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J Strength Cond Res. 2007 May;21(2):578-82.

1-Set vs. 3-set resistance training: a crossover study.

Author information

  • 1Institut für Sport- und Bewegungsmedizin, Universiof Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

This crossover study was conducted to investigate the effects of a 1-set and 3-set strength training program. The subjects were untrained men and women who were randomly signed into 1 of 3 groups: 10 subjects trained during the first 9 weeks (training period 1) with 1 set and 8-12 repetitions per set. After the break (9 weeks), they trained with 3 sets and 8-12 repetitions in training period 2. Twelve subjects started with the 3-set program and continued with the 1-set regime after the break. The control group (n = 7) did not train. The subjects were tested on 1 repetition maximum (1RM) for the biceps curl, leg press (unilateral: left and right), and bench press. Analysis of the data was done in a sampled manner for each strength training program (1-set and 3-set). The 1-set (n = 22) and 3-set (n = 22) programs led to significantly (p < 0.05) improved 1RM performances in every exercise. The relative improvements (%) for the 1RM were significantly higher during the 3-set program for the biceps curl and the bench press compared with the 1-set program. The control group exhibited no changes in any of the tested parameters over the course of this study. The design of this study allowed insight into the effects of different strength training volume without any genetical variations. The same subjects improved their 1RM during the 3-set program by 2.3 kg (biceps curl; corresponding effect size = 0.24), 8.9 kg (leg press right; 0.30), 10.9 kg (leg press left; 0.28), and 2.5 kg (bench press; 0.09) more than during the 1-set program. Depending on the goals of each trainee, these differences between the effects of different strength training volumes indicate that it may be worth spending more time on working out with a 3-set strength training regime.

PMID:
17530985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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