MAXIMUM STRENGTH GAINS ARE DERIVED AFTER A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF EXERCISE -- ANY MORE TRAINING DOES NOT YIELD ANY FURTHER BENEFITS
Teixeira, M. S., Silva, E. B., Santos, C. B., & Gomez, P. S. (2001). Effects of resistance training with different sets and weekly frequencies on upper body muscular strength in military males 18 years of age. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 753.
This investigation evaluated the effects of combined frequency and sets of resistance training programs over eight weeks in male military recruits (N = 94). Six experimental groups were formed. Three groups trained three times a week, one group performing one, another two, and the third three sets. Three more groups trained fives times per week, each differentiated by one, two, or three sets of repetitions. A non-exercising control group was also formed.
All exercise groups gained significantly over the eight weeks. The five days per week, three sets group was significantly stronger than the three times per week, one-set group. There were no differences between groups performing the same number of sets whether for three or five times per week. Essentially, the results showed that one set of strength training exercises is as effective as three or five sets in strength training.
Implication. One set of strength training exercises is effective for strength development. Three times per week is as effective as five times per week.
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