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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Sep-05-12, 07:58
sexym2's Avatar
sexym2 sexym2 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,850
 
Plan: Depends on the Day
Stats: 221/169.6/145 Female 5' 10"
BF:
Progress: 68%
Location: Southeastern, Iowa USA
Default How Many Sets Do We Need To Do?

I've been working on increasing my strength and indurance. I will admit, I'm lazy and would rather find something else to do than exercise, even scoop the barn out

They say to do 3 sets of each exercise. How nessicary is that? I do 2 sets, and I'm bored, I don't want to go on. Short attention span?

My goal is to become stronger, I'm not the most physically active woman around. I can cart a 5 gal bucket of water around, and hoist a 50lb bag of feed around and cary/stack fire wood. I guess I'm not the weakest around, but I'd like to be better.

It appears that I've been working each body part 2X a week with some cardio, I'm going to switch cardio up a bit and adding HIIT. The cardio is walking 2-4 miles 4-5 days a week.

Part of me says to kick it in overdrive, stop procrastinating and so the last set, but dang, I don't want to.

So, do I need to do 3 sets? Will I improve faster? Who made up the 3 set rule?
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Sep-05-12, 08:51
Liz53's Avatar
Liz53 Liz53 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 6,140
 
Plan: Mostly Fung/IDM
Stats: 165/138.4/135 Female 63
BF:???/better/???
Progress: 89%
Location: Washington state
Default

I've been lifting since 1999. I started with 2 sets, went up to 3 sets and am now back down to 2. I'm working with a new trainer who is all about getting it done. She doesn't count reps at all. She says some days you might want to do 2 sets - one heavier, one lighter and other days, if you have less time, one set will do it, preferably at a heavy weight. She believes in listening to your body and working to fatigue. It sounds like that is what you are leaning towards.

There are plenty of experts who do not advocate 3 sets. Have you read Slow Burn (the author, Fred Hahn, will be featured on Jimmy Moore's Ask the Low Carb Experts tomorrow night) or the TNT Workout? Both are good; both leave the 3 set "rules" in the dust.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Oct-09-12, 09:13
MrRoberts's Avatar
MrRoberts MrRoberts is offline
New Member
Posts: 8
 
Plan: Dr S D Phinney
Stats: 198/175/175 Male 5' 11"
BF:9 - 10%
Progress: 100%
Location: South Wales, UK
Default

It is more natural doing 4 - 6 reps than doing high reps like 10 -15. Lower rep really build strength and burn fat like crazy. Higher rep is just a waste of time and more chances of injury.

1 - 2 set is more than enough.

In fact, I simply do 1 set per body part per week like pushup, chinup and leg-squat.

Cheers
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Oct-09-12, 10:56
sexym2's Avatar
sexym2 sexym2 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,850
 
Plan: Depends on the Day
Stats: 221/169.6/145 Female 5' 10"
BF:
Progress: 68%
Location: Southeastern, Iowa USA
Default

Thanks to both of you! I have been doing 3 sets, but I tell you, I have to push myself into it. Some of my exercises, when I add a little more weight gives me troubles. Like, shoulder lifts or butterflies, my ribs go out easily and every time I lift heavier I have troubles. My ciro says to stick with the lighter weights for a while before adding more. I do on average 10-15 reps, on the things where I have to use body weight, it tends to be 20+ reps. I need good leg weights, I need more/heavier dumbells, but that all cost money and theres always something more important.

Those dumbells, where you dial the weight and pick up that weight, are they any good? Some times I see them on craigslist and kinda would like a set but there pricey.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Oct-09-12, 12:52
ahsanirfan ahsanirfan is offline
New Member
Posts: 21
 
Plan: My own
Stats: 270.6/247.5/180 Male 71
BF:
Progress: 25%
Location: Calgary, AB
Default

I find that doing one set till failure provides for better muscle gain than anything else, where failure means that you really can't do much more of that exercise even if you tried.

Also, I try to keep my set between a minute and 90 seconds.

I think one of the biggest things folks often ignore is the recovery time. I only go once a week, and have seen marked improvements as compared to when I did 2 - 3 times a week back in my college days.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Oct-09-12, 12:57
sexym2's Avatar
sexym2 sexym2 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,850
 
Plan: Depends on the Day
Stats: 221/169.6/145 Female 5' 10"
BF:
Progress: 68%
Location: Southeastern, Iowa USA
Default

Recovery time, I've been thinking on that. After I lift, I hurt on the 3rd day, still, so if I go for a second work out that week, its usually on the 4th day when I'm feeling fine again. I'm rather lazy, so theres usually not 2 big work outs a week. I'm usually good to get one full body work out in a week, I do it all in one day, breaking it up in segments throught the day. I stay home, so I can do that and work my house work around my work outs. I tried to break it up into 3 workouts one on a different day, but I get lazy and don't do them.
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