Now that we have a good understanding of what it means to train with time under load vs. repetitions as our guide, and we’ve discussed temporary muscle failure in detail, we can now talk about how many SETS you should do. At least at the start of the course.
How many should you do?
Your goal is to do ONE SET.
That’s right, you read that correctly: Your goal is only ONE SET OF each exercise, where you go to complete but temporary muscular failure. Of course, the other important goal is always maintaining your “best” possible form.
Why only one set?
It’s possible you’re sitting there reading this and thinking, that’s just too little “work” or training volume.
If you do it the right way.
Sure, if you do it the way some people would or perhaps the way you have strength trained in the past, (think: sloppy, passive, using elastic rebound and momentum to accomplish the movements) you won’t get much benefit and it won’t seem very challenging.
However, if you do it the RIGHT way, moving slowly and continuously and MAINTAINING CONSTANT MUSCLE CONTRACTION and RADIATION of tension, going to complete – total temporary muscle failure, you’ll get incredible benefits. And you’ll be challenged!
The BONUS is that this course and this training will be incredibly time-efficient in addition to being effective. It’ll be done and over quickly! After all, with one set, each movement will then take only around 60 to 90 seconds.
If you add up the total time under load, it could be 9 to 10 minutes for the entire workout, which if you actually think about it, might be a LOT more than you might typically experience in a “normal” strength training session.
One more thing before I move on to the next training principle: you should rest as little as possible once you are done with a movement, and then move on to the next one, doing the exact same thing.
MOVE SLOWLY maintaining maximum tension within each exercise, AND QUICKLY between exercises.
The “secret” is in the intensity.
- If you train hard and intensely enough, you don’t need a lot of volume or a ton of exercises.
- Remember what I said earlier? Exercise doesn’t make us stronger. What makes us stronger is STRESS to our body, which in turn causes an adaptive response to become stronger.
- Yes! Your body WILL NEED recovery time between workouts to RECOVER FROM the sessions and adapt a new higher level of strength to meet future demands. Keep in mind that recovery isn’t just a “thing,” it’s everything. Once you do the work that is.
- PAY CLOSE attention to whether you are recovering from your training and make sure you are ready for each session. If you are not, for whatever reason, wait one additional day. That’s smart training.