Here’s a simple guide to follow when selecting the number of sets and rep ranges for resistance training. Ultimately the GOAL of your training will determine the number of sets, reps and rest time.
Building MUSCLE (Hypertrophy):3-5 sets of 6-12 reps, resting 0-60 seconds between each set.
In order to increase the size of your muscle you MUST lift heavy. Aim for 75-85% of your maximum. The last three reps of your set should be really tough. No amount of body weight lunges will build a juicy butt!
Increasing STRENGTH: 4-6 sets of 1-5 reps, resting 3-5 minutes between sets.
Strength exercises should be performed fast and explosive at 85-100% of your maximum. So go heavier and do less!
Muscle ENDURANCE: 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps, resting up to 90 seconds between sets.
To build endurance, keep the intensity lower than your strength and hypertrophy training at approx 50%-70% of your max. This will allow you to perform a higher number of reps. This is a good range for beginners to resistance training. Exercises should be performed slow and controlled!
BUT WHAT ABOUT FAT LOSS I HEAR YOU CRY!!!
Fat reduction is generally what the ladies are aiming for. Reduction of body fat will be a result of combining strength and hypertrophy training… and absolutely your DIET.
FAT LOSS: Aim for 4 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise. Keep the intensity high with shorter rest periods of 30 seconds between sets.
Incorporate circuit training into your strength-training program for increased fat loss. Circuit training consists of performing a series of exercises, back-to-back, with little rest. Because of its intense, fast-paced layout, circuit training can help your body burn calories throughout the day. Utilise a high rep range and multi-joint exercises for maximum caloric burn and efficiency. Try a full-body circuit-training routine.
Engage in resistance training 3-5 times per week with a couple of cardio sessions on your off days AND of course a rest day is compulsory! Do not forget that increasing lean muscle mass will result in more calories being burned during exercise and throughout the day, promoting fat loss. Do not be afraid to pick up some heavy weights and keep your workouts varied. Try alternating days between hypertrophy and strength using the ranges described above to keep your workouts challenging! I hope this helps!!