The Perfect Number of Sets for Weight Lifting

If you are into weight lifting, you would be knowing all about strength-training, reps and sets. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to design a weight or strength-training program without understanding these two terms – rep and set. A rep is a completion motion of an exercise and a set is consecutive reps or repetitions. The perfect number of sets for weight lifting will depend on how strong and muscular you want to be for your body size and type. Of course the number of sets you do will depend on certain factors such as age. Someone who is elderly for instance and who is looking to get fit and healthy will have different set requirements.


Many new comers to weight lifting become irritated because they can’t understand that trainers come with so many numbers, complicating their weight lifting session. There is actually no absolute right or wrong way to build muscle – nothing is set in stone. But roughly, how many sets do you roughly require to build muscle?

What are your Goals?

Different kinds of sets produce different results. When it comes to working out how many reps you should do per set, physical training experts will tell you that if your main goal is to increase strength, you should train in the lower rep ranges – between 1-8 reps per set. If your goal is building muscle, then you should train in the moderate rep ranges – between 5-12 reps per set. If your goal is improving muscle endurance, you should train in the higher rep ranges – between 12-20 reps per set. So, you see you don’t have one-size-fits-all concept here.

For someone who has been sedentary, it would certainly be advisable to start with one set. After a couple of weeks with one set you’ll be able to perform two to three sets of 12 to 17 reps. In fact aim for 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps. After about 8 weeks, whether you are wanting to tone up, develop muscles or get in shape, you will be wanting to start lifting more weight. Progression with sets for weight lifting is important. For the next 6 months or so you’ll be lifting more weight and performing more sets – three or four sets of 8 to 10 reps.
Start off Moderately

Certainly if you are a novice or if you have been a couch potato for some time, the perfect number of sets for weight lifting will be to start with one set of 10 to 12 repetitions and not do another rep, as you may find you are not able to complete it.
When you reach a plateau and you see that you are no longer building muscles or losing weight, it is time to look at your weight lifting programme again. Once you have mastered strength training for novices or coach potatoes, your progression will depend on what your goals are.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s