Fitness: How much effort does it take to build stronger muscles?
The weight-training crowd is often more influenced by the practices of the guy with the biggest muscles than the latest in strength and conditioning research. This is especially true when it comes to selecting the optimal combination of reps, sets and loads to build muscle strength and size.
Traditional theory suggests that muscle size and strength are maximized by lifting heavy weight for fewer reps, while muscular endurance is best achieved by using less weight and more reps. As for the number of sets, there’s no shortage of experts willing to debate the effectiveness of anywhere between one and five sets. Yet as much as the weight-training community likes a lively debate about reps, sets and loads, it’s been suggested that there’s only one variable that really counts when it comes to maximizing results, and that’s training the muscle to failure. So whether it takes three or 12 reps, one or five sets, heavy or light weights, as long as the muscle is fatigued to the point where it can’t perform one more repetition, strength gains will be realized.
Source : la Gazette de Montreal