Single_vs_Multiple_Sets_Discussion - Resolving the...

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Resolving the Single - Versus Multiple - Set Strength Training Debate Matthew R. Rhea, PhD, CSCS
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Hot Topics: Single Vs. Multiple Sets 2 For decades, debate has persisted regarding the amount of work (volume or number of sets) a person must perform in the weight room to elicit maximal strength gains. A very small, but vocal group has promoted their opinion that single-set training programs will elicit maximal, or near maximal, strength gains and additional sets of training are of no value. The vast majority of exercise professionals and leaders in our field, however, have founded their prescription of training volume on two fundamental exercise principles: the dose-response and progression. These principles, the experience of our most knowledgeable professionals, and the body of research examining this issue overwhelmingly support the need for multiple-set training programs to achieve maximal strength gains. The dose-response is a training principle that states that a given stress or dose will result in a certain response with higher doses eliciting a greater response up to a certain point. After this point of maximal effectiveness, benefits of increased dosages begin to diminish and an overdose is observed. In the pharmaceutical world, the principle of the dose-response is a very familiar and important concept. Physicians must know the degree of impact that a specific dose of a drug will have in order to prescribe the correct amount. Too little dose will fail to achieve the needed change in health or condition while an overdose may carry severe adverse effects. Similar to pharmaceutical drug prescriptions, exercise professionals prescribe resistance training programs (of varying doses) to elicit the needed or desired degree of strength development. Prescribing too little work will result in a failure to achieve the desired or needed strength gains while too much work could result in overtraining. The principle of progression states that once an individual has become accustomed to a stimulus, they must add additional stress in order to stimulate continued responses. In other words, the dose must be progressively increased to result in continued adaptation. These principles have been developed through years of research and practice and have continually been supported by such work. Hundreds of studies have examined the amount of strength improvement elicited by
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2009 for the course 3534 3535 taught by Professor Nelson during the Spring '09 term at LSU.

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Single_vs_Multiple_Sets_Discussion - Resolving the...

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