Hey Members and Friends!
Thought we would post a workout related article for our latest blog post with a promise of many more. As a fitness professional and health club owner, I encounter hundreds of members each and every day. One of the questions you will always hear me ask is "How are your workouts going?" Most of the time I find that many members, new and experienced are NOT satisfied with their current results but are so hesitant to make a change thinking that they will get even less results if they change something
On the other side of the coin, I hear members that do finally read an article or listen to someone they know about making a change to their workout. What unfortunately happens is they think that whatever "new thing" they are doing is now the greatest thing since sliced bread and they beat the "new thing" to death and wonder why it stops working after a while. Here is the honest answer...it probably wasn't what the new thing is that created the change but the fact that you changed SOMETHING! Then it happens...your amazing body actually adapts to the "new thing", gets more efficient and then unless you change the "new thing" into some other new thing, results slow down to a crawl or even non-existent.
This brings me to the title of this post; The Right Number of Reps! What is the right number of reps to do? The honest answer is...there is no "right" number of reps. All reps schemes are productive as long as there is one VERY important element...maximum effort by the time you reach that number. Current research is showing that even high repetition workouts can still produce very good results as long as you get to what is known as Momentary Muscular Failure which simply means that you can't do another rep or get very close to not being able to.
How do you strategize this new info into your workouts? There is a bunch of different ways to incorporate this info. You can do the same workout as always and take one week and do all the same exercises but lighten the weight you you approach failure at say 15-18 reps instead of what you are doing currently. If you typically do higher rep work, add some resistance and hit failure at a lower number like 8-10 reps. Notice that I always recommend a rep range rather than an absolute number (4-6, 8-10, 10-12, 13-15, 15-18, etc). If you are trying heavier weights, please ensure you properly warm-up with a couple of lighter sets.
Another important element that I love about this study of higher reps producing great results, it tells us that programs like Group Power are extremely beneficial for producing results. Hopefully this adds a new element to your workouts. Let us know if you have questions that you would like to see answered in our blog.
Source: Burd, N.A. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, published online April 26, 2012.