How many SETS do you do for each body part?

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    Dec 25, 2010 4:31 AM GMT
    I only work one body part a day (ie, chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms), and I'm considering switching it up so I can work those parts more than once a week.

    I'm curious to know...

    1) How many days a week do you work each muscle group?

    2) How many SETS do you perform per muscle group?


    I typically have done about 15-18 sets per muscle group during my workout, and each sets consists of 6-12 reps.

    I've read recently that you only need 3-6 sets per muscle group, (super heavy to failure), for muscle hypertrophy (growth).

    Thoughts? What does your plan consist of?
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    Dec 25, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
    Different for every workout, but varies between 1 - 10 depending on a variety of factors.
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    Dec 25, 2010 5:59 AM GMT
    I mostly do compound movement exercises involving the entire body, such as kettlebell snatches and clean-presses. Squat-to-overhead presses, with about four to six different exercises, medium to heavy weight till failurein one or two sets.

    My goal is more for (core) strength and fat loss than mass gains.
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    Dec 25, 2010 8:08 AM GMT
    Do high amounts of sets (depends on your progression, wow at 15, geez!) of 6-10 reps at 50-80% 1RM for hypertrophy/bodybuilder workouts and storing more glycogen and triglyceride in your muscles (increase muscle mass, adaptation is to be able to endure high number of sets at that intensity).

    Low reps 1-5, super high weight (80-100% 1RM), 1-2 sets for strength and power progression. Will gain some tone, protein/muscle density, and store more creatine. Cannot eat as much as bodybuilder sets (see above) because you're not burning as many calories. Adaptation is to be able to lift the most amount of weight possible in the shortest period of time explosively by storing more creatine and developing more neuromuscular brain-to-fiber connections and learning how to activate in such a way to produce max force in the shortest time (redundant sentence).


    Strength/power workout frequency is usually less often than a bodybuilder workout frequency due to the need to rest and rebuild to develop new neuromuscular connections (requires sleep primarily) and to be at max psychologically before a workout to give it your most. Bodybuilders are in there often due to the need to systematically inflame each muscle fiber by depleting all muscle fibers of their stored glycogen/energy capacity. Because the intensity of their workouts does not always recruit their type IIX fibers as often as a strength/power workout does, they only recruit these when their type IIa and I oxidative fibers are sufficiently fatigued.

    If you do an aerobic workout between your lifts, rest time is longer of course due to nutrient competition, psychological staleness, catabolic hormone changes, and use of similar muscles for different activities requires longer to repair before you are ready for either activity again if you were doing one or the other.

    (You should do aerobic workouts because 1) it's the form of exercise that affects your blood lipid profile most acutely, which is what is slowly killing us all anyways and 2) you lose aerobic fitness in days whereas you lose hypertrophy in a few weeks whereas you lose strength within months)
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    Dec 25, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    I have always been told (by friends and through other forums like bodybuilding.com) that around 12-15 sets is ideal for the larger muscle groups like chest and back. And that 6-9 reps is ideal for the smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps. Definitely don't want to kill yourself with too much volume. Working out is great, but working out too much will interfere with your gains.

    Merry Christmas! icon_biggrin.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 25, 2010 5:01 PM GMT
    i do four reps with decreasing sets and increasing weight.

    12 at 70 percent max weight
    10 at 80 percent max weight
    8 at 90 percent max weight
    6 at max weight
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Dec 25, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    onexepshyn saidI only work one body part a day (ie, chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms), and I'm considering switching it up so I can work those parts more than once a week.

    I'm curious to know...

    1) How many days a week do you work each muscle group?

    2) How many SETS do you perform per muscle group?


    I typically have done about 15-18 sets per muscle group during my workout, and each sets consists of 6-12 reps.

    I've read recently that you only need 3-6 sets per muscle group, (super heavy to failure), for muscle hypertrophy (growth).

    Thoughts? What does your plan consist of?


    I do 3 exercises and 4 to 5 sets on each body part.
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    Dec 25, 2010 5:55 PM GMT
    Monday= Shoulders, 4 routines 4 sets each 8-12 reps
    Core workout

    Tuesday = Bis and Tris, 4 routines each, 4 sets each 8-12 reps each
    core work out

    Weds = Back, 4 routines 4 sets 8-12 reps
    Core work out

    Thurs= Legs, light shoulders. 4 routines, 4 sets each, 8-12 reps
    Core work out *edit.. woops legs is, leg press 4 sets , quad extensions 4 sets, squats 4 sets , hamstring curls 4 sets, hips 4 sets, calves 4 sets on sitting and standing.

    Friday= Chest 4 routines, 4 sets, 8-12 reps
    Core work out

    Saturday= bis and tris 4 routines each, 4 sets each , 8-12 reps
    Core work out


  • tokugawa

    Posts: 945

    Dec 25, 2010 6:20 PM GMT
    Muscle growth will occur only if you go to failure for a particular exercise. Only one set, as long as it is taken to failure, is required.

    I learned this from Mark Mills, 1996 MD State Bodybuilding Champion, who I met around 10 years ago at the former World Gym in Philadelphia on Samson Street. Mark has a graduate degree in physiology, and today is a personal trainer in Connecticut, plus he runs a web site called Better Body:

    www.better-body.com

    This is how Mark described the muscle growth process to me:

    When one of your body's muscles goes to failure, some muscle cells die. A message is then sent to the brain, saying more of the body's resources are needed for two things: first, to replace the muscle cells that died, and second, to make that muscle bigger so that failure will be less likely in the future when performing the same task.

    Q: If one set is good, aren't many sets better?
    A: No, going to failure multiple times just results in more dead muscle cells. The body has limited resources to repair muscles and therefore more of the resources are devoted to replacing the lost muscle cells, and less resources are available for muscle growth.

    Q: Why isn't muscle growth permanent?
    A: More muscle cells require more body resources. When the brain notices that some muscles are not being used to capacity, those muscles will lose resources which formerly had been allocated to replace lost muscle cells and to increase muscle size. Basically, with respect to muscles, "use it or lose it."

    The biggest advantage for using this method is the amount of time saved by only doing one set, as opposed to multiple sets.

    This method has worked for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2010 3:17 PM GMT
    Samm77 saidMonday= Shoulders, 4 routines 4 sets each 8-12 reps
    Core workout

    Tuesday = Bis and Tris, 4 routines each, 4 sets each 8-12 reps each
    core work out

    Weds = Back, 4 routines 4 sets 8-12 reps
    Core work out

    Thurs= Legs, light shoulders. 4 routines, 4 sets each, 8-12 reps
    Core work out *edit.. woops legs is, leg press 4 sets , quad extensions 4 sets, squats 4 sets , hamstring curls 4 sets, hips 4 sets, calves 4 sets on sitting and standing.

    Friday= Chest 4 routines, 4 sets, 8-12 reps
    Core work out

    Saturday= bis and tris 4 routines each, 4 sets each , 8-12 reps
    Core work out





    I do somwhat similar. I work out 5 days a week

    Monday: Chest 3 different bench routines...then two different fly exercises, sets will vary but throw in drop sets with all the routine...3 routines of 3 sets of abs...1 hr 20 min

    Tuesday: Legs...4 routines plus 3 more for calves. Sets 4 except 6 for squats...1 hr 15 min

    Wednesday: Shoulders and Biceps....5 different routines for shoulders, 4 for biceps....4 sets except with bis some drop thrown in for 5 sets....1 hr 15 min

    Thursday: Back 4 routines 4 sets...40 min

    Friday: Tris 4 routines 4 sets but drop sets on hammer dips sometimes more/3 routines 3 sets of Abs...1 hr

    Some may see this is alot but it works for me. With working one body part a day except for Wed, Im able to really focus on working out the certain body parts. You have to trial and error. Tris need to be worked hard. I cant imagine 6 sets each for bis and tris being nearly enough to do anything
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    Dec 26, 2010 6:20 PM GMT
    For each bodypart, I do 4 to five sets with 8 to 10 reps per set. I tend to change bodypart routines every week to avoid monotony which also helps stimulate muscular development. My diet remains the obstacle.
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    Dec 29, 2010 4:24 PM GMT
    I usually stick with 3 sets of 4-6 reps.

    I'll usually pick one muscle group and totally exhaust it by doing consecutive sets with lowering weight until the muscles fail every time I work out.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Dec 29, 2010 4:38 PM GMT
    I generally only do 3-4 sets with reps of 15 to 20 depending on the exercise.
  • BookmarkNYC

    Posts: 5

    Jan 14, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    bluey2223 saidDo high amounts of sets of 6-10 reps at 50-80% 1RM for hypertrophy/bodybuilder.

    Low reps 1-5, super high weight (80-100% 1RM), 1-2 sets for strength and power progression. Will gain some tone, protein/muscle density, and store more creatine.

    Strength/power workout frequency is usually less often than a bodybuilder workout frequency due to the need to rest and rebuild to develop new neuromuscular connections.

    (You should do aerobic workouts


    Helpful; interesting. If I want to gain definition w/o losing mass (in fact, ideally, I'd like to get bigger arms), I'm assuming strength/power lifting is best, not hypertrophy/bodybuilder, correct?
  • joxguy

    Posts: 236

    Jan 14, 2011 8:12 PM GMT
    Well you are really over doing the reps. Remember the muscles need time to recover. 3-6 is plenty. You can do decending number in the reps, like 15, 12, 10 to first three sets then 12, 10, 8 for the last three if you do six sets.
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    Jan 14, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    onexepshyn saidI only work one body part a day (ie, chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms), and I'm considering switching it up so I can work those parts more than once a week.

    I'm curious to know...

    1) How many days a week do you work each muscle group?

    2) How many SETS do you perform per muscle group?


    I typically have done about 15-18 sets per muscle group during my workout, and each sets consists of 6-12 reps.

    I've read recently that you only need 3-6 sets per muscle group, (super heavy to failure), for muscle hypertrophy (growth).

    Thoughts? What does your plan consist of?


    Work out each muscle group once a week but because of the type of exercises I do it overlaps ... so I guess twice a week
    Usually 4 exercises per body group, 4 sets, 12-15/10/8/6 reps to failure
    Only 4 days a week, 3 days for muscle groups and 4th day just for cardio and any muscle group I feel it's week, like my abs icon_smile.gif
    I do spent quite sometime in the gym though, about 2 hrs including warming up and showering at the end, so 1.5 working out
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2011 8:40 PM GMT
    I do about 4-6 exercises per day, working on no more than 6 body parts.

    If I do bis on day one I'll do tris on day two
    I do pull ups and rows on the same day
    If I do bench presses on day one, I'll do flies on day two
    I'll do my neck one day, and shoulders the next
    abs pretty much every day. Pull ups most days.

    I mix in cardio every other day roughly.

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    Jan 14, 2011 8:51 PM GMT
    For me, I do a variety. From the sources I've read, muscle confusion is important. The body needs to think it is performing a different, or more challenging task then before and that it needs to grow in order to be able to adapt.

    So my range varies. 12-15 reps for definition, 8-10 for size, and 4-6 for strength. I rotate the rep amount every week, going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Every 6-8 weeks I take at least 5 days in a row off to allow my body some down time.

    As for sets, I usually aim for 3-4 per exercise, not including an initial warm up set that I do with a weight that is around 75% of my working set weight.

    I frequently change or add new exercises to my plan and only do full body workouts, with slight variations depending on what my body is telling me. I change my emphasis on which body parts are hit hardest by altering the order of my routine.

    Most of the lifts I'm doing (except the arm/calf exercises) are multi-joint, and hit multiple muscle groups, ie. incline bench press which brings in the front shoulder.
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    Feb 15, 2011 4:56 AM GMT
    bump
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    I only train one muscle group one day at a time, and I can do upwards of 5 sets of xyz amount of reps, but I usually do three sets. Good luck, my friend.
  • tugger82

    Posts: 1

    Mar 06, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    Been doing StrongLifts 5x5, so just big compound movements that do the entire body every day I workout.

    Workout A: Squat, Barbell Row, Bench Press - 5x5 + warm-ups
    Workout B: Squat, Over Head Press, Dead Lift, 5x5 + warm-up except dead-lift which is 1x5 + warm-up


    Been happy with the results so far, increasing the weight 5lbs every workout (10lbs for Deadlifts). I've added over 100lbs to my Squats/Deadlifts since starting, my rows / OHP and Bench still need work, some previous shoulder injuries have been making my progress on those a bit more spotty.

    3 days a week of lifting, usually Tues/Thurs/Sun, alternating between ABA-BAB

    Light cardio / recovery / mobility / stretching on Mon/Weds/Fri, relax Saturday.

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    Apr 20, 2011 5:46 AM GMT
    Anyone else?