Too Many Workout Sets?
Guys, I’m going to talk to you about workout sets in the gym. Far too often, I’ve seen guys performing 15-20 sets per workout and spending almost 2 hours in the gym. Don’t get me wrong, when I first started weight training, I got some workout off of the internet on a bodybuilding website and that was how I trained for years.
My typical back and bicep workout consisted of 4 sets of dumbbell rows, 3 sets of T-bar rows, 3 sets of dead lifts, 3 sets of reverse flies, and 3 sets of shrugs, 3 sets of bicep curls and 3 sets of hammer curls and the aftermath was me being crippled for days.
Does this sound like something that you’re doing right now? That was way too many sets and this is often what many guys do in the gym as well. I used to spend a minimum of 2 hours in the gym, performing way too many workout sets that were unnecessary for muscle growth.
The reality of muscle building is simple. You go to the gym, perform the necessary exercises that put strain and stress on the muscles and the result of proper nutrition, rest, etc. your muscles should grow bigger and stronger. But not many people often know when to stop, so they just go…and go…and go, until they cannot physically move after.
I was uneducated back then behind the science of muscle growth and I used to think that the more sets and reps I did, the more muscle that I would build. This is pretty much the mindset of many people in the gym. They think that the more workout sets they perform and the more they beat the crap out of their muscles, that more muscle will be built. This is in fact quite the opposite. When it comes to building rock hard muscle and gaining strength, less is more. You’d actually be shocked at how little you have to do in the gym to spark that growth mechanism.
Think about this; what is the boiling point of water? It is 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit. Once you reach the boiling point, any longer the water in the pot stays in contact with the burner will just be a waste of energy. That is the same thing with muscles. After a certain amount of hard working sets (I cant stress hard working enough), your body will trigger its growth mechanism and every extra set or exercise you do after that, is a mere waste of your energy and time. Does that make sense to you?
It is recommended that for large muscle groups like the chest, back and legs, you should only perform 7 to 10 sets TOTAL workout sets. With smaller muscles like shoulders, biceps and triceps, only 2 to 3 sets per workout is needed, as they are stimulated during the push or pull exercises.
Don’t get this mixed up though. Do not think that performing a few sets with a light weight will trigger muscle growth, because it won’t. You must give your body a reason to pack on solid muscle and gain strength, either by lifting heavier or increasing volume and hypertrophy. Every single one of the workout sets that you perform should be hard working sets.
Ever since I decreased my sets and increased my intensity by lifting heavier, I still notice muscle gains, but with half the work. Also, my muscle soreness is almost non-existent, which let’s me train my lagging muscles more frequently.
All of those previous sets that I performed to complete failure, lead me to being sore for days. Remember, you don’t need to beat the crap out of your muscles to get them to grow. With all of the unneeded sets gotten rid of, I actually cut my workout time in half. EVERYBODY wants bang for their buck right? They want to pack on muscle fast so why do way more to achieve the same results? My tip for you when you go to the gym is to decrease the sets, increase your intensity and get out and grow.