What is the best number of repetitions?
What is the best number of repetitions? A question that I hear very often. The answer can be very complicated but will try and simplify as much as possible.
It depends on your goals, the actual exercise/task, age, health status, fitness level, and genetics.
Goals: There are so many things you can achieve from exercise but let’s focus on the main goals.
Strength and Power: 1-6 reps
Mobility: 3-6 reps
Muscle Hypertrophy: 6-12 reps
Muscle Endurance and Muscle Toning: 12-20.
General Endurance: 20+
The Actual Exercise/Task: Simply placed, the same exercise with different prescriptions (for example exercise intensity, exercise tempo, range of motion, etc) could give you very different results. Depending on the prescription of the specific exercise the rep number could vary.
Age: Children, Adolescences and Third Age people should focus on a medium number of reps between 10 and 15. With lower reps they might lift too heavy increases the risk for an injury, higher reps would risk being too many for their muscles, joints and/or ligament system.
Health Status: Really depends on the specific case this is why I can’t give a rep range. Does the person have an injury or an illness.? What is that problem? How severe is it? When did it occur? If an injury where is it located? Can you do some light exercise in that area of the body? Etc.
Fitness Level: If someone is new to exercise a rep range between 10 and 12 reps could be a good guideline. This number of reps will help them to safely start developing some musculoskeletal strength setting up the fundamentals for any goal. Again with lower reps they might lift too heavy increases the risk for an injury, higher reps would risk being too many for their muscles, joints and/or ligament system.
Genetics: Simply placed, everyone is deferent. Some people can take more than others regardless of their fitness level, age and health status.
I hope the above was healthful. Stay Fit and Healthy.
Adonis Angelides, Master Personal Trainer