So you have committed to joining the gym and start training. You have set your ego aside and have made the intelligent decision to hire a personal trainer to help you figure out what you should be doing to reach your goals.
If you’ve decided to work with Real Results Personal Training to achieve your goals; even better.
After going through the various assessments you are then given a training program with all these boxes with numbers and funny words. I’m sure your personal trainer explained to you time and time again what everything means, but yet you feel as though you aren’t 100% sure you’re understanding everything correctly.
This is a common tale which we experience with our personal training clients who we provide our programs to for the first time. Sets and reps is an easy concept to grasp, but once we start discussing tempo, exercise sequencing, grip variations and other program specifics we are often met with blank faces and a few head scratches.
This is why over the coming weeks we will be publishing a series of “Understanding Your Training Program” articles designed to educate you on the specifics of a proper training program.
Whether you have received a program from Real Results, another personal training p or downloaded from the internet, these articles will give you all the knowledge you need to read any training program.
TRAINING PROGRAM SETS AND REPETITIONS
These are the 2 basic elements to your training program. Repetitions tell you how many times you are to continuously repeat an exercise before stopping.
Sets will tell you how many times you are to repeat that amount of repetitions of that exercise with a rest in between. It will often look like the following:
Looking at the above example, there will be 2-3 sets of Rope Triceps Pushdown to complete with each set containing 8-12 repetitions. Once the 8-12 repetitions are completed, a period of rest or a different exercise will generally follow before repeating another set of this exercise.
Sets and reps numbers can be very different and will depend on what program you are following and what results you are after. You may see 3 sets of 10 repetitions or 10 sets of 3 repetitions. Each sets and rep scheme is for a different purpose and a good personal training provider is able to set these parameters to best fit their client. If you want more information on some of the differences between high and low reps, click here to read our article discussing the differences in rep ranges.
There will be times where the sets and reps given may not be exact (such as the above example) and more of a guideline. 3 sets of 12 reps gives you no room to give up before you reach the desired reps, but 8-12 reps gives you a guide to work within. At Real Results, we prefer using sets and rep guides for clients who may not be able to repeatedly complete an exact number of reps every set. If the trainee falls short of 12 reps and the program says to do 12, they will either have to cheat on their form to complete the 12 reps (which is not a good idea) or feel as though they are “giving up” by only doing 9 or 10 reps. The rep guide eliminates these 2 issues for the client.
There will also be exact sets and reps numbers such as 3 sets of 12 reps. This is what you would normally see on many training programs.
Other variations include an exact number of sets with differing reps for each sets. This may look like the below example:
That covers all you need to know about reading sets and repetitions on your training program. Stay up to date with Real Results Personal Training through our Facebook page and website for our newest editions to ‘Understanding Your Training Program’. We will look to cover tempo, rest periods, exercise sequencing, weight selection and also explain various terminology to give you the confidence to execute your training program to your full potential.