a lot harder than you have to. A paper present in the journal
Sports Medicine reviewed a number of studies on the
effectiveness of single vs. multiple training sets for increasing
muscle strength and size.
The researchers looked at studies that evaluated the value
of performing one set vs. two sets, one set vs. three sets,
and one set vs. three or more sets (i.e., performing one set
of biceps curls vs. preforming two, three, or more sets.
Now here's the big news: After a thorough review of the material,
the researchers concluded that " the benefits of resistance
training may involve undertaking the minimal amount of exercise
needed to achieve the desired response."
Think about your current exercise regimen -- is the amount
of effort you're putting in worth the results you're getting?
If you're slaving away at the gym but don't seem to be making
any improvements, try slimming down your program for a while,
and see what happens. Less might actually be more.
Carpinelli RN, Otto RM. Strength training: single vs. multiple
sets. Sprts Medicine, August 1998: Vol. 26, No. 2,
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