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Meer of minder sets?

Offline ironwarrior Posted 10-09-2014 - 7:39
Bericht: #1
Van de oude garde

1,347 Posts
Reputatie: 7
Interessante studie hierover is gepubliceerd op musculardevelopment.com.

Aanleiding was de stelling van wijlen Mike Mentzer, dat minder tot meer hypertrofie leidt.
Ook Dorian Yates, de profeet van de High Intensity training, hant dit principe aan.

Recente studies tonen echter het tegenovergestelde aan.
Conclusie: Gewoon meerdere sets per spiergroepen aanhouden.

Hieronder de volledige tekst, voor degenen die geen moeite hebben met Engels.

Was Mentzer Wrong? The 1 Set for Muscle Growth Debate

The late Mike Menzer was a modern-day philosopher; he was an outside-the-box thinker and went against the traditional bodybuilding of performing high-volume exercise. Heavy Duty Training was Mentzer's first book, in which he detailed the principles of high-intensity weight training. Weight training, he insisted, had to be brief, infrequent, and intense, in order to attain the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Mentzer's early 1990 Heavy Duty Training program involved 7-9 sets per workout on a three-day-per-week schedule. He ultimately modified that routine until most of his clients were doing only 2-5 sets per workout and training once every four to eight days. One former Mentzer pupil reports doing 1 set per week, with the whole body trained by only three movements over three weeks. To this day, bodybuilders and trainers are still debating: is 1 set to maximum failure enough for muscle growth, or do bodybuilders need more?

Interesting, when talking to Dorian Yates about this, he told us he did fewer sets than most people, but he did more than 1 set per body part. Dorian is a high-intensity disciple, as he does a few warm-up sets of the exercise in a pyramid fashion, and then he goes directly into his heavy set; after 1 heavy set, he would move to another exercise.

Dorian also believed that after you have annihilated that muscle after 1 set to absolute failure, there was no need to do another set. An interesting quote Dorian shared was, “I have great genetics; I think high-volume exercise would have made me a great bodybuilder, but it was high-intensity principles that allowed me to achieve the Olympia crown six years in a row!”

So was Mentzer's theory of doing few sets for muscle growth infrequently correct? It seems like there is confusion, as some bodybuilders swear by the high-volume principles and there are others like Branch Warren who live and die by high-intensity exercise. So what does the research suggest?

Well, first, if you examine the impact of 1 set verses multiple sets for strength there is some controversy. In some studies, no significant difference between single and multiple sets has been observed.1,2,3 However, evidence from a number of more recent studies supports greater strength gains with multiple sets.4,5 However, a recent meta-analysis (i.e., a sum collection of all the studies) reported that training with multiple sets yielded a 46 percent greater gain in strength, compared to single sets.6

Although studies examining strength gains have shown multiple sets to be better for strength gains than single sets, the verdict for single versus multiple sets for muscle growth has been unclear. Some studies have shown greater hypertrophy with multiple sets,7 whereas others have not.8,9 So was Menzer correct in that all that was needed is 1 set to maximum failure for muscle growth?

Single versus Multiple Sets for Muscle Growth Scrutinized...

In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a meta-analysis was performed to examine the sum of all the literature on single versus multiple sets for muscle growth. Researchers wanted to examine if single sets were as effective as multiple sets for muscle growth, after examining the previous studies published. When all the studies were calculated, there was a 40 percent greater gain in muscle mass with multiple sets, compared to single sets.

Although single sets did result in an increase in muscle hypertrophy, multiple sets resulted in a greater effect size. The author hypothesized that protein synthesis responds in a similar manner to the number of sets (i.e., an increasing response as the number of sets are increased, until a plateau is reached), although he mentioned that there is there is no research examining this.

Very interestingly, he reported that there was a trend. The response appeared as to how many sets yield the greatest impact on muscle hypertrophy started to level off around 4-6 sets, as the difference between 2-3 sets and 4-6 sets was smaller than the difference between 1 set and 2-3 sets. So the study suggests that 4-6 sets per body part was the maximum stimulus needed and that more sets did not necessarily yield greater results.

Interestingly, these results are similar to a previous meta-analysis on strength, where there was an increasing response to an increasing number of sets, with an apparent plateau around 4-6 sets per exercise.6 So it seems Mike Menzer was right in at least one respect: bodybuilders may need fewer sets than they think to build muscle. There seems to be somewhere between 4 and 6 sets per body part, based on what the researchers found, but this is subjective for all people, as some people are fast responders whereas others are hard gainers.


1. Hass, CJ, Garzarella, L, De Hoyos, D, and Pollock,ML. Single versus multiple sets in long-term recreational weightlifters. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 32: 235-242, 2000.

2. Ostrowski, KJ, Wilson, GJ, Weatherby, R, Murphy, PW, and Lyttle, AD. The effect of weight training volume on hormonal output and muscular size and function. J Strength Cond Res, 11: 148-154, 1997.

3. Starkey, DB, Pollock, ML, Ishida, Y, Welsch, MA, Brechue, WF, Graves, JE, and Feigenbaum, MS. Effect of resistance training volume on strength and muscle thickness. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 28: 1311-1320, 1996.

4. Humburg, H, Baars, H, Schro¨ der, J, Reer, R, and Braumann, K-M. 1- set vs. 3-set resistance training: a crossover study. J Strength Cond Res, 21: 578-582, 2007.

5. Kemmler, WK, Lauber, D, Engelke, K, and Weineck, J. Effects of single- vs. multiple-set resistance training on maximum strength and body composition in trained postmenopausal women. J Strength Cond Res, 18: 689-694, 2004.

6. Krieger JW. Single versus multiple sets of resistance exercise: a meta-regression. J Strength Cond Res, 2009 Sep;23(6):1890-901.

7. Rønnestad, BR, Egeland, W, Kvamme, NH, Refsnes, PE, Kadi, F, and Raastad, T. Dissimilar effects of one- and three-set strength training on strength and muscle mass gains in upper and lower body in untrained subjects. J Strength Cond Res, 21: 157-163, 2007.

8. Munn, J, Herbert, RD, Hancock, MJ, and Gandevia, SC. Resistance training for strength: effect of number of sets and contraction speed. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 37: 1622-1626, 2005.

9. Ostrowski, KJ, Wilson, GJ, Weatherby, R, Murphy, PW, and Lyttle, AD. The effect of weight training volume on hormonal output and muscular size and function. J Strength Cond Res, 11: 148-154, 1997.

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