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Kelly, Stephen B.; Brown, Lee E. FACSM; Coburn, Jared W.; Zinder, Steven M.; Gardner, Lisa M.; Nguyen, Diamond
California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA.
PURPOSE: Research is divided on whether performing resistance training with a single set per training session is as effective for increasing strength as training with multiple sets. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of single sets versus multiple sets on strength.
METHODS: Forty subjects were randomly assigned into one of three groups: control (C; n=8), single set (SS; n=14), or multiple sets (MS; n=1 8) to perform 8 maximal knee extensions at 60 d/s on an Biodex System 3 isokinetic dynamometer twice a week for eight weeks. The SS group performed one set while the MS group performed three sets. All groups were pre, mid (4 weeks), and post-tested at 60 d/s. Strength was expressed as peak torque (PT).
RESULTS: A 3×3×2 (time x group x sex) mixed factor repeated measures ANOVA revealed no interaction involving sex but there was an interaction of group by time. The MS group exhibited a significant (p< 0.05) increase in PT (Pre= 171.39 + 61.98 Nm; Mid=1 93.08 + 66.23 Nm) between the pre-test and the mid-test while the SS (Pre= 163.45 + 56.37 Nm; Mid= 172.60 + 61.78 Nm) and C groups (Pre= 135.997 + 54.31 Nm; Mid= 127.66 + 53.12 Nm) did not change. Strength did not change between the mid-test and the post-test for any group.
CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that performing three sets of isokinetic knee extensions was more effective than performing a single set for increasing peak torque. These results seem to indicate that for increasing strength, performing multiple sets is superior to performing a single set of resistance exercise.
©2007The American College of Sports Medicine
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