Sets and Reps

Once the exercise has been selected, an appropriate set and repetition scheme must be prescribed. Here are some variables to consider:


Young athletes and beginners:
A strength and conditioning program needs very little stimulation to show improvement. In fact, 2-3 sets of all exercises and minimal loading can be more than enough to induce change. Also, keeping the reps between 6-10 will be sufficient. In the beginning stages of an exercise program, the results that a young athlete will achieve will be more to do with neurological changes than physiological changes.


More experienced athletes:
With more experienced athletes, a good rule of thumb to remember is, “The higher the reps, the fewer sets are needed. With fewer reps, you will need more sets.”


Another factor to consider is what you are trying to accomplish physically.

If your goal is Maximum Strength: 1-3 reps.

If your goal is Strength, Speed and Power: 1-6 reps

If your goal is Functional Hypertrophy: 4-10 reps

If your goal is Structural Hypertrophy: 8-12 reps

If your goal is Endurance: 12-20+ reps


There is more to an effective strength and conditioning program than just reps and sets. The points mentioned in this post should be helpful to parents, trainers and coaches when deciding an appropriate sets and reps scheme.

Check back soon for our next blog about Intensity and Time under Tension.

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