When you are in the gym it is important to ensure that the reps and sets in your workout are in alignment with your overall fitness goals.
A rep, or repetition, is the number of times you can complete a full exercise movement before requiring a break. These repetitions are grouped into sets which are broken up with rest periods. For example, doing 3 sets of 15 bicep curls means that you will complete a bicep curl 15 times before resting (forming 1 set), afterwards running through this ‘loop’ another 2 times.
It is important to come into each session with a proper gym plan that includes reps and sets to avoid injury and get the best results!
What You Need To Think About When Deciding Workout Reps and Sets
One of the most common mistakes when exercising is comparing yourself to someone else.
We know that competition gives us motivation for our exercise, but we have to do it with the knowledge that not all of us need the same repetitions to train. What works for your body might not work for somebody else.
One of the most important characteristics that we must take into account to calculate our number of repetitions is our percentage of muscle mass, as well as our diet.
It is best to reduce sugar and fat and increase protein consumption. You also have to balance it with what you have done in the day, as a good workout is in line with a lifestyle. The more we adapt our lifestyle to training, the better results we will obtain.
Once you have taken into account your circumstances, it is time to calculate how many repetitions and sets you are going to do for each exercise.
How Do You Know How Many Reps and Sets To Do?
As with most things, there is not a one-size fits all answer.
However, the good thing is, there are some standard tips you can use to determine what you’re going to do.
If you use this as a guide, depending on what your goal is, you’ll find that you can build more muscle the smart way.
Reps and Sets: If You Want To Increase Stamina…
To gain muscular endurance, you need to increase the number of repetitions.
It is a way to expand the fatigue threshold (anaerobic threshold), which is the time in which we get tired. Building this progressively over time will help to make steady improvements to stamina levels.
In addition, you will also burn more calories and avoid injuries, since increasing repetitions does not mean increasing loads.
From this, you can gain the stamina you are aiming for without putting on more weight. We advise you to increase the number of repetitions and stop at 20.
Or, If You Want To Gain Muscle Mass…
If you want to go from skinny to muscular you must regulate the repetitions that are done in each workout.
This is important to stay on top of while you are working out each session because making jumps in progress that are too big can result in injury and setbacks.
Ideally, you can do 3 sets of no more than 10 repetitions each, depending on the weight that will be used for the exercise.
We recommend that you increase the weight a little each time, in this way, we will be able to make a noticeable gain towards the muscle mass goal you have.
Or, If You Want To Improve Your Functional Strength…
A lot of people, whether coming back from injury or not, should look to improve their functional strength in the body.
A prime area to target for this type of training is improving your hip strength since it is a major part of a lot of lower body movements.
If you are coming back from an injury you will also have to adapt the repetitions to your goal, ideally with the help of a physio program. For a normal situation, we recommend that you increase the number of repetitions with the same weight to build your functional strength.
It is best to do between 15 and 25 repetitions per set.
Don’t put on a lot of weight to avoid the kind of fatigue that can lead to injuries. Do it with a moderate load and take about 3 minutes of rest.
Examples of Using Reps and Sets
It might be helpful to take a look at how others are putting together their workout.
When it’s explained well, it helps you start to think about your plan.
Of course you can experiment but always go cautiously so you don’t injure yourself.
Deciding Reps and Sets For Your Home Workout
The beginner has to consider their initial level of fitness and strength, and not push it too hard.
This video demonstrates with a home workout how to approach using reps and sets to achieve your goals.
But pay attention to your body, if there is a real pain, stop no matter what the plan is.
The fact is that many techniques can help you achieve your goal, so you just have to make sure you know what you want from the workout.
Ask for help from a personal trainer if you want the most accurate program that takes into account your circumstances and the goal you want to achieve.