Sets & reps depend on your goals. Quick guide

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Since someone else’s fitness goals may be different than yours, it might not be in your best interest to copy someone else’s program. Here’s a simple guide to follow based on whether you want to slim down, increase strength, bulk up like Arnold, or increase power. Make sure to change your workouts every four weeks. To correct and/or prevent imbalances, and to get the maximal benefits of a strong healthy body, incorporate cardio, balance exercises, weights, core training, plyometrics, and flexibility (stretching/foam rolling/Yoga) into your routine.


Goal: lose weight, gain strength, and tone up

  • Reps: 12-20
  • Sets: 1-3
  • Tempo: 4-21 seconds
  • Rest between sets: 0-90 seconds
  • How often to train: twice a week (minimum)


Goal: lose weight and add muscle

  • Reps: 6-12
  • Sets: 3-5
  • Tempo: 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down
  • Rest between sets: 0-60 seconds
  • How often to train: 3-5 times a week


Goal: max muscle gains

  • Reps: 1-5
  • Sets: 4-6
  • Tempo: fast/explosive
  • Rest between sets: 3-5 minutes
  • How often to train: 3-5 times a week


Goal: speed (great for athletes, those in sports)

  • Reps: 1-10
  • Sets: 3-6
  • Tempos: fast/explosive
  • Rest between sets: 3-5 minutes
  • How often: 4 times a week



Rep:  repetition. How many times you perform an exercise at one time. Example: 12 reps = 12 bicep curls

Sets: Three sets of 12 reps = 36 repetitions. Each set represents a break. Take a break, or do a different exercise between each set.

Tempo: the time it takes to complete the movement


P.S. To see the results of your hard work, make sure you are eating the proper nutrients and aren’t overeating. Need recipes, tips, and the best methods to lose bodyfat? Order my book at

Photo: me

Source: Clark, M., Sutten, B., and Lucett, S., NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2014. Print. 360-362.

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