Reps & sets…count your way to success!

Reps & sets…count your way to success!

I was thinking about the blog while I was working out this week to determine what might be a good entry.  My inspiration came from my actual workout because I am a strong believer in counting reps and sets so that I can track and see my improvement over time.  For example, I make sure I do 3 sets of 50 reps of crunches each day.  Then the following day I make sure I do at least equal to that or more.

Further, sets and reps can be a great way to improve over time and keep you on track so you don’t lose progress that you have made due to fluctuation in the number of reps you achieve during each set.  For example, doing 100 reps one week, 150 the next, and then 90 the following week.  It is important to try to build upon your workout and one way to do that is through continuous counting of reps and sets.  I do an abundance of cross training, trail hiking, and walking.  One thing I always do when I am cross training is make sure that I do 3 sets of reps.  So, if I do jumping jacks, squats, lunges, etc I do 3 sets.  Rather than doing 3 straight sets of 40 reps when I do jumping jacks, squats, lunges, etc I do a “warm-up” set, “build up” set, and a “cool down” set.   First, I usually have a specific number for my total set goal such as 150 reps.  I then split my total set goal into reps per set.  For example, my “warm-up” set might be 1-50, followed by a “build up” set of 51-115, and my “cool down” set of 116-150.   I find this particularly helpful because it allows me to warm myself up to the exercise, then really push myself to the max to build my strength, and then cool down during the last set so that I can be prepared to push myself when I start my next set of exercises.

When I do trail hiking or running, I try to set a distance or amount of time that I will run and I make sure that I meet that goal so that I am not going out for a run without having a distance or time goal set.  This helps push me farther and work harder to run or walk longer than I initially might have anticipated if I were to go without setting a distance or time goal.

So, next time you workout, remember that counting your reps and sets is a great way to track your progress, conquer your fitness goals, and help you increase your strength.


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