The number of reps and sets you do is less important than these fundamentals
As a Trainer in Ridgefield CT and Fairfield County CT, I get lots of inquiries about the best way to Work Out. Many of these queries are about strength training: How many training sessions per week are best? The number of repetitions? How many sets are optimum for progress?
The reality is: “You want to do something and do it consistently, whether it’s one day a week, or every day, it needs to be sustainable for you. That's where most of the health and fitness benefits come from.”
The most effective program is one that you will do and stick with.
At home, at a gym or with trainer?
Developing a home or travel push-ups squats sit ups dead lifts program is highly effective. Start with even just one push up, squat or sit up to begin with perfect form and try and build on it either every day, or week.
It can be very time efficient; you can hit all your major muscle groups with exercises like push-ups and squats, which work a lot of muscles at once.
During the pandemic, getting to a gym is extra challenging (and may not be safe).
It is best to find a low volume Private Boutique Gym with a truly knowledgeable trainer, in a safe, ventilated environment, is your best choice.
AXIS CORE TM Training targets the major muscle groups with efficiency
You want to know that you trained your body efficiently and maximally in a workout correct? AXIS CORE TM HIT targets each body part specifically and effectively, giving you the best workout in the shortest period of time, whether you are 14 years of age, 21 or 80. By using a target weight, perfect form (3x3 cadence) and breathing, you are able to lift the most weight, in a safe way for each exercise. Too many people make the mistake of lifting too heavy, or too light and never getting the workout or gains that they desire.
Intensity is everything
Whatever exercise you do, intensity is everything. The evidence-based recommendations that Herzog created calls for doing eight to 10 repetitions to achieve “momentary muscular failure to the point at which you can’t do another rep without a break. As long as your set of exercises produces this kind of fatigue, it should be enough to evoke adaptations that improve strength. How many reps you’ll need to get to that breaking point will depend on the exercise you’re doing, whether you’re using weights and your level of fitness, but it’s that sense of fatigue that should guide how many you do, not some arbitrary number. It might take you only six to eight arm curls if you are using heavy dumbbells.
One set can be very time efficient
You can get what you need by doing a single set of each exercise. “Personally, I do single sets of pretty much every exercise I do,” Herzog says. The guidelines he helped create also call for just a single set.
Last year, a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at the question of how the number of sets affects results. The researchers split 34 volunteers into three groups, and all of them performed an eight-week program of the same strength training three times a week. The difference was how many sets of the seven exercises they performed — one group did one set per workout, another did three, and the final group did five sets per session. The results showed that all groups similarly improved their muscle strength and endurance (as measured by one repetition maximum testing on squat and bench press and the number of reps a subject could do of 50% of their bench press one-rep max); doing more sets made the workout take longer, but it didn’t increase the gains.
Regularity — Even once a week is helpful
Yes, twice a week is better than once, and in a perfect world, that is a good goal. But once a week is better than nothing, Herzog says. You will have a lot more success if you do your workouts on a regular basis than if you set an unrealistic goal that you will not maintain and then feel bad about.
Strive for progress
It is important to use a target weight with perfect form and breathing to get the best workout in the least amount of time. Choose a weight that you can do 8-10 repetitions, with perfect form, change the exercise or angle monthly. It is also good to do one more repetition or adding more weight or resistance. once a week, or 2x a month hit your body part (i.e. biceps) with a higher weights and lower repetitions to shock yourself comfortably to the next level.
There is no need to make fitness unnecessarily complicated. Find a group of exercises that target your major muscle groups, then do one set of them to failure once or twice per week. It is really that easy.
Greg Herzog, Personal Trainer in Ridgefield CT, New Canaan CT and Fairfield County CT, voted one of the Top 50 Trainers in the U.S., Author of the Fifteen Minute Executive Stress Relief Program, Putnam.