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How Many Reps and Sets Should I Perform?

Thursday, November 8, 2012 · 0 comments

People often wonder at some point in their workout routines about the correct number of repetitions that they must perform. The effect of your workout routine would actually depend on the number of reps you make. You can’t just go ahead and gauge the number of reps you do with how tired your muscles are because that is not the correct indication.

What you should be aware of is that the most important factor in weight lifting is the number of reps you perform during your workout. The number will depend on what you want to achieve. If you want to increase the size and strength of your muscles, you must perform 4 to 6 reps, but you have to lift a heavy weight to turn the last repetition into a real challenge. If your goal is to develop a moderate strength, you must perform 8 to 12 reps.

To give you a clearer picture, below is American College of Sports and Medicine’s recommendation.

6 to 12 Repetitions for High Strength

This method of exercising is suitable for serious athletes and bodybuilders because it poses a very high risk for injury.

8 to 12 Repetitions for Moderate Strength

This is the ideal number to perform when your goal is to develop muscular strength and improve endurance. This has a lesser possibility of causing you injury.

10 to 15 Repetitions for Low Strength

This number is appropriate for older adults because it is safe. The risk of injuring yourself is very negligible.

Why would performing fewer repetitions result to more muscular strength? The theory sounds odd, but the answer is simple. It has something to do with weight. The weight that you will be lifting with fewer reps is higher than the weight you will be lifting with more reps. You will be using a much heavier weight when you are performing 6 reps that when you are doing 15 reps.

Remember, the results of weight lifting vary in people. You can’t expect to get the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger by doing 6 reps, nor can your expect that performing 12 reps will get you the shape of Brad Pitt.

Your genetic elements also have a very important role in your muscle size. Body builders and power lifters generally exercise by lifting heavy weights that will allow them to do two or three reps. Perhaps your goal is not really to look like those serious lifters, so it would be ideal for you to stick with 6 to 15 reps. Anything more than 15 reps does not have any positive impact in increasing your muscular strength, although you can improve your muscle endurance. A minimum of 12 reps is required if your goal is to increase your muscular endurance.

If you want to improve your muscle size, it is ideal to perform six to twelve reps and do more sets, about three to six. If you are looking to increase your muscular strength, perform less than 6 reps and do two to six sets.

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