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Perform More Sets to Get Bigger and Stronger

One set is never enough when it comes to getting results with strength training. It is true that untrained individuals can gain strength from performing single-set training, but even they will soon experience diminishing returns once initial neuromuscular and hypertrophy adaptations occur. For the rest of us, more sets are better.

Sport scientists analysed 72 studies comparing single and multi-set training. Results showed that multi-set training was always superior for producing increases in strength and hypertrophy in both trained and untrained populations. Untrained subjects did benefit significantly from single-set training but higher-volume training led to get gains in all measured parameters: strength, hypertrophy and endurance.

For body composition and hypertrophy, multi-set training is best. Increasing the training volume maximises anabolic hormone response. When it comes to growth hormone (GH), total work appears to be more important than intensity or percentage of 1RM for elevating GH. It's unclear just how anabolic GH is, but we know it produces a significant fat-burning response, making multi-set training preferable for fat loss.

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