Strength and body composition parameters: single versus triple set resistance-training programmes

J.S. Baker, S.-M. Cooper, R.S. Williams, B. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of increasing the volume of weight-training from one to three sets on muscular strength performances and body composition characteristics in a group of male recreational weight-trainers.

Sixteen male weight-trainers volunteered to act as subjects and were randomly assigned to one of two training groups. Supervised weight-training targeting the upper body was conducted three times per week for eight weeks using one set (n = 8) or three sets (n = 8) of six repetitions to fatigue of variable resistance training exercises. Subjects were measured before and after the training intervention for adiposity (sum of seven skinfold thicknesses (mm)) and strength performance (N) using the one repetition maximum method on the bench-press, biceps curl and shoulder press.

Both training groups improved significantly in terms of muscular strength (P<0.05) with no differences being observed between the one and three set group after the training intervention (P>0.05). Significant decreases were also observed for adiposity in the one set group (P<0.05).

In recreational weight-trainers over an eight-week period, one set of high intensity resistance training was as effective as three high intensity sets for increasing the strength of muscle groups in the upper body. The one set protocol also produced significantly greater decreases in adiposity. the implications of these findings are extremely attractive for both the sports and health orientated members of society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Movement Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Strength and body composition parameters: single versus triple set resistance-training programmes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this