Researchers found that a 9-12 reps zone workout each workout resulted in greater gains in muscle mass than a % 1-RM-based strength training. The 9-12 reps zone workout resulted in greater volume progression than the % based strength training.
FASTER VOLUME PROGRESSION DOUBLES MUSCLE GROWTH SUMMARY
- The study found that those that used a fasted volume progression has better muscle gains.
- Researchers found that a 9-12 reps zone workout each workout resulted in greater gains in muscle mass than a % 1-RM-based strength training.
- The 9-12 reps zone workout resulted in greater volume progression than the % based strength training.
VOLUME PROGRESSION: HOW MANY REPS TO BUILD MUSCLE?
When trying to increase muscle size, there are many options that a lifter must consider for increases in lean muscle tissue. The critical factors for gaining muscle are:
- A progressive overload training program is needed (i.e., increasing the number of sets or increasing the number of reps)
- Sets must be taken close to the proximity of failure.
- A certain amount of volume must be performed (i.e., the number of sets is related to increased muscle fiber size).
- A calorie surplus is needed.
VOLUME PROGRESSION: IS 3 SETS ENOUGH FOR MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY?
Training volume (i.e., sets x reps x load) has been proposed as a major determinant of gaining muscle. (Schoenfeld et al., 2019) Comprehensive studies have suggested a dose-response relationship between the number of weekly sets and muscle strength and mass gains. (Ralston et al., 2017) Most beginner workout programs recommend 3 sets per bodypart, which is a good starting point.
One of the most compelling arguments for performing multiple sets to enhance muscle growth was a study that muscle growth was the greatest in those that did 2-3 sets versus 1 set; furthermore, 4-6 sets had a slightly better increase in muscle growth than the 2-3 sets. (Krieger, 2010)
The same authors later reviewed the literature and found a relationship between sets and muscle growth. Less than 5 sets per week per bodypart resulted in the least muscle growth (5.4%), whereas more sets, 5-9 sets (6.6%), and 10+ sets (9.8%) resulted in greater increases in lean muscle mass. (Schoenfeld et al., 2017)
The general recommendation for muscle growth is anywhere between 10 to 20 sets per week for muscle growth. However, doing more sets does not always mean more muscle growth (Aube et al., 2022) Why don’t we know the exact number of sets to perform for each muscle group to gain muscle size?