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Crank Up The Volume On Your Training

The number of sets and reps you do in a workout is referred to as the "volume". If you're training with too low of a volume, your body won't need to adapt, but then again, if it's too high, you risk overtraining and actually losing muscle mass.

The following is a breakdown of recommended sets and reps, depending on what you're after. It's also a good idea to switch up your workouts every few months or so, to incorporate muscle confusion into your muscle building strategies, so switching between them is a great idea to keep your workouts fresh.

Muscle Gain: Generally, a moderate number of sets and reps per exercise lead to the quickest gains in pure size, which is what most of us are all after. Using lower reps builds strength and increases the size of proteins inside your muscle fibers, while higher reps increases the fluid inside the muscle itself.

For maximum size, you'll need to take advantage of both adaptations. Generally speaking, between 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps per exercise tends to work best. A good pyramid to follow is: 12, 10, 8, 6. That is, 12 reps, followed by a set of 10, 8, 6 and then finally 4.

Fat Loss: Although their are many ways to design a fat-loss program, the volume in your lifting workouts can be altered to help achieve some additional weight loss.The number of sets and reps can be made high to burn lots of calories or low to maintain muscle mass while cutting calories from your diet.

Sets are usually kept lower then 4 or fewer per exercise. In fact, performing a circuit of several exercises in-a-row, for just one or two sets is highly recommended. That way, you can train the whole body in a fast, time-efficient fat burning workout that gets your heart and muscles pumping.

Strength Gain: Using heavier weight means lower reps, which equals strength. Think power lifters one rep maxing on the clean and press. By keeping your reps low, you can perform a large number of sets (which also increases size).

Although, with more extreme loads, you won't be able to recover from multiple sets, so a lower number is more suitable. Try 3-5 sets of five reps or fewer per exercise.

All of these types of volume are great to use, and it's a good idea to switch up your strategy every-so-often, to keep gaining the most muscle mass.



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