Answered: How Many Repetitions of Each Exercise is Best?

Dear Davey,

I’ve been told by multiple people, including my yoga teacher and friends, that there is a max number of reps one can do in one set. I’ve been told it’s somewhere between 21 to 25 reps. Is this true?

From,
Ryan

Dear Ryan,

There isn’t a magic number from a scientific standpoint, but there certainly are some ranges to target. Whether you’ll target a low rep range or a high rep range depends on your fitness goals.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Low reps (1 – 6): Builds strength
  • Medium reps (7 to 12): Builds size and strength
  • High reps (12 – 15): Builds endurance

Keep in mind, you want to be fully fatigued on your last repetition. Obviously, you’ll have to adjust the weight accordingly.

Swinging a weight around 20 or 30 times won’t do much for muscle growth, but it may get your heart pumping – as is often done in aerobics classes! It can certainly be part of your cardiovascular training, though you’ll still want to seek out some strength training exercises to balance your workout.

The number of reps that’s right for you really just depends on your goals and what you’re looking to accomplish.

Love,
Davey

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. David L.T says:

    LOL oh Davey, your picture captions have to be the highlight of a new post, they always make me laugh and this one has to be my favourite so far, Keep it up!

  2. I’m between 10-15 in the majority of the exercises i do an im fatigued by the end im not new but im also not a master everyday i learn something new an different the in the end when im getting dressed in the locker room i feel it and in the mirror i see it this is about that point where i look in the mirror and say ” Hot damn I rock”

  3. Something very underestimated by many lifters, especially beginners, is form. Good form is much more important than amount of weight or number of reps. Give me 5 good ones rather than 12 shitty ones.

  4. If you can do 15 clean reps and still have the strength to do more, then you’re not lifting heavy enough. Your last couple of reps should be a struggle, though not so much that it compromises your form: if you find yourself arching your back to eek out that last barbell curl, you’re lifting too heavy, or need a spotter.

  5. that guy has a holy crap wow bulge to him… and the caption, not only does it sum up the whole post, but it’s so hilarious! 😀

  6. Hi Davey,

    Question: Should the muscles be fatigued at the end of each set or at the end of all the sets as a whole?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Fatigue on last rep. Whatever weight you currently use, you should be fatigued after the last repetition. If you aim for 8 reps like myself, and if you want bigger muscles, then you should be unable to perform a 9th rep. If you can do a 9th rep, then you need to add more weight. […]

  2. […] know what exercises to do, how much weight to use and how many sets and reps to […]

  3. […] Because no two people are alike and because each machine works differently, there’s no easy formula to translate resistance from machines to free weights. It requires trial and error. I suggest starting very light, and working up from there until you reach the desired number of repetitions based on your workout goals. […]

  4. […] Because no two people are alike and because each machine works differently, there’s no easy formula to translate resistance from machines to free weights. It requires trial and error. I suggest starting very light, and working up from there until you reach the desired number of repetitions based on your workout goals. […]

  5. […] you reach muscle failure. To make increases in size and strength, you’ll want to aim for 7 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. You’ll want to be fully fatigued on your last repetition – and, if you’re not, […]

  6. […] you ask any personal trainer about the number of repetitions of each exercise that you should perform, the trainer would most likely advise you to target somewhere between 7 and 12 reps until you […]

  7. […] general, here are the rep ranges that trainers will recommend for various […]

  8. […] general, here are the rep ranges that trainers will recommend for various […]

  9. […] Low reps, heavy weight. Doing a lower number of repetitions at a heavy weight is best suited for increases in size. I usually target 8 repetitions. On the last repetition, your muscles should feel fatigued. If you can do more than 12 repetitions without feeling fatigued, then the weight is definitely too light. […]

  10. […] Low reps, heavy weight. Doing a lower number of repetitions at a heavy weight is best suited for increases in size. I usually target 8 repetitions. On the last repetition, your muscles should feel fatigued. If you can do more than 12 repetitions without feeling fatigued, then the weight is definitely too light. […]

  11. […] Low reps, heavy weight. Doing a lower number of repetitions at a heavy weight is best suited for increases in size. I usually target 8 repetitions. On the last repetition, your muscles should feel fatigued. If you can do more than 12 repetitions without feeling fatigued, then the weight is definitely too light. […]

  12. […] Answered: How Many Repetitions of Each Exercise is Best? | Davey … […]