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How Many Exercises and Sets Do I Perform for my Strength Training?
What if I told you only have a limited amount of energy (readily available)
per strength training session, would you believe me? Well the latest
scientific data and blood tests on individuals under strict gym conditions
have revealed that blood sugar levels drop dramatically after only 20 to 30
minutes during a high intensity strength training session.
So you see you only have a short period of time to complete your strength
training, so exercise selection is crucial for proper results. One way
around this is to use compound multi-joint movements as these offer the most
beneficial muscle stimulation needed for lean muscle growth and metabolism
improvement in the shortest period of time. In other words, we can train
many muscles simultaneously and use our energy more efficiently.
Compound exercises are much more functional and superior to isolation
exercises and promote natural movement of your joints. Heavier loads can
also be lifted using these exercises. Some benefits a
.. More functional
.. Higher muscle activation
.. Higher hormonal release
.. Less stress on joints.
Examples of compound multi-joint movements include squats, bench press,
dips, and chin-ups. Performing three to four exercises with high intensity
during a session are what most people are capable of during a high intensity
strength-training workout. All the main muscle groups are thoroughly
exercised with these exercises and they have an overall growth effect on the
body as a whole i.e. a total body workout.
After rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next
exercise session if you can push out a few more reps then you will have
become stronger, thus allowing for more muscle growth. i.e. more lean muscle
and a higher metabolism.
It only takes one of these workouts to target the entire major support
muscles of the body. Exercises should be chosen from the more complex and
challenging to the less complex and challenging. Remember, as you get
stronger in your upper body exercises i.e. Dips, Bench Press and Lat Pull
downs, you will also add size to your upper arms as well as to your
shoulders. There is no need to train the arms and shoulders with isolation
Did you know that current research shows that performing one set per
exercise is as beneficial as multiple set workouts!!
If you think that volume training (multiple sets) is more effective then
you're wrong! The latest research shows that single set training is as
beneficial as multiple set training. Also by performing the one set
decreases the chances of over training and saves valuable energy for other
exercises required during that particular workout.
So all you need to do is ONE SET only of each strength training exercise,
this is accomplished by performing as many repetitions as you possibly can.
Single sets are just as effective as multiple sets in increasing strength,
muscle size and power.
After performing one complete set to total failure, it should be just about
impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another complete set
of the same exercise. If you're able to generate the same force and
intensity for this second set then it is pretty obvious that not enough
effort has been put into the first set. If you give each set per exercise
100% effort (e.g. you cannot move the bar after the last rep) then there
will be no more requirement for further muscle stimulation on that specific
Multiple Sets can be used in the following circumstances.
.. The initial stages of learning a new exercise.
.. During rehabilitation
Remember it is the intensity that is important, not the volume when it comes
to gains in strength. One warm up set of 50% of maximal weight can be done
for 5-10 repetitions to oil the joints for the big work set that is to
follow. After completing a set and when your breathing has returned to
normal proceed to the next exercise. There is no time limit here just what
you feel comfortable with, be it 3 or 5 minutes etc.
Make no mistake about it put what you have leaned here to practice and you
will start to finally make those long awaited gains you have been after.
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