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Multiple Sets Better Than Single Set for Trained Postmenopausal Women

Pretrained postmenopausal women gain more strength from multiple-set protocols than from single-set training, according to a study published in last November’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2004; 18 [4], 689–94).

Researchers from the University of Erlangen, Germany, examined 71 subjects, who were randomly assigned to begin with 12 weeks of the single-set or 12 weeks of the multiple-set protocol. After 5 weeks of other resistance training, the two groups switched and completed the opposite protocol. Researchers measured one-repetition max values for leg press, bench press, rowing and leg adduction at baseline and after each 12- week period. Multiple-set training resulted in significant increases (3.5%–5.5%) for all four strength measurements, whereas single-set training resulted in significant decreases (-1.1% to -2.0%). Body mass and body composition did not change during the study.

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Joy Keller

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.

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