It may be beneficial to add more sets to leg training to increase muscle growth and strength. Both the 24 and 32 set groups increased their pre-training volume compared to the 16 sets per week group who decreased their weekly sets performed.
HOW MANY EXERCISES PER WORKOUT? HIGH VOLUME WORKOUT FOR BETTER GAINS IN MUSCLE SUMMARY
- The study found that a high volume workout resulted in better muscle gains than a lower volume workout.
- It may be beneficial to add more sets to leg training to increase muscle growth and strength. Both the 24 and 32-set groups increased their pre-training volume compared to the 16 sets per week group and decreased their weekly sets performed.
- An 8-week high volume/set training session followed by a deload may be beneficial for increasing muscle growth
HOW MANY SETS TO GAIN MUSCLE
A previous article on Evidence-Based Muscle discussed the relationship between the number of sets and muscle growth. Several factors determine muscle growth. a.) The level of effort must be sufficiently high to stimulate muscle growth. (1)
b.) The sets must be of sufficient effort to stimulate muscle growth (2),
c.) The sets must be taken close to or a few reps shy of failure (3).
Several potential relationships between volume (i.e., sets x reps) and muscle growth have been suggested:
(a) a dose-response relationship, where gradual increases in weekly sets lead to a greater increase in muscle growth and strength,(4)
(b) an inverted-U relationship, whereby increasing weekly sets beyond a certain threshold negatively impacts muscle growth(5), and
(c) no relationship between weekly sets and muscle growth or strength (6, 7).
HIGH VOLUME THRESHOLD
The current evidence suggests that there is a threshold in which further sets do not increase muscle growth or can even result in a decrease in muscle growth. The evidence suggests that 10-20 sets were the optimal number of sets to be performed each week. What about more than 20 sets? Are there any studies suggesting that performing more than 20 sets per week can further increase muscle growth? A new study set out to determine the relationship between muscle growth and going beyond 20 sets per week.
THEY DID HOW MANY SETS PER WEEK?
This study had trained men perform various amounts of weekly volume (16 sets, 24 sets, or 32 sets per muscle group) for 8 weeks, then assessed strength and muscle growth after 8-weeks. The 32-set group performed 16 sets of multi-joint exercises and 16 sets of single-joint exercises. The 24-set group performed 12 sets of both multi- and single-joint movements, and the 16-set group performed 8 sets of each. See the charts below.