Sep 012010

The number of weight lifting reps needed in your workout is one of the most misunderstood components of weight training. How many reps do you believe you need?

Before you answer the question about how many reps you need, you better know what your goal in weight lifting is. Training for ultimate power requires training a specific way. Bodybuilding training requires a different form of training. Circuit training using weights for fitness takes another completely different form of lifting. What is your goal power, an extreme body, or overall fitness?

Let us take a look first at the requirements of a powerlifter seeking the highest amount of power and strength possible. A powerlifter is going to workout using a low number of reps in each set. Even their number of sets is going to be limited. On the power day of training you may be lifting as few as 1 rep in a set, or as high as 5 reps. The difference is the weight you are handling. You will be lifting weights hitting 80 to 100 percent of your maximum.

A bodybuilder is looking to build massive muscles, and the side effect is increased strength. Their primary goal is body and muscle development. If you are wanting to develop a bodybuilder’s body you will need a more diverse workout, more reps, but less weight. Weight lifting reps in a bodybuilders workout most commonly range from 8 to 12 reps per set. Sets can range from 3 sets up to 7 sets per body part. The goals is maximum muscle tear down for the maximum muscle growth between workouts. A bodybuilders workouts are longer due to including multiple lifts for each body part.

Using weight training as part of your circuit training fitness program is where the weight lifting reps really hit the upper limits. Instead of training to build ultimate strength or an ultimate body you are working to create a high level of cardiovascular fitness along with reasonable strength gains. You move fast in every exercise aiming for 20 to 25 reps per set. Depending on the design of your circuit you may be rotating between different lifts for each set and then back through the circuit again. The training can be very intense and the heart rate jumps up faster than in any other form of weight lifting.

Then you hit hybrid forms of exercise like crossfit training. Crossfit training does not focus on only weight lifting but includes different forms of sporting moves and training to become fit for all possibilities. Using weight training as part of crossfit will mean you choose to do hybrid lifting. You will follow a powerlifter’s regimen some days to create great strength gains, but other days you will follow a circuit training regimen to increase your speed, agility, flexibility, and endurance.

Choosing the right number weight lifting reps comes down to choosing your final outcome. You then tailor your number of reps to match your desires to build the body of your dreams. This is the real power of weight lifting, total flexibility to meet almost any need.

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