If one performs multiple "rounds" with only 30 to 60 seconds of rest, are they considered to be different sets or just one really big set? What about 15 seconds of rest, or 120 seconds of rest? Where does one draw the line?
The question is in regards to counting weekly sets.
What I can gather from this article is that both working sets and "stimulating repetitions" are used to define weekly volume.
So this ultimately made me curious to see if there was anything comparing the effects of different resting intervals into training.
The I found this paper by Brad Schoenfeld which suggests that resting longer periods of time between sets allowed test subjects to use higher weights and therefore achieve more volume.
10 reps × 3 sets × heavy weight with high rest produced more muscle growth than
10 reps × 3 sets × light weights
But this study completely failed to account that that shorter rest periods allow people to do more sets.
If 3 sets take 15 minutes to complete, one could do 15 sets in that exact amount of time and thus produce an immense amount of volume. Schoenfeld sadly didn't account this factor judging by the title of his paper.
I will continue to do some research in the meantime, but if anyone could find anything relevant to the question it would be appreciated.
But now the question transforms from what defines a set to "is using sets to count volume even mandatory or is counting reps a better choice?"
Because from the observation of the evolution of scientific papers about fitness one can see a shift from the old big weights=big muscle or drops sets are magical...or training more days a week= more muscle to a simple consensus that more work produces more muscle, and the results from those older papers only suggest that different methods of training allow for different amounts of work to be produced.
But I'm still looking for an efficient way to quantify work volume and how to better understand it.