How many sets are best for your training?

How many sets are best for your training?


Are you, like many others, also in doubt about how many sets you should do?

Then read on, because in this article we will come up with an answer to this problem!

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What is your goal?

First, it is important that you set a goal for what you want to achieve with your training. Is it strength, muscle growth, endurance or something else entirely?
Once you have set a goal for your training, you are ready to plan how many sets best suit your training.

It's important to remember that there are no 100% right answers when it comes to exercise. This is just our suggestion for the optimal amount of sets, based on the goals being set.

You have to remember...

It is important to remember that there are many factors that can influence the optimal number of sets. Therefore, there are also several different answers, which we will also get into later in the article. The most decisive factors, which will be covered in the article, are:

  • Are you experienced or a beginner?
  • How do you do your sets?
  • Do you want to increase strength, muscle growth, endurance or something else?
  • How often do you exercise?
  • Which muscle group do you train?

There is a big difference between whether you are a beginner or experienced when it comes to the number of sets and how you should do them. This is because strength training stresses both muscles, ligaments, tendons and your skeleton. As a beginner, you have not yet accustomed your body to lifting intensely, and we therefore recommend that you as a beginner take 1-3 sets. After these sets, you should still be able to do 2-4 repetitions afterwards - so this should not be a maximum load.

As you train longer, your body can handle heavier loads, allowing you to perform sets with maximum load. It also takes more to achieve a greater increase in muscle growth, strength or endurance, as experienced, as you have to train harder to get the same effect as a beginner. Here it is not always best to perform as many sets as possible, as the increase will stagnate after 5-6 sets. If you train for strength and/or muscle growth, we recommend between 3-5 sets, depending on how slowly you do your reps and whether you train to full exhaustion. If you are training for endurance, we recommend between 2-3 sets, as a higher amount of repetitions must be done in endurance training.

"Also read: how many repetitions/reps are best for your training?"


mand doing dumbell rows


If you exercise the same muscle group more than 2 times a week, you can do fewer sets. If you train the same muscle group too many times a week with many sets, it may happen that the muscles do not get enough time to recover. This is called overtraining, and you will not make progress in your training.

If you only train each muscle group once a week, after the beginner period, you will find it difficult to gain muscle mass and strength. We therefore recommend that you hit each muscle group 2 times a week, as you can do 3-5 sets per week. exercise. Here you will often see an improvement if you get enough sleep and a good diet.


Large muscle groups, such as chest, back and thighs, can benefit more from multiple sets than smaller muscle groups, such as biceps. Therefore, it is most optimal with several sets for compound lifts, such as bench press, deadlift and squat. With smaller lifts, such as bicep curls, you can easily get away with fewer sets.


What have you found works best for you?

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