How Many Reps Should I Do?

You roll into the health club, water bottle and fast dry towel in hand. As you head to the burden room, clinging weights and music echo via the room. To the left of you, there’s a person starting his dumbbell shoulder press set; to your proper, a girl seated comfortably on a weight bench finishing her remaining dumbbell curl. 

As you make your technique to your weights of selection, you ask your self what number of reps ought to I do to construct muscle like the professionals

Usually, whether or not you’re power coaching or firming with lighter weight, it is best to purpose for someplace between 3 and 20 reps per set. However, the variety of reps you carry out will significantly rely in your expertise stage and health targets. As such, we’ve put collectively this information that will help you take advantage of your subsequent weight coaching exercise. After you learn this information, we assure you’ll be throwing your favourite playlist on and conquering the health club like a professional. 

What Are Reps?

Whether or not you’re squeezing in a morning or night exercise or chugging a protein shake earlier than your exercise, it doesn’t make a distinction until your health targets are aligned along with your workout routines and reps. Earlier than we discover what number of reps to construct muscle and power, let’s first dive into what precisely a rep is. “Rep” is brief for “repetition” and it refers to what number of instances you repeat an train.

For instance, should you’re performing a seated shoulder press with free weights, elevating each fingers over your head and again once more equals one rep. Reps then make up units. You’ll carry out various units earlier than taking a break to relaxation your muscle groups and take a gulp out of your ice-cold water bottle. 

So, should you carry out 10 seated shoulder press reps, then take a break, then do 10 extra, you’ve accomplished two units of 10 reps.

Rep Ranges

Understanding a rep is fairly easy. Nonetheless, understanding rep ranges is a little more advanced. For these new to weight lifting, it’s usually really helpful that they observe the three×10 rule—3 units of 10 reps per train. Nonetheless, as you advance and your muscle groups develop into stronger, you’ll wish to increase or alter your rep ranges. 

For instance, should you’re seeking to construct power with heavy-lifting workout routines like deadlifts, again squats, or bench presses, scale back your output to three to five units of two to six reps.1 However, should you’re seeking to enhance your endurance, you might wish to repeat 12 to twenty reps for less than 2 or 3 units. 

To that finish, when planning your weight lifting routine, it’s essential to consider two elements:

  • Load – This refers back to the quantity of weight you might be shifting. If one week you bench press 125 kilos and the subsequent week you press 130 kilos, you’ve gotten elevated your load. As acknowledged above, a decrease rep output might swimsuit a heavier load.
  • Failure – Failure refers to when you’ll be able to not do the train and preserve good type. You should still have the ability to transfer the burden by recruiting different muscle groups utilizing unhealthy type, however this raises your likelihood of damage and will make the train much less efficient. In the event you’re concentrating on particular muscle teams however don’t but have a excessive stage of muscular power or endurance, you’ll wish to scale back the variety of reps you carry out. 

If you carry out your rep ranges, try to be aiming to close failure with a purpose to construct muscular power. For instance, when somebody talks about doing three reps, the implication is that they’re lifting a heavy sufficient load during which three reps get them near failure. For ten reps, the load could be lighter to accommodate the upper quantity.

What Are the Greatest Rep Ranges?

So what’s the very best rep vary to construct muscle? In response to a scientific article in 2010 by Brad Schoenfeld, someplace within the 6 to 12 rep vary might be greatest for muscle development.2 Though it’s value noting that train choice, variety of units, and relaxation (at the very least a minute between units) are additionally essential elements to think about. 

Dr. Mike Israetel of Renaissance Periodization principally agrees with this evaluation, though he breaks it down even additional:3


Not everybody is solely in search of hypertrophy. In case your objective is power over hypertrophy, the advice modifications accordingly:


  • Energy Growing the quantity of weight you raise will assist to construct your power. That being mentioned, since heavier weights can rapidly result in muscle fatigue, it’s really helpful that you simply persist with 3 to six reps per set.
  • Measurement – In the event you’re aiming for power and endurance for shirt-tearing muscle groups, quantity is vital—purpose for six to twenty reps.

However do you need to select between measurement and power? Partly, the reply to this depends upon how lengthy you’ve been lifting, as it may be harder to realize muscle you probably have extra expertise within the weight room. Most lifters fall into considered one of three classes:

  • Novices – In the event you’re simply beginning or have solely been weight coaching for a yr or two, there’s excellent news: By staying in a 5 to 12 rep vary, you’re prone to advance in each power and measurement.
  • Intermediate – When you’ve been lifting weights for a couple of years, your physique received’t adapt as rapidly because it did initially. Nonetheless, by this time, you in all probability know what muscle power and development workout routines work greatest for you and you can begin adjusting your routine. For giant, compound lifts (like bench press or squat) you might wish to go in a decrease rep vary, whereas isolation workout routines (like a biceps curl) might profit from increased reps.
  • Superior – After a few years of coaching, you’re in all probability approaching your genetic potential and any further muscle achieve  can be hard-fought. To battle muscle monotony, incorporate selection. For one month, give attention to strengthening workout routines. Then swap to endurance coaching the subsequent month to offer your muscle groups with a problem. 

Don’t overlook that each health stage and objective requires a distinct quantity of reps. For instance, if somebody’s health objective is muscle development or constructing muscle, they could use heavier weight and low reps. However, if an individual’s health objective is fats loss, weight reduction, or gentle firming, they could use lighter weight and better reps. This isn’t at all times the case however simply an instance of how train repetition can differ. Usually, in terms of health questions from what number of reps to do to ought to you’ve gotten protein earlier than or after exercise, it relies upon. 

Hone Your Reps Routine at Prime Well being Weblog

In terms of making features on the health club, there are a couple of guidelines of the burden room that you simply should abide by: at all times wipe down the gear, use a spotter, and know precisely what number of reps you could carry out your greatest and stroll out of the health club feeling like a champion.

Okay, the final one isn’t precisely set in stone. However it most actually will aid you monitor and meet your health targets. However there’s no disgrace in excessive or low rep coaching since everyone is totally different.  In the event you’re seeking to begin your power or endurance program, there’s no higher place than Prime Well being Weblog. Whether or not you’re lifting our free weights or becoming a member of a staff coaching session, you’ll discover steerage and help each step of the best way at any of our places.  


In regards to the creator:

Ani is the Vice President of Health at Prime Well being Weblog and oversees the group health and staff coaching departments. She’s had a 25+ yr profession in membership administration, private coaching, group train and teacher coaching. Ani lives along with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves sizzling yoga, snowboarding and all issues wellness.





  1. Males’s Well being. Which Rep Vary You Ought to Select for Your Health Objectives. 
  2. The Journal of Energy and Conditioning Analysis. The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Software to Resistance Coaching. 
  3. Renaissance Periodization. The Variations Between Coaching for Measurement Vs Energy.
  4. Nationwide Library of Drugs. Resistance coaching is drugs: results of power coaching on well being.

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