Bodybuilding is something that grows in popularity every day. Almost every young person today is trying to improve their physique, hoping to boost their self esteem or their luck with the opposite gender. There is no denying, having a good looking and strong body makes you feel good and ready to do everything. However, there are few mysteries with bodybuilding that can torture both amateur and professional bodybuilders alike. One of these mysteries that can lower your performance is how many reps should you do.
The general rule many bodybuilders follow is to do between 8 and 12 reps. Well, that is not always the case. If you wish to take maximum advantage of your workout you must be able to read your body and how much it can handle. Also it is your goal that should dictate how many reps you should be doing.
What About Weight?
Before we begin with reps, we need to focus on weight since the relationship is crucial. For example, you don’t want to be using too much weight for cutting cycles or you will work up your muscles too fast. Cutting cycles are all about light weights and more reps. But, that does not mean you should be stuck with the same weight forever. As you progress you need to slowly start adding more load to your workout. The weight to reps ratio is something you need to read very well as a bodybuilder.
So How Many Reps?
The following is something of a guide which you can use to determine how many reps you need to aim for. The rep count and the weight needed will vary drastically from goal to goal, so make sure you are not doing something wrong. Otherwise everything will be a waste of time.
To Lose Fat
For many years people believed running, jumping or all cardio in general, is the only thing you should be doing for fat loss. That is not true. Well, no doubt running and cardio are by far one of the best way to trim fat. But if you are going hard into losing fat and getting cut, then you might want to do some light weight exercises to speed up your results. The rule here is to aim for about 3 sets with 15-20 reps. For losing fat you need to aim for higher reps and light weights with 30 seconds to 1 minute rest between sets. This way you can keep your body running and burning which will result in stripping down excess fat and improving endurance. What you need to keep in mind here is to increase sets as you progress. That way you can easily transition from losing fat to building endurance and shaping up muscles.
For More Endurance
In my opinion, endurance is something everyone needs to work out for. Having high endurance means you can last longer at everything and be competition ready. The rules for Endurance are pretty much the same as the ones for fat loss. You use light weights and perform 15-20 reps with minimum of 3 sets. Resting between sets should be no more than 30 seconds. Focusing on breathing is also very important during endurance exercises since oxygen plays an important role.
To Build Muscle
Everyone loves big, bulky and strong arms, shoulders and chest. But everyone knows you need to put tons and tons of effort into them. Weight here plays a key role, much more than reps, in my opinion. As you grow stronger and your arms get bigger, you need to add more and more weight but not too much so you can’t finish your reps. The general rule here is to focus on easier workouts for warming up and then aim for 8-12 reps with heavier tools. After your warm up session, you should pick a weight that will wear out your muscles completely between the eight and the twelfth rep. If you are unable to reach 8 reps then you are using too heavy weights. And if you are going over 12 reps then you need to put on some extra. A good advice here is to slow down and not attempt to go over your sets and reps as too fast. For maximum results, you need to focus and take your time otherwise you might even injure yourself.
To Gain Strength
You might have seen these guys showing off how much load they can lift at the gym. No doubt, there is a huge satisfaction when you lift so much weight that everyone around you just looks amazed. Working out for strength is not something that many people focus on. That’s more of a competition lifting. But, if you wish to build strength and focus on how much weight you can lift then the rule here is to use heavy load with which you can do between one and six reps. A very important rule here is to not overestimate yourself as you might get injured. Slowly adjust your weight and take it nice and easy.