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J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Nov;18(4):689-94.

Effects of single- vs. multiple-set resistance training on maximum strength and body composition in trained postmenopausal women.

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Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a single- vs. a multiple-set resistance training protocol in well-trained early postmenopausal women. Subjects (N = 71) were randomly assigned to begin either with 12 weeks of the single-set or 12 weeks of the multiple-set protocol. After another 5 weeks of regenerational resistance training, the subgroup performing the single-set protocol during the first 12 weeks crossed over to the 12-week multiple-set protocol and vice versa. Neither exercise type nor exercise intensity, degree of fatigue, rest periods, speed of movement, training sessions per week, compliance and attendance, or periodization strategy differed between exercise protocols. Body mass, body composition, and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) values for leg press, bench press, rowing, and leg adduction were measured at baseline and after each period. Multiple-set training resulted in significant increases (3.5-5.5%) for all 4 strength measurements, whereas single-set training resulted in significant decreases (-1.1 to -2.0%). Body mass and body composition did not change during the study. The results show that, in pretrained subjects, multiple-set protocols are superior to single-set protocols in increasing maximum strength.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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