High Reps, Low Reps, Does It Really Matter??


Another popular question we are asked here is how many repetitions of each exercise should you be doing for each exercise you perform in your workouts. Does it really matter if you perform high or low reps and what impact will this have on your workouts? Are rep ranges important or should you just be making sure you're getting your workouts done? Let's explore rep ranges and see what the differences are when you mix things up...


In every workout you will perform a set number of repetitions on each exercise that works your muscles and lets you know you are doing enough. But are you really doing enough? When was the last time you mixed up the amount of repetitions you do for each exercise or do you tend to stick with the same amount for each session. To some extent your rep range does depend on your goal...


If you are looking to build mass and strength you will need to lift a lot heavier than when you are maintaining. Lifting heavy weights means you burn out very quickly and therefore your rep range will be low. This rep range is likely to be in the 3-6 bracket as you physically won't be able to lift much more than this due to the heavy load. On the other hand if you are looking to maintain a lean physique you stick to a rep range of 8-12 with a variation on the intensity of each lift.

Mix And Match

If you aren't doing strength training I believe you can get away with changing up your rep ranges a lot during workouts. I believe that you don't need to just stick with 8-12 rep ranges to build muscle and stay lean, you can venture with new methods of training. As long as you are lifting heavy weights that break down your muscle tissue you could perform 20 reps and you will get the look you want.

Count Reps

So is it important to your training to count reps? I would say in certain cases it is important but for the majority of people who train, no. This is because your reps should be based upon how the exercise is feeling during each press or pull. For instance when squatting do you stop when you reach your set amount of reps or do you continue? If I know I have more reps left on that particular set I won't just stop at 12, I will keep going even if it's just another couple of reps. When you push past what you thought you could originally do, you will see results because you're testing your body.

So in answer to the above question of whether you should perform high or low reps, depending on your goal I would suggest more times you don't need to count them. Get in the gym and put yourself through a tough workout by working through each set giving yourself no room for excuses. 

About the Author

Job Role Nutritional and Fitness Advisor Qualifications Premier International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy Scott has always been active growing up being involved in different sport teams and individual sports such as boxing and Jiu Jitsu. It wasn't until Scott dislocated his left knee during a Jiu Jitsu Competition when he developed a new passion which was going to the gym. Scott studied an International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy which he has used for over 8 years in the Fitness Industry. Scott has been successful in his field in the UK and in other countries of the world. He has helped many people achieve their goals in Fat Loss, Weight gain, Hypertrophy and other areas of Health and Fitness. Scott is very passionate and is a big motivator who is going to provide you with expert advice and looks forward to helping you with your goals. There is more to see of Scott as he will be competing in Fitness Modelling competitions this year and next so keep a look out for him.
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