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    Registered User weightpile's Avatar
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    Sets - Just How Many?

    Thought I'd start a thread.
    Sets, just how many are really beneficial.
    First time at the gym? I recommend no more than two sets at each station.
    Build yourself up to three, shouldn't take more than a few weeks.
    Once you've reached 3 sets it's time to set your goal to 5 sets.
    Five sets, hmph, you may only get that 5 sets at your bench and only 3 at the incline, but that's good. 5 sets on the incline will come soon enough and eventually your entire routine will have that five set at all stations.

    I remember gladiator status and we'd hit the weight pile, 10 sets of benches and then follow up back arms or shoulders depending on what routine for that 6 weeks, or we hit the dip bars and ten sets...lol, overkill. How many of you remember running through a deck of cards, two people going thru a deck of cards is one heck of a workout(a lot of sets). Like I said, gladiators with too much time and no direction.
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    Depends on the amount of exercises, split, reps, %'s you are using or RPE's, depends on the day sometimes too.
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    Tldr but I go until I can't contract the muscle. Method never lets me down.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If you want a reply from the body of evidence - work by Schoenfeld suggests that a minimum of 8 sets per bodypart per week is needed. This rises with training experience and recent adaptations (the repeated bouts effect). You can go as high as around 22 sets per bodypart per week before it starts becoming counterproductive. Either you subconsciously pace yourself (reduce exertion in each set) or will start to overreach and have to deload.

    Obviously these numbers vary a lot from person to person.

    Personally I view volume as a necessary evil and only increase it when it's the only way to continue progress.
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    Registered User weightpile's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If you want a reply from the body of evidence - work by Schoenfeld suggests that a minimum of 8 sets per bodypart per week is needed. This rises with training experience and recent adaptations (the repeated bouts effect). You can go as high as around 22 sets per bodypart per week before it starts becoming counterproductive. Either you subconsciously pace yourself (reduce exertion in each set) or will start to overreach and have to deload.

    Obviously these numbers vary a lot from person to person.

    Personally I view volume as a necessary evil and only increase it when it's the only way to continue progress.
    I'm familiar with Schoenfeld, I agreed with some of logic but not all. You did hit dead on when how it'll vary from person to person. I think that was my approach to the subject as well. Depending on the person and his/her goals, most I've seen over the years do not work their muscle groups twice a week. That's a lifestyle all in it's own. Most are putting in 40-60 works hours in and do not have that luxury.
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    Originally Posted by weightpile View Post
    I'm familiar with Schoenfeld, I agreed with some of logic but not all. You did hit dead on when how it'll vary from person to person. I think that was my approach to the subject as well. Depending on the person and his/her goals, most I've seen over the years do not work their muscle groups twice a week. That's a lifestyle all in it's own. Most are putting in 40-60 works hours in and do not have that luxury.
    Hitting everything 3 times per week does not require more than 3 workouts per week.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by weightpile View Post
    I'm familiar with Schoenfeld, I agreed with some of logic but not all. You did hit dead on when how it'll vary from person to person. I think that was my approach to the subject as well. Depending on the person and his/her goals, most I've seen over the years do not work their muscle groups twice a week. That's a lifestyle all in it's own. Most are putting in 40-60 works hours in and do not have that luxury.
    Not sure why you got on to frequency. I was only talking about total sets per week - there are many ways to break that up.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Not sure why you got on to frequency. I was only talking about total sets per week - there are many ways to break that up.
    4 working sets (not including warm ups) per lift
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