The majority of research shows that 1 set is as effective as multiple sets in stimulating strength and hypertrophy in skeletal muscle.
Micro trauma results from muscle tension and is caused almost entirely from the eccentric(lowering) part of the lift.
I think the crossbridges between actin and myosin filaments are torn during eccentric contraction.
Research suggests that the best rep range for hypertrophy is 8-12reps, however the muscle cannot count and this may be more a factor of time under tension during each set? certainly people have also gained working with weights which are heavier which force a lower rep range.
Some people argue that the make up of individual muscle determines which rep range will produce better gains i.e. muscles with more fast twitch especially type II respond better to lower rep ranges, muscles with more fast twitch type I respond better to moderate reps, and those with a more slow twitch fibres respond better to higher reps.
I'm not totally convinced by this last theory, some research suggests the body is able to create and or change existing fibres into fast twitch fibres, these happens to be the ones with the greatest potential for growth, slow twitch fibres are for aerobic performance and grow very little, so I don't think training to target these fibres to be an efficient or sensible approach.
Personally I think that training needs to be brief, intense and infrequent, I have had good sucess with routines taken out of the book Brawn by Stuart McRoberts where a cycled intensity approach was used.
When I first started training I used mike Mentzer's heavy duty, I trained 3x week and gained a stone and a half in 3-4 weeks but then my progress stalled, however I didn't follow the heavy duty principles properly as I should of then reduced the frequency and/or volume maybe I would have continued to see rapid gains, In fact I've just re-started training after an extended lay-off and I'm using the Heavy duty or HIT principles as advocated by Mike Mentzer outlined in the book High Intensity Training The Mentzer Way, I've only done one workout so far so I can't give feedback on it's effectiveness yet.
In brief HIT requires you to keep each workout as brief as possible, to train intensively(to failure), to increase intensity as you progress(more weight, static holds in fully contracted pos. and negatives) while reducing the frequency of workouts as you progress to allow you to continue recovering and overcompensating (growing), as you grow bigger and stronger the workouts place more stress on your body and therefore require more time for recovery and growth.
I hope this is of help to you or anyone else reading, once I've done a good few months on HIT i'll post my results on here.
Originally Posted by akh_hi123
How many sets/reps is considered to be best and effective to cause small micro tears in muscle tissue?
My main concern: How to make sure that i am breaking my muscle tissue at Gym?
Ka0s :In my experience, doing heavy barbell squats, bench presses, deadlifts, military presses, rows, etc. builds no significant muscle mass.
What you need to really get big is a solid routine which focuses on light weights and cable movements to really force blood into those muscles and get that deep burn & powerful contraction