More sets or more exercises?


Deciding between more sets or more exercises depends on your specific fitness goals and training experience.

More Sets of Fewer Exercises


  • Enhances skill and technique in specific movements, especially complex ones like squats or deadlifts. It allows for better CNS (central nervous system) adaptation and strength gains.
  • Effective for strength-focused training as it involves repetitive practice of the same movements, leading to better performance in those specific exercises 1 2.
  • Practicing fewer exercises for more sets is beneficial for gaining strength in those particular lifts 1.

More Exercises with Fewer Sets


  • Provides varied stimulation to the muscles, which can be beneficial for muscle hypertrophy (growth) by targeting muscles from different angles.
  • Reduces the risk of overtraining a specific movement, which can help in maintaining overall muscle health and preventing injuries.
  • Ideal for bodybuilding or general fitness goals where the focus is on muscle size and aesthetic rather than strength 1 3.

    Sets and Exercises

    Sal and Adam discuss the difference between doing more sets of fewer exercises versus fewer sets of more exercises in bodybuilding and fitness training. They highlight the benefits of both and recommend experimenting with different approaches to find what works best for you.

    Mind Pump Podcast

    1612: Everything You Need to Know About Sets, Reps & Rest Periods

Both methods have their own benefits, and often, alternating between these approaches over time may help in achieving a balanced and comprehensive fitness regime. It can prevent plateaus and adapt the muscles to different types of stresses. Always consider your current fitness level, goals, and the advice of fitness professionals when programming your workout routine.