Continued from page 1
How many sets?
The number of sets to be used in a resistance training program designed for weight loss is inversely related to number of repetitions being performed. The lower number of reps, higher number of sets and vise versa. Typically, for weight loss programs I keep number of sets in range of 2-4, emphasizing compound exercises (ie. performing more sets, 4, for compound movements and fewer sets, 2, for single joint movements). Studies have shown that multiple sets are more effective than single sets in producing a growth hormone response. Therefore, multiple sets are needed, again, in order to achieve a hormonal response that is conducive to body compositional changes.
One of most overlooked variables is amount of rest taken between sets. Rest intervals, like every other variable, need to be specific to goal of resistance training program and is influenced by number of sets and repetitions being performed. Fewer reps, more rest, and vise versa. For weight loss purposes, rest intervals should be in range of 30-60 seconds. Rest intervals too short or too long will compromise training effect.
I hope this begins to shed some light on need for specifics when designing a program for weight loss. Of course, these variables may need to be manipulated on a case-by-case basis in order to account for individual differences, such as training age, work capacity, etc.
More to come in Part Two!
Chad Anderson, CSCS operates a personal training, fitness programming, and consulting business while also holding a full-time position as a senior personal trainer at a commercial health club. He holds a BS degree in exercise science with a minor in nutrition and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. You can visit his website at www.afitsolutions.com