How many reps should I do?

How many reps (repetitions) should I do?

I could argue that this is the question I am asked the most at the gym. Let me help you understand differences in “rep ranges” and then you can decide for yourself based on your goals.

Rep-Ranges are a range of numbers that should be performed during any exercise. Rep-Ranges can be divided into the following according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

(The muscle should be near failure when reaching the last repetition of the set. If the number of those repetitions falls within these Rep-Ranges this is what your goals should be, or vice-versa.)


  •  (6-8) Repetitions
  • Used by athletes and strength competitors or anyone looking to increase strength


  • (8-12) repetitions
  • This is found to enlarge muscle by encouraging muscle breakdown which is then repaired to a larger size.
  • Used by fitness models, bodybuilders, or anyone that is looking to improve their muscularity.

Muscular Endurance

  • (+15) repetitions
  • Used by endurance athletes or anyone looking to improve their stamina and anaerobic capacity.

My advice?

Create workout programs that incorporate all 3 rep ranges to keep the body guessing and limiting  fitness plateaus. However, I also encourage weight trainers to go by how they feel. Were you aiming for 8-12 but weren’t tired by rep 12? ……..Then keep going!!!! Next workout it’s time to raise the weight. That’s how it works folks!

In my personal experience I found that counting just gets in the way. I always have an idea of about how many I am doing but I’ll just go until the weight stops moving.

Follow my guidelines above………. but don’t over think it. Your body will tell you if you can do more or if you can’t.


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