IN THE GYM




Sets And Reps Looked At


A workout consists of exercises, which may include cardiovascular (such as jogging), flexibility-based (stretching), stability-based (control drills – such as working out your rotator cuff), or anaerobic (strength training, such as the bench press). Working with weights involves choosing a number of different exercises and then performing them in a very specific sequence.

Each time you lift a particular weight, you are performing a set. The number of times that you lift the weight is called repetitions. Thus, a group of repetitions is a set. There is an inverse relationship between load (weight lifted) and repetition; in other words, you may lift very heavy weights only a few repetitions at a time, while you lift lighter weights for more repetitions. Most gym-rats call repetitions “reps” for short. The rate at which you lift the weight is called tempo. The time spent between one set and the next is known as rest.

There are many ways to construct a workout plan using sets and repetitions. The most common method is to consider repetitions. Generally speaking, the number of repetitions in a given set will dictate the result of the workout. Here is how reps are typically used:

1 – 3 reps: strength or neurological. Your muscle becomes more effective at generating force, so you can lift more weight.

4 – 6 reps: neurological with some hypertrophy. In this rep range, you may induce some muscle growth (hypertrophy) in addition to receiving the neurological (strength) benefits.

7 – 8 reps: hypertrophy with some neurological. This rep range is more of a compromise between gaining muscle and some strength, with a focus more on size gain than strength gain. The reason you can gain strength without gaining size is because your muscles do not operate at 100% efficiency. Therefore, you are able to improve the efficiency and gain strength without necessarily gaining size, and vice versa.

9 – 12 reps: hypertrophy. This is the traditional range to gain size with minimal strength gains, as well.

13 – 20 reps: ligaments and tendons. This is a rep range that still stimulates strength and size gains, but is thought to help the ligaments and tendons adapt, as well.

21 – 50 reps: local endurance. This repetition range will improve your ability to move a moderate load many times.

It is interesting to note that training in one range does not necessarily benefit another. For example, push-ups are mainly an endurance test because you are lifting a moderate load (your body) multiple times. Therefore, increasing your bench press maximum will not necessarily improve the number of push-ups you can perform. To increase the number of push-ups you can perform, you would need to train at a higher repetition range to build muscular endurance.

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