How many repetitions should I use if I am working on muscle strength?

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If you’re after maximum muscle gains 8-12 reps will be the most effective range. You will need to use a weight that is challenging for you to reach 10, 11, or 12 repetitions. If you are able to do more those 12 reps you will need to increase the weight.

Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
If you are working on strength it does not require a lot of reps.  Typically 1 - 12 would be best.  Intensity should be around 75%.  You should also rest in between sets
When training for muscular strength, perform between 1-12 repetitions at an intensity of 70-100% 1RM (one repetition maximum) for each exercise. Perform 2-6 sets with 45 seconds to five minutes rest in between each set. Develop a solid foundation by performing 12-25 repetitions at an intensity of 40-70% 1RM for 1-3 sets with no rest to 90 seconds rest in between sets before progressing to a muscular strength training program. It's also extremely important to use correct form when performing your exercises. Using incorrect form during exercises will result in the wrong muscles being used in the wrong way, which could result in muscular imbalances and eventual injuries.

Muscular strength can be best accomplished by performing one to 12 repetitions of the given exercise. These repetitions should be performed at a 70 - 100% intensity level of your one repetition max and incorporate resting intervals of 45 seconds to five minutes. When aiming to increase muscle strength, other factors should be taken into consideration such as flexibility and progression from a program that focuses on increasing your stabilization. Flexibility is important for strength because there is a certain length where a muscle can produce the greatest amount of force. If you have muscles that are shortened or tight due to posture and daily living, you will not be able to produce the optimal amount of force for the given exercise. Progressing from a stabilization program will prepare you to maximize your strength gains by providing a solid foundation from which your body will move. When training in a stabilization program, exercises should be performed with increased repetitions (12 to 25) and fewer sets (1 to 3), where the intensity (load you use) should be limited to 50 - 70% while performing the exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.