Your Guide to Reps and Sets
Are you just now entering your fitness era and looking to learn more about the words and phrases you keep hearing from those long-term gym junkies? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down two of the most important words you need to understand when it comes to slaying your workouts and conquering your fitness routine, so buckle up and get ready to learn about reps and sets.
What is a Rep?
The word “rep” is short for repetition, and simply put, a rep is the act of completing a particular exercise one single time. Therefore, one push-up would equal one rep, and in the same vein, 10 push-ups would equal 10 reps. Keep in mind, a rep could also encompass more than one exercise at a time. For example, if you’re kickin’ it with us at Round 6, your full rep might be a squat + 2 alternating front kicks.
What is a Set?
When you cluster together multiple reps, this is referred to as a set. To perform a set, you would complete a specific number of reps of an exercise back-to-back without stopping. Sets are typically followed by a short period of rest, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on your workout and goals. However, a set may also be determined not by the number of reps you do, but rather by the amount of time you spend performing a particular exercise (i.e., doing 30 seconds of bicep curls vs. knocking out 10 reps of bicep curls).
Why do reps and sets matter?
Reps and sets are important because they will lay out the basic foundation of nearly every workout you do, no matter what type of program you’re following. Additionally, keeping track of your reps and sets—similarly to how you would track your improvements with weights (i.e., going from 10 lbs. to 15 lbs.)—can also show you how you’re progressing throughout your fitness journey. So, if over time you’re able to max out your set by doing 15 reps instead of 10 for an exercise like bicep curls, then you know your strength is improving. This may also be a good indicator that it’s time to increase your weights a little. (-;
How are Reps and Sets Used at 9Round?
For most of the exercise stations at 9Round, we provide two alternating sets of exercises for you to knock out as many times as you can during a 3-minute interval. In the example for Round 2 below, you would do a set of 10 reps of bicep curls followed by a set of 5 reps of jump squats.
10 Bicep Curls
5 Jump Squats
However, if your station’s drill is only one move, like medicine ball sit ups at Round 9, or one of our kickboxing combinations, you instead focus on knocking out as many reps as possible (AMRAP) rather than as many sets as possible. For example, if the drill at Round 4 is Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross, you would perform this kickboxing combination over and over again until the bell rings, signaling you to move on to the next station.
By programming our KILLER workouts around doing as many reps or sets as possible rather than giving you a specific number to hit, we allow you to customize your workout to your fitness level. If you want to intensify your workout, you can try to perform more reps or sets before your 3 minutes are up, or you can slow down your reps and sets to focus more on keeping proper form and burning fat. This is where our heart rate technology can really help you determine your pace for knocking out reps and sets to keep you in the ideal heart-rate zones during your workout.
How to Use Reps and Sets to Your Advantage
Reps and sets are excellent tools you can use for setting micro-goals during your workout. Micro goals are smaller, short-term goals that ultimately lead to your bigger, long-term goals. An example of a micro-goal using the Round 2 drill above (a set of 10 Bicep Curls and a set of 5 Jump Squats) would be to knock out at least 3-4 sets of bicep curls with around 3-4 sets of jump squats in between. Doing this during your KILLER workout can help you stay fully engaged during the process, so you don’t find yourself slacking off or simply going through the motions.
As you can see, reps and sets are essential for nearly any workout you do, and now that you have a basic understanding of what these terms mean and how you can use them to your advantage, you can feel more confident when trying new workouts or knocking out a KILLER sweat sesh at 9Round.