November 13, 2018 | by Jeremy Meyer | Personal Training,
How many repetitions per set should I do to achieve my goals?
Most people don’t achieve the results they aim for due to the following 5 reasons:
They use the same repetitions scheme for months or years. This leads to staleness and boredom.
They use too much variety. Example: 5 reps per set on Mondays, 15 on Wednesdays, 10 on Fridays. This is like trying to learn 3 different languages at the same time. Progress is very slow and most people end up giving up.
They do not train to muscular failure on each set. Example: They stop at 10 repetitions with a weight they could lift 20 times. This gives no reason for the body to adapt and change.
They do not use the perfect technique on every repetition. Having poor technique can lead to injuries.
They use too little or too much rest between sets. There is an inverse relationship between the number of repetitions performed per set and the length of the rest periods needed between sets. Example: Sets of 1-5 repetitions require 120s-180s rest periods. Meanwhile, sets of 15- 20 repetitions require less (the 30s-75s). Heavier loads tax the nervous system more, therefore it needs more time to fully recover.
At RAW Personal Training we use the following Four basic repetition schemes with our clients:
Functional Muscle Growth
Fat Loss and Body composition
We plan our training programs 6-12 weeks in advance and ensure each phase is 3 to 4 weeks long.
With our beginner clients, we focus on a single repetition scheme per training phase. We do not have them perform any less than 8 reps. This is because beginners are still learning how to weight train. Their nervous systems are not inefficient, therefore they don’t have the ability to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres in a short period of time.
For our more advanced clients, we use a mixture of 2 repetition schemes.
The less experienced the client is, the less variety they should use in their strength training regime in order to make steady progress.
12 Week Plan Sample: For Beginners whose goal is fat loss
Week 1-3: 15-20 repetitions (45s rest between sets) Fat Loss
Week 4-6: 10-12 repetitions (75s rest between sets) Muscle Growth
Week 7-9: 12-15 repetitions (60s rest between sets) Fat Loss
Week 10-12: 7-9 repetitions (90s rest between sets) Functional Strength