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Strength training sets: How many for best results?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/AN00893
- With Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including subspecialty certification in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
He has been on the staff of Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and an avid hiker, cyclist and climber. He approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and he has received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for his contribution to the Council.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and has provided medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a website guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to the "Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody" book, and he has presented lectures throughout the world on health, fitness and sports medicine topics. His teaching expertise has been recognized by his election to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame at Mayo Clinic.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
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Strength training sets: How many for best results?
What's better for strength training — one set or multiple sets?
from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
For most people, a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can build strength and improve fitness as effectively as can multiple sets of the same exercise.
The one-set approach also has the advantage of saving time, which makes it easier to fit into an exercise routine. Simply choose a weight that tires your muscles around the 12th repetition. As this becomes easier, gradually increase the amount of weight to maintain a 12-repetition fatigue.
There's a caveat, though: If you're a bodybuilder or an elite athlete with specific performance enhancement goals, additional strength training sets may be beneficial.Next question
Isometric exercises: Good for strength training?
- Wilmore JH, et al. Physiology of Sport and Exercise. 4th ed. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics; 2008:186.
- Carpinelli RN, et al. Strength training: Single versus multiple sets. Sports Medicine. 1998;26:73.
- Carpinelli RN, et al. A critical analysis of the ACSM position stand on resistance training: Insufficient evidence to support recommended training protocols. Journal of Exercise Physiology-online. 2004:7:1. http://www.asep.org/files/OttoV4.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2012.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 10, 2012.
- Heden T, et al. One-set resistance training elevates energy expenditure for 72 h similar to three sets. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2011;111:477.
- Krieger JW. Single versus multiple sets of resistance exercise: A meta-regression. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2009;23:1890.
- AskMayoExpert. What are the components of a strength-training program? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research;2012.