No matter how many repetitions you do, always use a heavy enough weight so that the last rep is a struggle, but not such a struggle that you compromise good form. For example, you typically can handle more weight on the flat chest-press machine than you can on the incline chest-press machine. And while sets of 20 reps will focus on building endurance, it will also build some muscle, and strength to a much lesser extent. When you perform a specific exercise, you typically repeat a specific action a certain number of times, or reps. Reps is short for repetitions. This post explains all you need to know about reps, sets, rep ranges and rest between sets, so that you can improve your training results. The amount of rest between sets depends on the intensity (e.g. You can’t design a strength-training (or weight-training) program without knowing two terms: rep and set. Learn more about reps and sets before your next workout. Write down how much weight you lift for each exercise so that next time around, you don’t have to waste time experimenting all over again. So why use more or fewer sets? Keep track of how you feel; your body may respond better to one type of training than another. I discuss rest between sets in detail, later. What do sets mean? For example, you can say, “I did two sets of ten reps on the crunches” This means that you did ten consecutive crunches, rested, and then did another ten crunches. However, if your goal is simply to build enough strength for good health, one challenging set may be sufficient. If you were to do that same motion 5 times in a row, that would be 5 reps. Sets refer to a sequential collection of a predetermined number of reps. A set is always a series of repetitions done without any rest between reps. The number of reps and sets in your workouts should take intensity, volume and frequency into consideration. The lesson in all of this? Be sure to adjust the amount of weight you use for each exercise. There are three rep ranges that correspond to the three biomotor capacities: strength, muscle building, and endurance: Strength training entails lifting heavy loads for low reps. I’ll cover how it all fits together in a bit. Read more, 3 Different Rep Ranges for Strength, Hypertrophy & Endurance. The number of reps you should do depends on where you are in your training (new, experienced, coming back from a long layoff) and your goals. The best way to gauge rest time is to begin a new set as soon as you feel recovered to the point where you can physically put enough energy into to productively execute the next set. But don’t lock yourself into lifting a certain amount of weight every time. If you have a few different goals in mind, you can mix and match the number of reps you do per workout. For example, if you go from doing 6 reps for the first set to doing 2 or 3 reps for second set, then you probably need more rest between sets. Set (s): A set is a series of reps of an exercise done in sequence (usually without rest). That is, they overlap. Home > Blog > Training > A Guide to Reps and Sets, Rep Ranges & Rest Between Sets. What are reps and sets? After about a month of strength training, you may want to go to muscular failure (that is, your last repetition is so difficult that you can’t squeeze out one more). You may go on to do a further group of 6 reps of that exercise, meaning that you will have done 2 sets of 6 reps. Doing dozens of reps with ultralight weights (weights you can barely even feel) doesn’t bring good results of any kind, because you’re not stressing your muscles enough. You can and should utilize all the different rep ranges to your advantage. For strength only 4 to 5, hypertrophy 2 to 3 , hypertrophy / strength – 3 to 4, You need to implement rest periods that will cause both sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar muscle hypertrophy. Deliberate rest periods happens between sets. Heavy sets of 3 reps will focus on building strength, but it will also build some muscle, and endurance to a much lesser extent. It depends largely on what type of training you’re doing? I started this website back in late 2009 during college, and it has been my pet project ever since. Learn how to do that , Your email address will not be published. Most people can increase their initial weights after two to four weeks of training; at that point, consider adding a second or even third set for each muscle group. If you were to perform a single motion of the bench press (i.e. heaviness, or difficulty) and number of reps you complete in a given set. lowering it to your chest, then pressing it back up), that would be one rep. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams! Here are the basic guidelines: Of course, the above are general recommendations. So how many sets should I do for strength, hypertrophy and endurance? Train like a bodybuilder: If you're looking to maximize muscle size, target 8-12 reps per set (on average) and choose multijoint movements like the bench press, squat, overhead press, bent-over row, and deadlift, which recruit more total muscle mass … Again, beginners tend to make gains with fewer sets (3 seems to work very well) whereas intermediate/advanced athletes may need 4-8 sets to benefit from the exercise. Sets and repetitions are fundamental weight training concepts to understand thoroughly. A ‘set’ is a group of reps done one after another until you reach a specific number prescribed, or within a range, such as 8-12. Anyone that is learning how to lift weights will come across these two terms quite frequently. To tone your muscles and develop the type of strength you need for everyday life — moving furniture or shoveling snow — aim for 10 to 12 repetitions. Reps and sets allow you to structure and organize an efficient, effective muscle-building routine. Required fields are marked *, Hey! If you’re aiming for maximum strength or a physique like the ones you see on ESPN body-building competitions, you need to do at least 10 to 20 sets per muscle group. For example, you can say, “I did two sets of ten reps on the crunches” This means that you did ten consecutive crunches, rested, and then did another ten crunches. However, in order to get the best results over the long run, you need to periodically shift your focus (this is the basis for periodization). But even when doing different exercises for the same muscle group, you’re likely to need a variety of weights. Weight Training: How Many Reps (and Sets) to Do, 2 Upper-Back, Dumbbell Exercises — Pullover and Shrug. There’s no simple answer. If you do six pull-ups in a row, that’s one set. Specifically, the 1-5 rep range is best for gaining strength. By having a clear understanding of what they are, you will attain far greater results with your workout sessions. In general, use more weight to work larger muscles like your thighs, chest, and upper back, and use less weight to exercise your shoulders, arms, and abdominals. So if we do 5 reps in a row, stop for a couple minutes, then do another five reps, that is 2 sets of 5 reps. Several studies show that doing one set per muscle builds just as much strength as doing three sets per muscle, at least for the first three or four months of training. My point in using this silly hypothetical scenario is to show that these three goal-related rep ranges are on a continuum. You may need a little more or less on some exercises and sets. A set refers to a group of repetitions (or reps) of that exercise. Thankfully, I don’t have to make this choice. You should focus on one rep range at a time. The number of repetitions you perform before you stop is a set. How long should you rest between sets? There are three rep ranges that correspond to the three biomotor capacities: strength, muscle building, and endurance: Hypothetical scenario: If I had to just one rep count that I could do on every set of every exercise for the rest of my life, I’d choose 6 reps. I’ve found that 6 reps is the best compromise between strength and muscle building goals. Everyone feels stronger on some days than on others. Rep (repetition) is one complete motion of an exercise. Repetitions, or reps, represent the number of times you perform an exercise, whether it’s biceps curls, leg extensions, squats, or crunches. Whether your interest is in bodybuilding, powerlifting, physical conditioning or a combination of all three, your weight lifting routine will require you to perform the proper reps and sets based on your needs and goals. A set is a group of consecutive repetitions. You can’t design a strength-training (or weight-training) program without knowing two terms: rep and set. A set is a group of consecutive repetitions. So, the group of 6 reps you just did before you had a rest would have been your 1 st set. Your email address will not be published. To become as strong and as big as your body type will allow, do fewer than 8 or 10 reps per set. | … Kabuki Strength Power Bar Review: New Generation Power Bar, Force USA Monster G12 Review: All-In-One Gym, Force USA Monster G9 Review: All-in-One Gym, Force USA Monster G6 Review: All-in-One Home Gym. Reps (short for repetitions) refer to the number of times you perform a particular weight lifting exercise. If you want to get bigger and stronger and also improve the endurance of those muscles, you can do a heavy workout one day and a lighter workout the next time out.