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Ready, set, grow!

Assuming you have decided to step into the gym life, there are a few methods you could approach to achieve what you desire. When it comes to exercising, people often don’t know how regularly they need to exercise or how many sets and reps should be completed per workout. While there is no perfect rep scheme for all scenarios, there are certain methods that gear towards specific goals you may be trying to achieve.

*If you fully understand what reps and sets are, move on to the 3rd paragraph*

First, let’s define two of the most important gym vocab words; sets and repsReps are the foundation of every workout. They are the exact number of times you go through a specific range of motion to complete one set.  For example; if you have to complete 25 reps of push-ups then, as most would understand, you would go through the full push-up motion 25 times. Sets are the number of times you complete any group of reps within a given time-frame. So if you were tasked to complete 3 sets of 25 rep push-ups you would complete 25 push ups, rest for a bit, complete another 25, rest for a bit, and then complete the last 25 reps for a total of 75 repetitions. Understanding that, we can move on to different rep and set methods when working out.

For men and women who are trying to improve their strength, low reps (3-6 reps), high sets (5-8) sets, and longer rests are recommended (2-3 minutes). The low reps is so the body can properly utilize its explosive strength without getting too fatigued. The high sets is to ensure your body realized the movement is not an accident, and thus it needs to grow in order to properly handle the situation in the future. The higher rest times are to grant your body enough time to recover to repeat the process over again. Ultimately the goal is to lift heavy, at your maximum capability, with enough frequency that your body understands its needs to transform by increasing its muscle density, thus strength increases.

For those trying to put on size and not necessarily acquire heavy strength increases the ideal numbers are; high reps (15-25+ reps), low sets (3-4 sets), and low rest time(30-60 seconds). High reps are used to overstimulate the muscle and promote increases in muscular size. Low sets are to prevent the body from reaching over-exhaustion and prevent injury. The low rest time is to keep the heart rate up, fully utilize adequate blood-flow and increase endurance. Altogether the added intensity of performing so many reps encourages the body that higher volume repetitions require larger muscle size.

As you can see there are many different takes on exercise. Whether you’re simply picking weights up and putting them back down, there are a few methods that can lead to different results. In summary, for strength focus on low reps, high sets, long rest, yet for size focus on high sets, low reps, and shorter rests. It’s your time to shine and only you can hold yourself back, so prepare yourself… ready, set, grow!


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