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An Explanation Of Sets, Reps, And Intensity For Strength Training

An Explanation Of Sets, Reps, And Intensity For Strength Training

  1. So are you confused about sets, reps, and intensity when it comes to your strength training? 
  2. Are you looking to find a better understanding of how to achieve strength goals in your training program? 
  3. Are you training with the appropriate volume and intensity with your workouts? 

So today I wanted to shed some light and help to explain to you about what type of training results you can expect with certain sets, reps, and intensity concerning your training. You may get slightly different recommendations on this from some people, but the following breakdown of rep ranges is widely accepted in the strength and conditioning field for repetition protocols as they apply to the strength spectrum.

Explanation Of Sets, Reps, And Intensity

Rep ranges…

1-3 reps=power

3-5 reps=strength

6-12 reps=hypertrophy (muscular size)

13+ reps=endurance

With all of this this in mind understand that the definition of strength is your muscles’ ability to produce tension for a given movement. Tension equals force and force equals tension.

This will also shed some light on the point that some people make about performing a movement that keeps you under tension for a longer period of time…otherwise known as time under tension (TUT).

TUT correlates directly with these rep ranges. In other words, if you perform a movement for 12 reps you’re going to be under tension longer due to you having to execute more reps. The working set will simply take longer to perform.

Yes, this will increase your TUT, but your force production (actual tension) is going to be less with a higher rep range compared to the 1-3 power rep range.

Even though you’re spending more time under tension during higher rep ranges you’re still not producing near maximal tension for the higher rep movement as you would with the more intense power rep range.

So in regards to training  in a 1-6 rep range you stand to produce more strength whereas you’ll produce more muscular size with an 8 to 12 rep range with big major lifts.

By training in the strength or power range you’re going to have to produce a greater amount of force to move a weight that is challenging within that given rep range. Remember the definition of strength is tension.

By moving heavier weight you’re training your neuromuscular system to meet the challenge by recruiting more muscle fiber and honing your neuromuscular activation making you stronger.

Explanation Of Sets, Reps, And Intensity: The Takeaway 

Adaptation is an amazing thing and it is specifically determined by your training and correlating rep ranges and intensity. So if you expect certain results from your strength program you’ve got to be smart in your approach.

What are your current strength training goals? 

What rep ranges are you currently training in your program? 

Post up and share here below in the comments.

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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