August 5, 2014

The Reps and Sets Conundrum

August 5, 2014
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Lets be honest we’ve all been to the gym and completed 3 sets of 10 reps on 4 exercises then left thinking we’ve had an amazing session.  However, have you sat back and thought what you’re actually trying to achieve?  What are your training goals?  Is 3 x 10 suitable and specific?

The beauty of weight training is that there is no correct formula and everyone responds differently to certain regimes.  Remember your muscle can’t count how many reps and sets you’re doing.  Weight training is about stressing your body as much as possible and there is a whole host of variables to play with.  In a way it’s not about who can lift the most weight, do the most reps or complete the most sets it’s about who can train the smartest.  It’s about learning to listen to your body and gaining an understanding of what your body responds best to.  This article will give you an overview of appropriate reps and sets depending on your training goals.

Team Physique Boss advocates a range of training strategies.  Don’t allow your muscle to become adapted to a certain routine.  It is very easy to become stagnant in your training, make a change to see a change!  You want to stimulate and stress the different types of muscle fibres.  Mix your training up with muscular endurance, hypertrophy, strength and power training.

 weight lifting tips


Play around with the basic components listed below:

  • —  Evaluation of goals and progress
  • —  Exercise Selection
  • —  Frequency of training
  • —  Exercise Order
  • —  Training Load
  • —  Training Volume
  • —  Speed of Reps
  • —  Rest and Recovery
  • —  Variation


Training load

  • —  The amount of weight used in each exercise
  • —  Typically expressed as % of 1 rep max (1RM)


 Training variables should be based on your goals:

  •   Muscular Endurance; <67% 1 Rep max , >12 reps
  • —  Hypertrophy; 67-85% 1RM, 6-12 reps
  • —  Strength; >85% 1RM, <6 reps
  • —  Power; 75-90% 1RM, 1-5 reps (Speed of reps)


Training volume

  • —  Muscular endurance; >12 reps, 2-3 sets
  • —  Hypertrophy; 6-12 reps, 3-6 sets
  • —  Strength; <6 reps, 2-6 sets
  • —  3×10 reps what are we achieving?


Rest and recovery

The length of the rest period between sets and exercises is highly dependent upon:

  • —  The goal of training
  • —  The relative load lifted
  •   Between sets
  • —  muscular endurance; <30 seconds
  • —  hypertrophy; 30 – 90 seconds
  • —  strength; 2 – 5 minutes


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