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Sets vs Reps: the eternal Puzzle!

Posted on April 05 2017

Every gym rookie has to face a dilemma one time or the other. What ratio of sets and reps to maintain for maximum results? The answer may not be as simple as it sounds!

What the reps?

Reps, short for repetitions are essentially the number of times you repeat the same movement in an exercise. Say you are doing pushups. So if you did 5 reps, it means you did 5 pushups, from beginning to the end.

Set the sets!

Sets are formed by a group of reps. If I say I did two sets of pull-ups with 5 reps each, means I did a total of 10 pull-ups with 5 in each set!

Which to do more?

Now that we have got the basics out of the way, lets clear up what ratio you should look to maintain for getting the maximum out of your time at the gym!

More Reps

Weights play a crucial part in deciding the number of reps. Ideally, the higher the load, lesser the reps. Your weight and reps should be such that your muscles are about to fail at the last rep.

When you increase the number of reps and lighten the load, you make your muscles work longer. More reps help in intermuscular toning, and provide a lean look to the target area. It increases the explosive force of the muscles, making them faster and more agile.

On the other hand, doing lesser reps with more weights will promote muscle growth, and make you stronger. The increased weight will make your muscles stronger, with more implosive force.

In simpler terms, the former will make you an excellent puncher, and the later will make you capable of lifting a bus.

More Sets

Increasing the number of sets benefits in volume building. If you are into professional body building, or lust want an athlete like figure, increase the number of sets gradually. However, studies have shown your regular body growth is stumped beyond 1 set. In order to feel the benefits of the next sets, you need to get high on protein shakes. For your daily lifting of beds and other day to day necessities, 1-2 sets are plenty!

Have any other inputs? Do let us know!


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