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Why Do You Vary the Reps in My Workout?

Dec 15, 2015

Faith McKay, Certified Personal Trainer

Why we vary your reps so much is really dependent first on your goals. Are you looking to build muscle, strength, or muscular endurance? If none of these apply and your goal much like most people is to just stay in overall great shape, then all three of these probably will show up in your workouts. From strength building(reps 1-8) to hypertrophy(reps 10-12) and lastly muscular endurance(reps 12+) Constantly varying your reps will continually create a different response in your body and will prevent your body from adapting to any one exercise or rep scheme. It will promote change in your body and create the best overall results.

Matt O’Neill, Certified Personal Trainer

The purpose of varying reps in training programs is to target the three phases of building lean muscle. When training with heavy weight and low reps, you are training for strength which can help with training in the next phase of reps. Training in the moderate reps (6 to 12 range) targets the hypertrophy or muscle building reps. Training in the 15 or more rep range will help with building cardiovascular endurance. Utilizing all three rep ranges will help ones overall success in resistance training.

JD Christie, Certified Personal Trainer

Varying your rep scheme during your workouts will ensure that you create the best overall adaptations to your fitness level. Performing a different amount of reps each time you exercise will influence a different reaction from the way your body builds up its fitness. The rule of thumb is that by performing between 1 and 8 reps in an exercise will affect your overall strength in that exercise, performing between 8 and 12 reps will help to increase the size of your muscles (also known as hypertrophy), and performing anything over 12 will affect muscular endurance. It is important to touch on all different rep schemes so that your body does not fall victim to routine and plateau.

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