Will I get stronger if I only use a single-set resistance training routine?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
If you are a beginner to resistance training, single-set training will increase your strength for the first 3-6 weeks of training. After you have trained for a short period of time your nervous system and muscles adapt rapidly. There is a principle called the S.A.I.D. Principle, which states that your body will specifically adapt to the imposed demands placed on it. So, to force your body to continue to adapt you need to vary your workouts by changing the sets, reps, intensity, exercises, etc

I recommend that you follow an integrated training program that is systematic and progressive to allow you to maximize your potential and achieve your desired goal (NASM has an evidence-based training program, Optimum Performance Training that allows you to implement these principles safely and effectively).

1. Start slow
2. Be progressive
3. Vary your routine
4. Vary your exercises
5. Vary the equipment that you use (dumbbells, cable, tubing, etc)

Yes. Depending on your level of resistance training experience, it is possible to get stronger using a single-set resistance training routine. Research demonstrates that a single-set resistance training routine will improve strength more in a person new to resistance training than in individuals with more resistance training experience.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.