Standard Rep This is a repetition of the full movement of
the exercise using perfect form.
Forced Rep A partner helps you to do a few more reps when
you cant do any more alone. Giving you a slight amount of
assistance does this. Forced reps are used to totally fatigue the
muscle being worked.
Partial Rep After the last rep of the last set, when you
are unable to do another full rep, you concentrate on doing a half
or quarter-rep. You continue this partial movement until you cant
do any more partial reps.
Negative Rep Physiologists have found that the muscle can
produce the most force during the eccentric (lengthening) phase of
an exercise movement. A partner helps you raise the weight. Then
you lower it as slowly as possible. This type of movement puts
great stress on the tendons and ligaments and increases risk of
injury. Only experienced bodybuilders should attempt this type of
Cheating Rep Cheating is when you alter a position so you
can lift more weight. An example is arching your back on a bench
press or leaning back on a curl. Cheating is an advanced technique
and should only be used by experienced lifters.
|1 - 3 reps
|5 - 8 reps
|9 - 12 reps
||Muscle Development & Definition
|13 - 20 reps
A set consists of a given number of consecutive repetitions for
the exercise being performed. Your exercise workout may be
designed for many sets, each using a different number of
repetitions with each exercise set. Usually, weight is added to
the exercise as the number of sets increase (except for a drop
set, which calls for a decrease in weight or a pyramid set).
Here are a few of the most common sets:
1 set This protocol is used by beginning weight lifters
or as a warm-up exercise. Strength and endurance gains are
2-3 sets This protocol is used by intermediate weight
lifters. Studies show that a workout of 2-3 sets produces good
4-5 sets This protocol is used by advanced weight
lifters. Studies show that a workout of 3-4 sets produces
excellent strength and endurance benefits.
5-6 sets This protocol is used by serious bodybuilders
and athletes. Studies show that a workout of 5-6 sets produces
near maximum strength and endurance benefits.
7-10 sets This protocol is used by competitive
bodybuilders, power lifters, and professional contact sport
athletes (football). This type of program needs professional
monitoring to prevent injury and overtraining. It produces maximum
strength, speed, power, and endurance benefits, if supervised by a
staff of professionals.
Drop sets A drop set is used to totally fatigue the muscle
and is especially good for stimulating the small muscle groups. A
drop set can be added to any exercise workout. To perform a drop
set, reduce the amount of weight used in the exercise and do as
many reps as possible until you reach total fatigue. Studies show
that maximum stimulation and fatigue can be obtained by employing
this concept. You dont want to overuse the drop set concept.
Super sets A super set is the combination of two sets of
two different exercises for the same muscle group with a shorter
than normal, if any, rest period between the two compound sets.
You can also perform a super set by combining two sets or two
different exercises for antagonistic (different) muscle groups.
For example: triceps/biceps, quadriceps/hamstring, and chest/back.
Working two antagonistic muscle groups together is the least
intense form of super-setting, but it is still effective and can
save workout time.
Trisets A triset is a group of three exercises, each done
after the other exercises into a given training session. You must
be in good shape and work into them slowly to avoid injury.
Pyramid Training Here you start with high reps, low
weight (to warm up) and then decrease the reps as you add weight.
Then you work your way back down, taking off weight and adding
reps. You can do any number of reps for the desired number of sets
as long as you follow the high rep, low weight progression to
heavier weights and less reps.
In a regular routine, you work three days per week with a day of
rest between each workout. The regular routine consists of 4 to 7
exercises, plus abdominal work.
In a split routine, you work the upper body one day and the lower
body another day. Muscles need a day of recovery between workouts.
If you work all the major muscles in one day, as in the regular
routine, you must rest the next day. With a split routine,
however, you can workout on successive days, since the upper body
is getting a rest while you are working the lower body, and vice
The split routine is very efficient and a widely used principle
in stimulating muscle gains. You will want to do a split routine
if your total exercises exceed twelve per workout or if you are
working at high intensities (heavy weight). As a general rule you
should use a split routine anytime your workout exceeds one hour
Split Routine Examples:
Note: (1) Work the abdominal muscles each day. Only top
athletes should workout over five days per week. The body needs
time to recover.
Workout Exercise Order
A well-rounded weight training program includes at least one
exercise for each of the major muscle groups in the body. To avoid
muscle fatigue and promote muscle recovery, arrange the exercises
so that successive exercises do not involve the same muscle group.
However, to add variety to your workout routine you can change the
order of exercises if you do not experience undue fatigue.
principle may be applied by arranging exercises in the following
- Thighs and hips
- Chest and biceps
- Back and posterior thighs
- Shoulders and triceps
- Forearms and wrists