The on-going debate on what is the best way to train your muscles for strength and/or size started in earnest back in the mid-1950s, about when Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE) came into the lexicon. At the time multiple sets of multiple reps of a variety of exercises became the standard, with multiple yet to be defined. There was a small push, or putsch, to get folks to buy into the one-set equivalency, but that, after many studies, has gone by the by.
Once multiple sets became standard fare, the question then became, how many sets? The most recent study I’ve read said 3-5 sets with 4 preferred; body builders might take it up a notch as might football players who need both size and strength.
But how hard does the lifting have to get before you see results?
This is a question asked by many novices, especially older people who are unaccustomed to lifting weights. So here’s an article that will make sense of this concern, and will take some of the sting out of the answer.
Still, you gotta lift hard enough – whether heavy or light – to feel the burn, so to speak. And the light option may make it safer for many if not most: