So you continually tell yourself that you want to begin working out and getting in shape but you simply don’t know where to start! This post is going to break down exactly what many different terms you hear in the gym are and why they’re important, as well as how the amount of reps you’re performing, relates your the results you want.
Let’s start with the very basic portion of working out. What are reps? ‘Reps’.. short for repetition, refers to the number of times you are performing an exercise. For example, if you do 8 squats, then that is 8 reps of an exercise. You may be asking yourself, “great, so why do reps matter?”. Well depending on the amount of reps you are doing, you may be working towards different goals. Below is a chart explaining what training with different amount of reps can do for your workout.
3-5 = Max Strength
5-8 = Some Strength, Some Mass (Hypertrophy)
8-10 = Hypertrophy
10-12 = Some Hypertrophy, Some Endurance
12+ = Endurance.
As you can see, although in the graph it says that anything greater than 10 reps = endurance but that is simply not the case. It is hard to isolate one single training goal as our bodies don’t work in such a predictable manner. We are continually training multiple different muscle effects at the same time but by following these rep ranges you are more likely to get the effects you prefer.
The body has different ways of adapting to different training stimuli. When we train in the 3-5 rep range we are working towards max strength as our primary goal. Max Strength refers to exactly how it sounds… being able to lift the most weight possible. This is because when we train with heavy weights that are associated with max strength, we recruit all the muscle fibres in that given muscle. This is compared to when we train with other rep ranges such as the 10+ range in which we initially recruit only a portion of our muscle fibres and as we begin to fatigue, we recruit more and more until all our fibres are being utilized. That being said, we can use higher rep ranges such as 10+ to grow muscle just like the 8-10 rep range but the key point being that if we work higher rep ranges, we need to work them until muscular failure (can do very little if any more reps).
I hope you can take away from this post that the body is a complex machine. We continually need to listen to and learn about our own body as what works for one person may not work for another. That is why it is important to experiment and find out what works for you. This post will hopefully give you an idea of where to begin and you can then further fine tune it based on which results you are achieving based on your given rep range and exercises.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic please feel free to message our facebook page or instagram and we will be happy to explain this topic in more detail!
Thanks again for giving our post a read, we look forward to hearing your feedback!
Written by Andrew Blakey | Owner of Your Future Fitness | At Home Personal Training in Toronto and the GTA.