ONE SET OF REPETITIONS IS BETTER THAN THREE
Fincher, G. E. (2000). The effect of high intensity resistance training on peak upper and lower body power among collegiate football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 657.
The effect of a single, exhaustive set of strength exercises on peak upper and lower body power was investigated. College football players served as Ss. One group (N = 20) performed one set of strength exercises (6-10 reps) to exhaustion. Ss were also encouraged to attempt further repetitions to ensure muscular fatigue. The multiple-set group performed three sets of 6-10 repetitions. They were not asked to attempt further repetitions to achieve an exhausted state.
Gains in peak power were significantly greater in the one-set group than the multiple-set group.
The defining characteristic of this training was the exhaustion experienced by the one-set group.
Implication. One set of exhaustive exercises produces better gains in power than multiple sets of the same exercises not performed to absolute exhaustion.
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