Stronger in Less Time: Discover the Potency & Efficiency of One-Set Strength Training!

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Stronger in Less Time: Discover the Potency & Efficiency of One-Set Strength Training!

Strength training boosts metabolism post-workout, with a lasting effect of up to 72 hours. One-set strength training can achieve the same metabolic increase as a traditional 3-set, 10-repetition workout.

One Set vs. Three Sets

Strength training is often referred to as a solution to speed up your metabolism and turn your body into a calorie-burning machine. But does it really work, and can you get the same benefits from a shorter workout? Let's take a closer look.

Weights are generally lifted for sets of multiple repetitions. Let’s refer to this as the “traditional method.” Each time you lift and lower a weight, it is one repetition. Multiple repetitions makes up a set, and once you have stopped or taken a break from lifting, the set is over.

The most common way to lift is used in the traditional method where you lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, whether you hit muscle failure or not. Lifting speeds vary but on average let’s assume the traditional speed is 1 second lifting, 1 second pausing (or none at all), and 1 second lowering.

The Perfect Workout Method uses lifting for one set until muscle failure. This method is also referred to as high-intensity training. If the exercise is performed for 1-2 minutes, which is the recommended length of time to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness, then that generally ends up being 3-6 repetitions. The lifting speed used is 10 seconds lifting, 0-3 seconds pausing, and 10 seconds lowering.

So to simplify….

Traditional method: 3 sets of 10 repetitions | 30 repetitions total

One-set method: 1 set of 3-6 repetitions | 3-6 repetitions total

One study compared the two different workout protocols. The first was a full-body workout using one set of each exercise, while the second featured three sets of each exercise.

The researchers measured the energy (calories) burned at rest for a week after each workout. Surprisingly, there was no difference in the amount of energy burned between the two groups, even though the three-set workout took much longer.

As the researchers predicted, energy expenditure for both groups was much higher during each of the first three days. However, there was NO difference between the two groups. A workout using one set per exercise increased metabolism to the same degree that a three-set routine did for 24, 48, and 72 hours afterwards.

Both groups increased their daily energy expenditure by about 100 calories on the following day and that rate decreased to roughly 90 and 80 for two and three days after. This isn't enough to lead to significant weight loss on its own, but it can help with fat loss and weight maintenance.

In fact, strength training was the second most popular physical activity/exercise for people who have successfully maintained 30-lb weight loss for at least one year (following walking). It could explain why they've been so successful.

If you're strength training twice a week, the benefits of the workout may be ongoing, since your resting energy expenditure could remain elevated. Plus, you can save time by doing a shorter, single-set training workout.

How To Have A Successful One-Set Workout:

Each exercise is performed by lifting weights or added resistance for approximately 10 seconds and lowering the weight for another 10 seconds with correct form and proper resistance. The ultimate goal is to achieve momentary muscular failure (aka. muscle success) within 1 to 2 minutes. Then on to the next exercise!

Slowing the lifting speed reduces momentum on each repetition and activates the muscles instantly and more effectively. As a result, more muscle fibers are used and ultimately strengthened. One session consists of anywhere between 5-9 exercises and is generally performed 1-2 times a week.

In theory, you can hit all major muscle groups with just 4 exercises:

  • Leg Press: Glutes, Quadriceps, Calves
  • Chest/Bench Press: Pectorals, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Lat Pulldown: Lats, Biceps, Abdominals
  • Leg Curl: Hamstrings

Depending on your goals, you can also incorporate other exercises to target specific muscle areas, including:

  • Leg Extension: Quadriceps
  • Preacher Curl: Biceps, Forearms
  • Tricep Extension: Triceps
  • Hip Abduction: Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minor, TFL
  • Hip Adduction: Inner Thighs
  • Compound Row: Trapezoids, Rhomboids, Biceps (often interchangeable for Lat Pulldown)
  • Abdominal Machine: Abdominals

With a one-set workout it’s important to remember to go slow, avoid rest between reps, keep going until muscle failure- and that’s that! When done correctly, a single set can get you all the benefits you need from strength training and save you tons of time!

What Have We Learned?

Strength training can be an effective way to increase metabolism, burn calories, and improve overall health. The traditional method of lifting for three sets of 10 repetitions is a common approach, but studies suggest that a shorter, one-set workout can produce the same benefits.

The key is to lift slowly with proper form until muscle failure is achieved, which can be done in just 1-2 minutes per exercise. By incorporating strength training into your exercise routine, you may be able to increase your resting energy expenditure and help with fat loss and weight maintenance. And with the one-set method, you can save time while still achieving the desired results.

So whether you're looking to build muscle, improve your health, or maintain weight loss, consider adding strength training to your routine with a one-set workout.

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How to Boost Metabolism After 40

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9 ways to Boost Metabolism After 40

Wanting to know the top Tips on How to Boost Metabolism After 40? Get the answers here!

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. It is a complex process that involves several chemical reactions, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being.

However, as you age, your metabolism tends to slow down, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and other health issues. If you're over age 40, you may have noticed that it's harder to lose weight than it used to be, despite eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

But don't worry, there are several ways to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health, even after 40!

In this article, we'll discuss metabolism and cover evidence-based strategies to improve your metabolism and achieve optimal health and well-being, no matter your age!

1. Eating More Protein Speeds Up Your Metabolism

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing muscle tissue. It is also a key factor in boosting your metabolism. Studies have shown that consuming a high-protein diet can help you gain muscle, which increases your metabolism.

To get the most out of your protein intake, aim to consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and plant-based sources such as beans, lentils, and tofu.

2. Green Tea Boosts Metabolism

Green tea contains a potent antioxidant called EGCG, which has been shown to boost metabolism. Drinking green tea regularly can help increase your metabolic rate and contribute to weight loss.

In one study, participants who drank green tea for 12 weeks saw a significant increase in their metabolic rate compared to those who drank a placebo. To get the most out of your green tea intake, aim to consume around 2-3 cups per day.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep has been linked to a slow metabolism and increased risk of weight gain. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help boost your metabolism.

In one study, participants who slept for only 5 hours per night for 5 nights saw a significant decrease in their metabolic rate compared to those who slept for 9 hours per night. To improve your sleep quality, try to establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and create a relaxing sleep environment.

4. Resistance Training Increases Metabolism

Resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, has been shown to increase metabolism by building muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, even when you're at rest.

In one study, participants who engaged in a resistance training program for 24 weeks saw a significant increase in their metabolic rate compared to those who did not engage in any exercise. To get the most out of your resistance training, aim to incorporate it into your workout routine two times per week.

5. High Intensity Training

High-Intensity Training (HIT) is the ideal method of resistance training to increase your metabolism.

HIT gets you great results while avoiding overtraining. This is due to training harder but less often, or a “quality over quantity” approach. This manifests in both the workout frequency and execution.

With high-intensity training, only one set is performed per exercise. Each repetition is executed with a high focus on form, moving the weight through a full-range of motion with a slow and controlled tempo.

Each exercise is performed to “Muscle Success,” when the muscle reaches a point where it can no longer move the weight on the lifting phase of the repetition – aka. muscle failure.

Training to Muscle Success ensures that the maximum amount of muscle fibers are trained and stimulated. In other words, your muscles get the most benefit out of a single set.

Muscles continue to become stronger over time through progressive overload. This involves a perpetual increase in the demand placed on muscles during training. HIT achieves this through frequent weight increases, even if the weight increase is a small amount (e.g. 2 lbs.).

6. Drink Cold Water

Drinking enough water is essential for a healthy metabolism, as it helps regulate body temperature and digestion. Cold water specifically enhances metabolism since our body needs to heat the water. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to keep your metabolism functioning optimally.

In one study, participants who drank 500 ml of cold water saw a significant increase in their metabolic rate compared to those who did not. To get the most out of your hydration, aim to drink cooler water throughout the day and consume water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.

7. Reduce Stress

Chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels, which can slow down metabolism and contribute to weight gain. Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, to help reduce stress and boost metabolism.

In one study, participants who engaged in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program saw a significant increase in their metabolic rate compared to those who did not. To reduce stress, try to incorporate stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine and prioritize self-care activities such as getting enough sleep and exercise.

8. Add Spices to Your Diet

Certain spices, such as cayenne pepper, ginger, and turmeric, have been shown to have a thermogenic effect and increase metabolism. Try adding these spices to your meals to boost your metabolism.

In one study, participants who consumed a meal containing cayenne pepper saw a significant increase in their metabolic rate compared to those who did not. To get the most out of your spice intake, aim to incorporate spices into your meals regularly.

9. Alcohol Slows Metabolism

Alcohol has a negative effect on metabolism and can slow down the fat-burning process. Limit your alcohol intake to reduce the risk of slowing down your metabolism.

In one study, participants who consumed alcohol saw a significant decrease in their metabolic rate compared to those who did not. To reduce your alcohol intake, try to limit your consumption to special occasions and opt for lower-calorie, lower-alcohol options such as light beer or wine.


Although it may feel like a struggle at times, boosting metabolism over 40 is possible with a combination of lifestyle changes and habits. Eating enough protein, drinking green tea, getting enough sleep, and engaging in resistance and high-intensity training are all effective ways to increase metabolic rate.

Staying hydrated, and reducing stress are also helpful in boosting metabolism. Additionally, adding spices to your diet and limiting alcohol intake can help optimize metabolic function.

Incorporating these habits into your daily routine can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. By making these changes, you can increase your energy levels, burn more calories, and maintain a healthy weight, making it easier to enjoy life to the fullest at any age!

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We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.