What is the optimal number of sets and reps for muscle growth?

How many sets and reps should you do for each body part to maximize muscle growth? Find out with the help of the guys from the Mind Pump podcast.

The Mind Pump Podcast is an online radio show that talks about all things fitness and is generally provocative. Its hosts are Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer, Justin Andrews, and Doug Egge. They also have a YouTube channel with over 700,000 subscribers.

The hosts receive various fitness-related questions and they answer as simply as possible on the spot.

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How many sets and reps should you do for each body part to maximize muscle growth?

According to Di Stefano, there are scientific studies that tried to answer the optimal total volume per body part per week. This means you can split the volume with two workouts, three workouts, it depends on how often you hit the gym and do your workouts each week.

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While there is no one size fits all, Di Stefano says there is something between 9-18 total sets per week per body part.

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Of course, there are people at both ends where only 9 sets of chest exercises are good for muscle hypertrophy, while for others they may need 18 sets to get a good pump and get stronger.

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Adam Schafer says the range is even different depending on which body part you’re training. You have to figure this out for you too, as an individual. In Schafer’s own experience, he can handle a lot of biceps, so he can get closer to 18 sets per week, while his legs can’t take as much work, so he can get closer to 9 sets per week for things like squats.

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You can do this number of sets and reps in one workout, but studies show that muscles should be trained at least twice a week to achieve and maintain better results.

See the video below for more information.

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More information

There are many reasons why you should include strength training as part of your general fitness routine. Here are some of the main benefits:

  1. Build muscle: Strength training is an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. This can help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.
  2. Increase strength and endurance: By challenging your muscles with resistance exercises, you can increase your strength and endurance, which can make it easier to complete daily tasks and activities.
  3. Reduces the risk of injury: Strong muscles and joints are less likely to be injured during physical activity, which can help reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall physical performance.
  4. Improves bone density: Strength training has been shown to increase bone density, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  5. Improves overall physical performance: Strength training can improve your overall physical performance, whether you are an athlete looking to improve your performance in a specific sport or simply want to perform your daily tasks more easily.
  6. Increases Confidence and Self-Esteem: Seeing progress and improvements in your strengths and physical abilities can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
  7. Improves Quality of Life: Strength training can improve your overall quality of life by making daily tasks easier to complete, reducing the risk of injury, and improving your overall physical health and well-being.

Overall, strength training can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, and can help you live a happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle.

Barbell curlSource: Dollar Gill on Unsplash

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How often should you exercise?

How often you should exercise depends on several factors, including your fitness goals, your current fitness level, and the type of exercise you do. In general, the American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with at least two days of strength training per week.

Here are some general guidelines for how often to exercise based on your fitness goals:

  1. For general health and fitness: Aim to exercise most days of the week, at least 30-60 minutes a day. This may include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility training.
  2. Weight loss: Aim to exercise at least 30-60 minutes a day most days of the week. This should include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training, focusing on creating a caloric deficit through a combination of exercise and diet.
  3. To build muscle: Aim to do strength training at least two days a week, targeting all major muscle groups. You can also incorporate aerobic exercise and flexibility exercises into your routine.
  4. Athletic performance: The frequency and intensity of your training depends on your athletic and fitness goals. Talk to a trainer or coach to create a customized training plan.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overexerting yourself, which can lead to injury or burnout. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity of the exercises over time.

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