I’ve been immersing myself in learning all that I can about strength training and how, as a personal trainer, I can help you reach your fitness goals. I’ve been shadowing personal trainers, talking to companies about partnerships/opportunities, working on projects for next year and reading any time I have a few minutes to spare.
This is what it feels like to DREAM BIG!
After talking about how much time you need to exercise I received emails with questions about other aspects of strength training. One of those questions was, “how may reps should I do?” I would love to say XYZ is the magic formula for your fitness success, but for maximum impact that’s not the case.
Let’s back up.
A repetition is one complete movement of a particular exercise and most of which involve concentric, isometric and eccentric muscle actions. For example, with a bicep curl, a single rep includes raising the dumbbell up against the direction of resistance (concentric contraction), pausing for a specific period of time (isometric hold) and then lowering the dumbbell with the direction of the resistance back to the starting position (eccentric action).
How many reps should you do?
That depends. The number of reps you perform should be based on fitness level, goals (do you want to lose fat or build muscle?), and intensity of the exercise. Taking into account these variables will prevent overtraining and yield specific results.
Low Repetitions (1-5)
This rep range allows you to use the heaviest weights, which puts your muscles under the highest amount of tension. This is the ideal rep range for building strength.
High Repetitions (11 or more)
This range requires your muscles to contract for long periods of time. This affects the muscle fibers that are the energy producing structures that burn fat AND lead to greater muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Performing sets in this range has been shown to stimulate the greatest increase in fat burning hormones when compared to greater or fewer reps.
Medium Repetitions (6 to 10)
This range is a mix of high and low reps but at a medium level. Muscles are at a medium tension for a medium amount of time. A combination of high and low reps improves muscle strength and endurance. But, keep in mind, if you use this rep range only, you’re missing out on the greater levels of tension you get with low reps and the longer tension time with high reps.
Use these guidelines to find the rep range you need.
I would love to chat.
How do you decide how many reps to do? Do you routinely increase reps?
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