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Number of Exercise and Repetitions

Monday, September 6, 2021

You started doing sports. There is a goal you set and you are trying to achieve it. So do you train according to your goal?

In this article, we will answer a question that many people think of at least once in sports life. How many reps should I do to achieve my goal?

In this article, you will find many topics from how many repetitions you need to lose weight to what the term 1RM means, how many repetitions you need to do for maximum muscle development, what does the set and repeat count mean.


In the article, I will use some concepts that you know, are familiar with or have never heard of. For this reason, I would like to mention these first.

What is 1RM?

1RM is a very important concept that we encounter in designing and implementing goal-oriented training. 1RM, which is familiar to many people doing weight training, is made up of the initials of the English words “one repetation maximum”.

Even if we can translate it into Turkish as “maximum for one repetition”, we can describe its meaning as the maximum contraction that can be done for a single repetition. Although this contraction is generally expressed by the strength created in weight exercises, it is used in many sports.

What is set and repeat?

The number of repetitions indicates the number of repetitions of the exercise between the two rest periods, and the number of sets indicates how many times you will repeat the repetition periods of that exercise.

Goal and repetition relationship

Now we can begin to examine the number of repetitions relationship by goal.

While examining the relationship between target and number of repetitions, we gave research (the most up-to-date and approved) and evaluation and optimal exercise data for each title to better express this relationship.

How many reps should you do to gain strength?

Research: A group of (24 people) cycling athletes are divided into two during the research and exercise with a high weight / low repeat and low weight / high repeat regime.

At the end of 10 weeks, the athletes who were tested with a test that called the leg press called the leg muscles:

High-weight / low-repeat athletes gain more strength than low-weight / high-repeat athletes,
In addition, when the muscle mass created within 10 weeks was examined, it was determined that both groups gained a similar amount of muscle.
With this research, the reason for the increased power increase was determined as neuromuscular adaptation, although high weight / low repeat exercises do not make any difference in muscle gain compared to low weight / high repeat exercises.

With the neuromuscular adaptation developing at different levels according to the type of exercise, your brain has the ability to command more muscle fiber and produce strength.

If you aim to increase strength and keep muscle mass in the secondary plan, you should lift high weights with low repetitive exercises and keep rest periods long.

How many reps should you do to gain muscle mass?

Research: In a study conducted in a group of young men, it was seen that the exercises performed in the intervals of 4-8 repetitions 60% 1RM and 8-15 repetitions 80% 1RM caused an equal amount of muscle gain. In the ongoing research, it was observed that the speed of muscle gain of the subjects who did 15 or more repetitions slowed down.

This research actually shows that keeping the number of repetitions in a reasonable range is sufficient for gaining muscle. There is no magic number in this regard, and the borders are determined with a thick line.

The exercises to be performed by the athletes who aim to increase muscle mass between 4 and 15 repetitions will be sufficient. Below you will find a table with the features of the exercise you need to apply for muscle mass increase.

The reason for the difference in muscle gain between you and other athletes may be in your mind. The most important factor in gaining muscle; anabolic (making) ability, most of which is created by hormones.

By supporting this ability with nutrition, exercise and rest periods, you can increase the speed of muscle gain.

How many reps should you do to lose weight?

Research: In the research conducted on dieting students, the weight training students were compared with the students doing cardio within the same period. It was observed that students following similar diets lost similar amounts of weight within 8 weeks.

From the outside, it seems to have lost the same amount of weight in terms of quantity, but the situation is quite different in quality.

Imagine that the majority of the weight gained with the muscle mass that the weight training subjects maintain with the muscle gain and training within 8 weeks is fat, while those who do cardio lose fat without gaining muscle.

Can those who want to lose weight with detailed information on this subject can do weight training? You can find it in.

How many reps should I do while applying weight training to lose weight? question may have come. Let’s explain immediately.

Research shows that there is no right method to help you with your weight loss process. Getting similar results with high-weight / low-repeat or low-weight / high-repeat exercises emphasizes that we need to turn our attention to the intensity of the exercise.

It is a great dream to do the same exercise very repeatedly for a single area and weaken regionally. Is it possible for regional slimming, where I have studied scientific research on this topic and answered the questions? I suggest you to read my article.

Along with increasing the training intensity, positive hormonal change and post-training fat burning (afterburn) effect will increase the fat burning rate. In this regard, staying within reasonable exercise limits and increasing exercise intensity will guarantee maximum fat burning. Below you will find a detailed table indicating the number of repetitions for fat burning.

How many reps should you do to gain endurance?

Research: In a research conducted at the University of Kentucky, 3 groups were formed. One group with high weight / low repetition (6-8), the second group with low weight / high repetition (15-30), and the last group with extreme low weight / excessively high repetition (80-100) bench press (chest exercise) made.

As a result of the research, endurance increased by 23.5% in the group with low repetition, 39.2% in the group with high repetition and 41.3% in the group with excessive repetition.

Studies show that high repetition workouts significantly improve endurance performance.

The reason why high repetitive exercises cause this effect is the better functioning and development of slow-twitching and late-tired muscle fibers (type 1).

Along with the strengthened type 1 muscle fibers, slow fatigue muscle fibers that work better during exercise will help you achieve better endurance performance.

Are there any alternative methods?

As there are endless ways to reach point B from point A, you have unlimited options to reach your goals.

In addition to providing the shortest paths to the repeat intervals mentioned above, there are other methods you can apply.

I want to share the best of these methods with you.

We call this method, which has positive effects on both strength increase and endurance, as a combo training type in general.

The practice style of this training type is quite simple. During the exercise, you choose the type of exercise suitable for your purpose and apply it to the last set. Then in the last set,

25-30 (> 40% 1RM) repeat if you did high weight / low repeat in the first sets.

If you have done low weight / high repetition in the first sets, you complete the exercise 3-6 (70-9- 1% RM) again.

The researches revealed that the exercise that you have completed in this way is 5.4% more beneficial in the increase of strength compared to the normal method and 13.9% more beneficial in the increase in endurance compared to the normal method.

How many repeats should I do? – Summary

If your goal is pure endurance, you should reapply 15 or more and keep the 1RM level below 40%.

Your goal if is to increase pure muscle mass, you should keep your number between 8 and 12, and 1RM level between 70-80%.

If your goal is pure power increase, you should keep your number between 1 and 5 and 1RM level between 80-90%. You should keep the rest periods between 70 and 180 seconds as extending the rest period between exercises will allow you to perform better.

If your goal is to lose weight with exercise, you should keep your number between 4-15, and rest intervals between 45 and 90 seconds to increase the intensity of the exercise. In this process, you can apply super / tri set systems, HIIT and Tabata protocol.

Now you know how much you need to do for your goal. Ready to get started?

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