Starting a new exercise program can be really challenging and it is so easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types of things you should be doing vs what you want to be doing and on and on and on (and on). But of course, you don’t want your 60 minutes of exercise to be a total time suck and be strength training when you really wanted to be focusing on endurance. Just like how you choose to watch friends over and over again because do you really want to waste that whole 30 minutes watching some new release on Netflix when you know FRIENDS is *probably* better?
In this blog, we are going to focus on strength training sets and repetitions to maximize your workout time. There are 4 goals to resistance training. Endurance, Strength, Power and Hypertrophy.
Okay, so let’s break these down for second.
Endurance – Is that ability to for your muscles to last for a while, think going the distance. This area is where a lot of your cardiovascular workouts fit in. And you might be thinking, “but Jess I thought we were talking about muscle training”. GUESS WHAT? your heart is a muscle! Cue Carly Rae Jepsen (yes, she has other songs besides CALL ME MAYBE). Muscle endurance helps you complete those repetitive tasks at work but also allows you to carry 50 bags of groceries those 500 meters because we all know I am only making one trip.
Strength - Strength is the ability for your muscles to contract and withstand (and overpower) what you are trying to move or lift. This is the goal that most people think of when it comes to traditional strength training. The internet is full definitions about what strength is. It is summed up well here but to me specific strength training should be considered functional strength training. Exercise that benefits and helps YOU get through your day-to-day stuff without injury.
Power- This one, like strength is the ability for your muscles to contract BUT this is a one and done kind of thing. Think basketball player vertically jumping to sink a 3 point basket – I don’t follow basketball how do you say that in a cool way— anyways, that player isn’t going to be able to jump that high again immediately after, power needs to get stored again. Powerlifting uses this type of training, because they need to lift something super heavy, but just once and then they can drop it immediately.
Hypertrophy – Think giant muscles!
Once you have your goal in mind, then you’re well on your way to creating an exercise program, because the sets and reps have well defined parameters. Below is a useful visual when planning your repetitions, as you can see all repetitions hit a little bit on each of the training goals, but the goals highlighted in yellow is where you can see the biggest results for that specific goal * the sweet spot*
Repetition sweet spots for
This chart also gives a good indication of where to work if you want to work on two goals, if you want to be toned and strong, you want to look for an area that works both strength and hypertrophy (12-16 reps)
Sands et al. 2012. Repetition Rangers for Specific Training Outcomes, NSCA Basics of Strength and Conditioning Manual. Accessed 02/11/2021
Okay so now you know what repetitions to use for your specific goals, but how do you determine sets?
For Power and Strength 3-5 sets
Hypertrophy and Muscle Endurance – 2-4 sets
Now that you have your sets and reps figured out, it’s time to figure out what exact exercises to pick, and what weight to choose.
That’s on the next blog.
(In the blog I will be offering a weekly fitness challenge/workout) This week we are going to focus on full body Endurance what reps should we be working in????
But first, why endurance? This workout is a full bodyweight exercises, this will ensure the weight is enough to get results! The upper body exercises might get sticky, remember to modify if needed!
Kin Co. Blog #1 Workout: Endurance
Warm up – 30 seconds each
Jumping Jacks, Right Hip Swings, Left Hip Swings, Standing Knee to chest alternating sides, Hamstring curls, Mountain Climbers, Plank Jacks, Dynamic pigeon pose.
Squats, Lunges, calf raises, Row pulses, bent over lat pull down, Pushups, Side lying Triceps, plank dips, 4 point kneeling hip extension.
Check out the video below for the how to!
Sands et al., “Basics of Strength and Conditioning Manual” National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2012
Hargrove, Todd. “What is Strength.” Web blog post. Better Movement. October 23, 2011