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Author: Message: Sort First Post on Top

Posts: 13,948
4/17/13 6:52 A

Strength training is all about the quality, not the quantity.

Rather than thinking about targetting a number of sets or reps, you should think about it as challenging your muscles at close to their maximum capacity. The issue is whether the exercise is genuinely challenging - and the more challenging the better. A heavy weight where you can do only 4 reps is far more effective than one where you can do 12-15 reps.

Once you get to being able to do 12+ reps of an exercise, it is time to switch to a heavier weight/more challenging exercise.

As for sets, you get about 70% of the maximum possible advantage from the 1st set, 90% from the 2nd, 95% from the 3rd, etc. While obviously looked at in isolation, 5 sets is better than 3, I think that it is actually more effective to do 2-3 sets, and use the time saved to add some more exercises that work entirely different muscles (and is certainly more time efficient).


Posts: 383
4/16/13 6:23 P

Opinions on the most efficient weight training

For effiency's sake, i would focus mostly on the larger muscle groups (legs, chest, and upper back) and do mostly compound exercises (meaning 2 or more joints move) since they work more muscles, instead of isolation exercises (one joint, like bicep curls).

It's generally advised to start with the larger muscle groups. A typical workout would be:

3 sets for legs
2 sets for chest
2 sets for upper back
1-2 sets for shoulders & arms
1 set for "core"
(repeat every 2-3 days)

Those numbers are for "challenging" sets, so they don't include any warm-up sets that you do. Choose a weight that gets you tired by around 8 to 12 reps (some exercises have fewer reps though, but 8-12 is typical).

And note that you don't need to do 3 sets of the same exercise - you can do 1 set of 3 different exercises.

Edited by: CHERIMOOSE at: 4/16/2013 (18:31)

SparkPoints: (8,923)
Fitness Minutes: (6,540)
Posts: 2,004
4/16/13 1:59 P

I increase the weight with each set so:
Set 1: warm up weight, 15 reps
Set 2: 5-10lb increase, 10-12 reps
Set 3: 5 lbs increase, 8-10 reps

I start with the biggest muscle groups and work my way down so typical upper body day:
assisted pullups
pull downs
overhead press
tricep exercise
bicep exercise

Takes about 30 mins.

SparkPoints: (64,774)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,166
4/16/13 1:57 P

Unfortunately there is no "best" training for building strength. All programs work for a while, then stop working, that is when you change to another program. You can do 3x10, 5x5, 5/3/1 etc. For most gains, you would need all of these programs at some point. So start with one of them. I started with 5x5, now I have switched to 3x12. After a while I will be back to 5x5. At some point I will be trying 5/3/1.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 4/16/2013 (13:59)

Posts: 1,065
4/16/13 1:55 P

I like to do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

SparkPoints: (99,013)
Fitness Minutes: (76,244)
Posts: 3,250
4/16/13 1:49 P

I start with biceps as they are paramount for your strength and every activity we do, especially eating. I do three sets of 20. I know most people do 15 but I like 20. I rotate biceps, triceps and pectoral muscles until I get all 3 sets for each done. I do a lot of the standard UB exercises for about 15-20 min. and also combine these with LB. I do my leg exercises with resistance bands and weights again I rotate my quads and hamstrings, etc until I get three of all muscles. I switch to abs and then back exercises. I love my routine and I don't get bored as there are amny new ones to discover on SP other sources. I look for exercises like some people shop for receipes.

SparkPoints: (625)
Fitness Minutes: (650)
Posts: 78
4/16/13 1:32 P

3 sets of 12 on most things. If I am upping my weights or doing something new or more strenuous I will start with 2 to 3 sets of 8 and then go from there.

Posts: 59
4/16/13 1:09 P


Opinions on the most efficient weight training, how many reps/sets do you do?

Anyone done 5 and 5?

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