2-3 sets on each body part with maximum weight? Or training to failure using 5-9 sets.

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This system of training was very popular in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, although it’s been popping up in various guises since the early part of the twentieth century. The latest version - high intensity training - was introduced to the world in the early 1970’s by Arthur Jones, the inventor of the Nautilus range of exercise machines. Back in the days when training for two hours, twice a day was the norm, Jones caused controversy when he claimed that you could actually get better results with very short, infrequent weight training routines. However, despite the claims made by many authors, the majority of evidence shows that multiple sets (training as you are currently doing) deliver better results than single sets.

If you’re a beginning a weight training program, or you want to maintain (rather than gain) muscle size and strength, then you’ll probably notice little difference between single and multiple sets. And, if you only have a limited amount of time to spend in the gym, then one set is better than no sets.

If, however, you’ve been training for some time, a multiple-set program will deliver faster results than a program using single sets, whether you’re training for muscle size or muscle strength.

Multiple sets are also superior to single sets in weight training routines designed for fat loss. Not only do multiple sets increase the total number of calories burned during exercise, testosterone and growth hormone levels, both of which aid fat loss and muscle growth tend to be greater following multiple rather than single sets. The only thing I recommend is train hard and intense, but no more than 60 minutes in any one day for those looking to pack on muscle.

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