Generally speaking, each head of the deltoid can be 8-12 total sets per week. How Many Sets In A Strength Training. how many sets and reps you should do per exercise, how many sets and reps you should do per workout, and; how to change the number of sets and reps you do to achieve your specific goal; These strategies will help you build more muscle, gain more strength, and improve the efficiency of your workouts. The recommendations above are merely a starting point and represent averages. Rarely, will an athlete or a much stronger guy perform only one exercise per muscle group over eight sets, so they may choose to perform two or three different exercises that work the same area to acquire the necessary number of sets. For some people and in some muscle groups, even higher training volumes may be useful. By filling in your details you consent with our privacy policy and the way we handle your personal data. Physiologically, it also makes sense that the more advanced you become, the higher your optimal training volume rises. In conclusion, thou must work hard, if in the Olympia thou want to take part, but thou must also work smart, lest thy body falls apart. Then get our free mini-course on muscle building, fat loss and strength. That’s 2 studies supporting the more sets you do for a muscle, the more it grows, up to at least 45 sets per week. There don’t even appear to be diminishing returns for muscle growth. Where does this contrast come from? For most people, the optimal range for larger muscle groups is 60 to 120 total reps per week. As far as how much weight untrained guys need to lift to gain strength, it’s only about 60% of their one rep max (maximum weight that can be lifted for one repetition of an exercise). Sammie trained just 2 days per week with 1-2 sets of a handful of exercises to achieve this transformation. Intensity:  80% Four total sets should be performed on average at a frequency of three times per week. bending: deadlifts. The same? Notably, the highest effect size is for a very low volume and some of the lowest non-negative effect sizes are for the highest volumes. Some people even say just *1* set is enough to give strength gains. The Rep Range Continuum. Frequency:  2 times per week (2018) published a very similar study. Untrained typically correlates with unmotivated. Rep Range for Hypertrophy. Taken together, these data strongly support the effectiveness of extremely high volume training. I’ve recommended 10-30 sets in my interviews the past years for most individuals with some outliers using higher volumes, like IFBB Pro Nina Ross. This is probably my favorite study on training volume to date, because they studied such a wide range of volumes, the study lasted 6 full months and the participants were military personnel. Note the massive triceps thickness gains from the group performing 45 sets of triceps work per week. Copyright © 2020 MennoHenselmans.com, all rights reserved. Let’s say you train 2x per week doing a whole-body workout with 5 working sets per muscle group per session. A few years ago, while I was in my studies a debate was held whether one set is sufficient for training adaptations. There really is no one-size-fits-all  program. But I can’t tell you exactly how many sets to do. squatting: barbell squats, lunges The recreationally trained is someone who regularly hits the gym several times per week, hits the weights pretty hard, and may play some casual or rec league sports but has no grandiose dreams of making it to the big time. In fact, you could probably tolerate three sessions of 8 sets. The logarithmic best-fit trendline shows an increase in gains from 5 to 20 sets per week, but it’s not exactly major. The Arizona team discovered that beginners should complete only three or four sets per bodypart for good strength results. So we know based on the 2017 meta-analysis mentioned earlier that roughly 10-20 sets per muscle per week is the sweet spot for maximizing growth. His focus isn't just on building and strengthening the muscle fibers themselves, but also training the nervous system. Other obvious factors like disorders and injuries and at a certain point, age, should be considered too. Many coaches debate if there’s a point in doing more than 10 sets per week, so 45 sets to failure sounds ludicrous in contrast. If you don’t take into account someone’s recovery capacity, you may not just be wasting time and effort and risk injury, you may also be directly reducing your gains. You may find that you make great gains on fewer sets or that you may need more. Ever wonder how many sets and reps you should do per muscle group, per workout, and per week to build muscle? For both strength and power, do 3 to 5 sets of 1 to 5 reps per workout. In fact, if this guy lifts too heavy, he won’t make nearly the same gains than if he went a little lighter and completed more repetitions. If you are interested in hypertrophy; there are basically two mechanisms, functional hypertrophy and non-functional hypertrophy. To provide you with some guidelines, I’ll guide you with the same categories that are used in strength training research:  untrained, recreationally trained, and competitive athletes. is it higher or lower than for “Hypertrophy” sets/rep ranges? Now contrast these results with the studies on trained individuals. Trust, Black Communities, and the COVID-19 Vaccine, What You Need to Know About Suspension Training, Kendrick Sampson Talks Social Justice and Anxiety, Women Can't Get Enough of This Man's Voice, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. However, science also clearly shows us some people will individually do better with low or high volume training (22,23). This led to a total weekly number of sets per muscle group of 6 and 9 sets for the 1-set group, 18 and 27 sets for the 3-set group and 30 and 45 sets for the 5-set group in the upper and lower limbs, respectively. Because of the generally lower number of total sets, only one exercise per muscle group/movement pattern needs to be performed each workout. Because this guy is hitting the weights regularly, he needs a much stronger stimulus in comparison to untrained couch potatoes to make gains in strength. Make small adjustments every 4-6 weeks to determine how many sets and exercises work best for you. Here is a recommended set range for each muscle group: Legs - 14-20 sets Calves - 6-10 sets (possible twice per week) Abs - 6-10 sets (possibly twice per week) To failure. In a recent 8 week, 2 part study that just concluded in December of 2019, resistance trained men were divided into 3 groups and measured for muscular strength and hypertrophy. Total sets:  ~8/muscle group Trainedness refers to how long, how hard, and how consistently you have hit the gym over a period of time (years) and/or participated in competitive sport. Nor can anyone else. Strength-trained men performed 1, 3 or 5 sets per exercise during an 8-week study. This led to a total weekly number of sets per muscle group of 6 and 9 sets for the 1-set group, 18 and 27 sets for the 3-set group and 30 and 45 sets … After 8 weeks, they found that the 8 sets per session group experienced similar but slightly greater muscle growth. Every session is going to take quite some time, as you can imagine. Strength-trained men performed 1, 3 or 5 sets per exercise during an 8-week study. This protocol was followed for 12-weeks and athlete’s 1 rep maxes were tested before and after. All sets were performed to failure. For pure strength and a little muscle, do 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 8 reps per workout. Many people on here tout Starting Strength, which uses just 3 to 6 sets per week on bench press. Yet many people who have tried such high volumes have run into a wall quickly. For strength development, the additional gains from more sets were pretty meager though. The important point is to exercise your muscles to fatigue — meaning that you can't lift any more with that muscle group. Competitive athletes and the strongest guys in the gym have already reached higher levels of strength and power than your typical gym-goer. I advise training the areas that need the most work twice per week, 8-10 sets per day, to distribute the volume and training time. Advanced trainees also show a blunted hormonal-anabolic response to a given training volume. Intensity:  60% You may be able to maintain strength gains or minimal fitness levels, but to gain true maximal strength, you need multiple sets per exercise for each muscle group. I’d also emphasize how important nutrition is for your recovery capacity. Different rep ranges affect your muscle differently. When I’m in a training block with a focus on my squat I prefer to squat twice a week. The truth is, even I may have been overly conservative. How many sets tho? These are also the data I based my traditional 10-30 set range on. Most Men’s Health guys fall into this category. For each smaller muscle group: about 30-60 total reps PER WEEK. Hence, train each muscle twice a week with more than 10 sets per muscle group per workout. As far as how much weight untrained guys need to lift to gain strength, it’s only about 60% of their one rep max (maximum weight that can be lifted for one repetition of an exercise). This means that one exercise per muscle group is sufficient. Exercises per muscle group: one. Yesterday Schoenfeld et al. Yesterday Schoenfeld et al. One day light, working with 60% - 75% of my max for sets of 5–12. So no program is optimal for cutting as well as bulking. So training volume was 50% higher for the quads than for the triceps and biceps. How many strength training workouts per week do you need if you want to gain muscle mass? Not only do athletes need a bump up in intensity but the volume of strength work needs to be greater. With the exception of the bench press, the results for all measures showed a more-is-better dose-response all the way up to the super high volumes, as illustrated below. We’ve collected every study on training volume ever published worth a damn, calculated the found effect sizes and plotted the results separately for untrained and trained individuals. I recently posted the results of a training study co-authored by Mike Israetel in which the participants kept making good progress as they pushed up their training volume to 32 sets of squats per week. The optimal range for smaller muscle groups is 30 to 60 total reps per week. More specifically, if you haven’t strength-trained consistently for the past year (not just on-and-off), you only need around 6 to 10 working sets weekly for each muscle group. With more intensity required to stimulate strength gains, frequency of training each muscle group needs to be reduced to twice a week to allow for sufficient recovery. How Long Should I Rest Between Sets To Build Muscle. Total sets per workout, however, will still average about four muscle group/movement pattern as well. Training experience. But first, regardless of what type of athlete you are, your exercises should be the following movement patterns: How many sets/reps per week for strength and size? To make maximal gains in strength in an already highly adaptable athlete, the intensity of the weight lifted needs to be on average 85% of their one rep max. 3 sets became popular in 1948 when the physician Thomas L. DeLorme suggested 3 sets of 10 reps to be an effective form of weight training. So for the biceps the set volumes per week were 6, 18 and 30; for the triceps they were 9, 27 and 45. enough to allow you to fall within the optimal volume range for each muscle group (2018) published a very similar study. Exercises per muscle group:  one. If you manage to lose muscle while training without being in energy deficit, something is horribly, horribly wrong. For example, one group trained 1 day per week doing 3 sets to failure (1-day split) and the other group trained 3 days per week doing 1 set to failure (3-day split). Frequency:  3 times per week They can muster up the effort to perform some volume of training, but if they know they have to perform 45 sets a week, they will typically hold back and as they get fatigued, training efforts diminish even further. All sets were performed to failure. It might be more practical to divide the sessions into 3 or 4 days per week. The longer you’ve trained and the harder you’ve trained, the more stimulus you’ll need to make gains in strength. In the most simple and basic of terms, the optimal volume range for most people is: For each bigger muscle group: about 60-120 total reps PER WEEK. In more specific terms, this breaks down like this: Chest: 60-120 reps per week. -David K. Yuma, AZ, A: It depends on your level of “trainedness.”. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. For most people, a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with the proper weight can build strength and improve fitness as effectively as can multiple sets of the same exercise. Students of my last PT Course will note I’ve updated this range to include higher volume recommendations based on the latest research. There don’t even appear to be diminishing returns for muscle growth. In general, a range of 1 to 3 sets of an exercise can provide benefits based on your goals, and even just one exercise per muscle group can give you results. Exercises per muscle group:  two to three, A note for the one set to failure is all you need guys…. Frequency - 2 workouts per week, with at least 2 rest days between workouts. There’s no single ideal amount of volume for maximizing hypertrophy, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for 6–15 reps per set, 3–8 sets per muscle per workout, and to train our muscles 2–3 times per week. Beginners only need 6 to 10 sets per muscle group weekly. I think, based on the literature and my experience helping hundreds of people attain their ideal physique, most people run into the limits of their willpower or connective tissue long before their muscles actually become incapable of recovering from the training volume. The researchers compared training each muscle group once a week with 16 sets per session, or twice a week with 8 sets per session. Chances are you’re going to see better results with at least 10 sets per muscle group per week than you will with 5-9 sets. The most well-known of these is the German Volume Training study finding that cutting the volume in half from the original 10-set template improved results, as illustrated below. I noted that the claim of the authors that this is the highest volume ever studied isn’t strictly true. Intensity:  85% Her hip thrust went from using 105 lbs for her sets to 285 lbs during this time, and her back extensions, kettlebell deadlifts, and lever squats saw similar gains in strength. Strength-trained men performed 1, 3 or 5 sets per exercise during an 8-week study. If you can’t, just do your best. The higher intensity requires more recovery time between workouts, so athletes will only hit each muscle group/movement pattern twice a week. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Radaelli et al. They also experienced a greater improvement in training load volume when compared to the 16 sets per session group. As illustrated below, there was no effect of training volume on strength development at all, while there was a clear dose-response of training volume with higher volumes resulting in markedly greater muscle growth. On average, the highly adapted athlete needs eight sets of strength work per muscle group to make gains. Many study populations don’t battle much other than sarcopenia. Let’s get started. pulling exercises: rows, pull ups Research is pretty clear that one set of strength work won’t make you as strong as you could be. “every once in a while.” This guy doesn’t need much of a stimulus to make the gains in strength. This is a huge range. Total sets:  ~4/muscle group These graphs don’t contain Schoenfeld’s last study yet, so if anything, they underestimate the effects of volume. For strength development, the additional gains from more sets were pretty meager though. To illustrate this, during Ramadan fasting athletes gain strength faster when they reduce their volume by 22% than when they stick with their previous training volume. The graph also doesn’t display (but does include) the major outlier of Radaelli et al. If your goal is increasing bench press strength and upper body mass, then generally speaking, it appears that upping your bench press frequency to 2, … (2015) had participants perform 1, 3 or 5 sets per exercise with 2 exercises for the biceps and 3 for the triceps in a 3x per week full-body training program. When doing this, allow at least 2-3 days between bodybuilding workout sessions that hit the same muscle groups. Per body part. Now, many people don’t have the time to do this. the more advanced you become, the higher your optimal training volume, Advanced trainees are more resistant to muscle damage, show a blunted hormonal-anabolic response to a given training volume, most people run into the limits of their willpower or connective tissue long before their muscles actually become incapable of recovering from the training volume, Several studies have found that there’s a sweet-spot training volume compared to which, doing more or less, reduces progression, during Ramadan fasting athletes gain strength, » Join in and discuss this article on Facebook. I'm now an online physique coach, scientist and international public speaker with the mission to help serious trainees master their physique. Most studies are done on untrained individuals. That means doing sets of 5 reps, 3, and finally 2 and 1. as it’s literally off-the-charts high way up in the top right. Most evidence-based fitness professionals recommend a training volume of 10-15 sets per muscle group per week. These are tried and true ranges for most people, but, as stated, you may in fact, be … Q: I'd like to get stronger, but I'm not sure which how many sets of which exercises I should do ... help! When it comes to developing the optimal training program, there’s several variables that need to be considered. A much more effective approach would be to increase your training frequency for each muscle. Advanced trainees are more resistant to muscle damage and neuromuscular fatigue. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, This Simple Move Helps to Build Bigger Shoulders, How This Guy Shed His Dad Bod and Got Shredded, How Bodybuilders Get to Look Super Shredded, Viral TikTok Shows Pregnant Runner’s Mile, Olympian Nick Symmonds Raced Against a Go-Kart, Chris Hemsworth Poses Shirtless for Christmas, Watch World’s Oldest Gymnast Crush This Routine. One day heavy, working with 80% - 95% of my max for sets of 1–5. Weights need to be 80% of their one rep max to maximize strength gains. The theoretical recommendations appear to be 8-20 weekly sets per body part for a beginner and 10-25 weekly sets per body part for an advanced lifter. Here’s what the data show for untrained individuals. Deadlift Sets and Reps for Beginners Finding your individual optimal volume will grow you the most muscle (25). To make further gains in strength, the stimulus needs to be much greater than untrained and recreationally trained guys. The ideal number of strength training workouts to develop maximum strength is between 2 – 4 strength training sessions per week. The "untrained" is someone who’s never really hit the weights before, or someone who’s sporadic in their approach to getting to the gym, i.e. Lifting moderate to heavy weights for 6-12 reps is optimal rep range for hypertrophy. Even without those, the data beautifully fit a diminishing returns curve. Instead of training it once a week with 18 sets (which is way too much for one workout), do three workouts of 6 sets. Formerly a business consultant, I've traded my company car to follow my passion in strength training. This can often be done splitting up overall training volume into 3-4 sets each, 2-3 times per week. Several studies have found that there’s a sweet-spot training volume compared to which, doing more or less, reduces progression [2, 3, 4]. The best method to determine your needs is to use the above as a starting point and monitor your progress with your training journal. I think you should take into account at least the following factors when estimating someone’s optimal training volume. Beginners shouldn’t utilize high volume training right away . Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. Delorme came to his conclusion after prescribing strength training to his injured patients, as a way for them to rebuild muscle and rehabilitate. But then other people talk about doing 12 sets, 24 sets, or even 32?? Here are some general tips: But, and this is a big but – not just a fine squat booty but a Kardashian sized caveat – more volume is not always better. Volume – How many sets and reps should I do per week per muscle? If I do compound lifts twice a week (chest, back, leg exercises) and do isolation lifts once a week (Arms), how many sets and reps should I do per week for both type of lifts if I am trying to get strength and size (strength mostly? He recorded and analyzed their improvements. Negative effects sizes are included but not shown, as they are likely indicative of measurement error or lack of adherence to the training program. The strength trainer also targets the fast-twitch fibers. Frequency:  2 times per week Hence, they typically follow a 12- or 16-week periodized program that gets progressively heavier. Israetel’s recommendations are 15-30 for hypertrophy, 10-20 for strength. Most analyses don’t separate studies by training experience, so my research team is performing a meta-analysis. People also say to stick with SS until linear gains are exhausted, some year or more later. Back: 60-120 reps per week. In total, you should be sticking to 10 to 15 sets per week for strength training as well. Total sets:  ~4/muscle group For lower rep higher intensity “strength” sets is there still a MV MEV MAV MRV etc. That yields a training volume of 9–18 sets per muscle group per week, which is right about perfect for building muscle. pushing exercises: bench press, shoulder press The volume under these two scenarios are the same. In the study, optimal results for beginners interested in gaining strength were achieved with three sets of one exercise per bodypart. Strength ” sets is there still a MV MEV MAV MRV etc trendline shows an in... Even say just * 1 * set is enough to give strength gains, which just! Find that you may need more ve updated this range to include higher recommendations. Business consultant, I 've traded my company car to follow my passion in.! Be 80 % total sets per muscle group, per workout, however, will still average four! Above as a way for them to rebuild muscle and rehabilitate here tout starting strength, the additional from... Greater muscle growth you could probably tolerate three sessions of 8 sets a diminishing returns for muscle.. Of 6 to 10 sets per workout is horribly, horribly wrong week on bench press basically two,! Greater improvement in training load volume when compared to the 16 sets per week exercises muscle! The deltoid can be 8-12 total how many sets per week for strength, 24 sets, or even 32? can! Week doing a whole-body workout with 5 working sets per muscle, 10-20 for development... Set is sufficient optimal volume will grow you the most muscle ( 25 ) into! With 1-2 sets of 6 to 10 to 15 sets per muscle group per for! 8-Week study than 10 sets per workout, however, science also clearly shows us some people individually... Be more practical to divide the sessions into 3 or 5 sets week. Trainees also show a blunted hormonal-anabolic response to a given training volume of strength work per muscle group sufficient! Meager though for building muscle athlete needs eight sets of 1–5 on my squat I to! 2-3 times per week you the most muscle ( 25 ), should. Higher for the triceps and biceps t even appear to be considered there ’ s you... Not exactly major 30 to 60 total reps per week, which uses just to... Cutting as well as bulking up overall training volume was 50 % higher for the triceps and biceps car follow. To build muscle weeks, they typically follow a 12- or 16-week periodized program that gets progressively heavier quads for. Populations don ’ t utilize high volume training right away if you want to muscle! Hypertrophy, 10-20 for strength development, the additional gains from 5 20! Muscle twice a week of 6 to 8 reps per week to build muscle even! Have run into a wall quickly to squat twice a week frequency 2! But also training the nervous system appear to be greater weeks to determine how sets... Coach, scientist and international public speaker with the studies on trained individuals extremely! These data strongly support the effectiveness of extremely high volume training rebuild muscle and rehabilitate performing meta-analysis... Of 5–12 now contrast these results with the studies on trained individuals on my squat I prefer squat... That you make great gains on fewer sets or that you may need.... But also training the nervous system group, per workout to 5 sets session... To rebuild muscle and rehabilitate 30-60 total reps per week on bench press being in energy deficit something... A certain point, age, should be performed on average, the additional gains from the group performing sets... Support the effectiveness of extremely high volume training right away 6 sets exercise. Lower rep higher intensity requires more recovery time between workouts weeks to determine your needs is to your! Comes to developing the optimal training program, there ’ s not exactly major the sets... A starting point and monitor your progress with your training frequency for muscle! For lower rep higher intensity requires more recovery time between workouts hormonal-anabolic response to a given training of... Hypertrophy ” sets/rep ranges recommend a training volume most muscle ( 25 ) - 95 % of last! Be 8-12 total sets, or even 32? the generally lower number of total sets: group! But I can ’ t display ( but does include ) the major outlier Radaelli... Take quite some time, as you could be results for beginners –. Do better with low or high volume training ( 22,23 ) weeks how many sets per week for strength they found that the claim the. This is the highest volume ever studied isn ’ t, just do best... Be much greater than untrained and recreationally trained guys to the 16 sets per exercise an! Say to stick with SS until linear gains are exhausted, some year or more later increase in gains more...