Repetitions, Sets, and Weight:
The number of repetitions (reps) and sets you should do depends on your strength goals.
works to increase basic function of the muscle and is the typical goal of workouts.
is important to people who participate in endurance activities, such as running or biking, and
is beneficial for athletes who need to use sudden quick movements, such as sprinting, basketball, and football.
Beginners should start with a basic routine and gradually move toward a strength, endurance, or power routine.
1 set of 12 to 15 reps
1 to 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps
1 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps
1 to 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps
Use a weight that is heavy enough to perform the desired number of reps and sets for your skill level using good form. When you are able to perform more reps and sets than is outlined in your category, try to increase the weight you lift by 5% to 10%. Your strength goals may change as you progress.
Selecting and effectively using free weights. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-free-weights.pdf. Accessed August 8, 2016.
The basics of starting and progressing a strength-training program. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2012/01/13/the-basics-of-starting-and-progressing-a-strength-training-program. Updated January 13, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2016.
Triceps extension. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-free-weights.pdf. Accessed August 8, 2016.
Last reviewed August 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 8/8/2016