What is a Rep?
What is a Set?
A set is a group of these repetitions. The amount of reps you include in a set depends on what kind of set you are doing. Research and experience have shown that bodybuilders get the most results using a weight in each exercise that represents about 70 to 75% of their one rep maximum (1RM). That is, the amount of weight they could use doing one full out repetition of that exercise. Using this amount of weight, you will generally find you can do sets of 8 – 12 reps for upper body muscles or 12 – 16 repetitions for the main leg muscles. These figures are just approximations, but they will work as well as general guidelines.
More Reps For the Lower Body
The fall off in strength over the course of a set is slower in the legs than in the upper body. Upper body muscles don’t have the same kind of endurance as the lower body. In both cases however, the amount of weight used represents this 70 to 75% of the one-rep maximum ability of the muscles involved.
Reps & Weight
Occasionally, less weight (and therefore execution of more reps) may be appropriate. Some very useful types of sets which involve heavier weight (and fewer reps), such as low-rep sets for maximum strength and power. The above guidelines represent the majority of bodybuilders’ training.
Amount of Reps to Use
The amount of reps employed by a bodybuilder in an exercise will depend primarily on the muscle being trained. Most commonly, bodybuilders do 8-12 reps for an upper body part, and 12-16 for lower body parts. When training for power and strength, 2-6 reps are typically used. When it comes to muscular endurance, a rep range of 12+ is appropriate. As you can see from the above, the rep range you are aiming for is determined by your specific training goal.