How Many Reps Should You Do?


“How many reps should you do???” I get that question all the time and the answer is always the same… DON’T COUNT YOUR REPS!!! JUST DO AS MANY AS YOU CAN UNTIL YOUR CAN NOT DO ANY MORE, AND DO THAT FOR EVERY SET. This is called doing a set to failure.

A lot of people think that they are doing a set to failure because they stop a set as soon as their muscles start to hurt really bad… BUT THAT IS NOT FAILURE!!! Failure comes when your body WON’T LET YOU DO ANY MORE REPS, and that comes WAY after the point where it hurts really bad.

Muscle growth is nothing but your bodies way of adapting to the increased physical strain you are putting on it. When you take a set to Failure, your muscles say to themselves “God Damn! We’re better get bigger and stronger FAST because this dude is putting way more strain on us than we can handle!”. When you stop a set at the point where it just hurts a lot your muscle say to themselves “We might have to get a little bigger and stronger, but there is really no rush to do so because this person lifts weights like a punk!”

I tell people to WORKOUT WITH THEIR MINDS because the MIND IS STRONGER THAN THE BODY! Your mind can push beyond your bodies physical limitations. If you want to get bigger and stronger as fast as you can, you must go beyond the point were it hurts a lot and to the point were one more rep would not even be possible if someone put a gun to your head!!!!

That’s how you know if you’re done with your set or not. When the workout starts to hurt, you dig down deep and you are able to do a few more reps. You start to understand what it means to lift with your MIND and not your body. Your Mind can push your body WAY farther than your body thinks it can go. Instead of JUST QUITTING the way you would’ve tried to do in previous two times, you KEEP PUSHING!!! Doing a set until failure means that when it looks like you’re doing this rep in slow motion, and might include some of the worst pain you have ever felt in your life, you keep going. Doing a set until failure means that, you start to do another rep, but you physically CAN’T make it more than half way through this rep and you just kind of hang in the half way point of this rep for a few seconds. This is how intensely you should be doing ALL of your sets!!! Now, rest 30 seconds and do another set JUST LIKE THAT!

The ONLY exseption I ever make to this rule is my “10 Minute Abs Challenge” click HERE to check it out

For best results, make sure you follow a good total body routine and diet (you get both in my workout plan). It may also help to try a good fat burner like TEA REXX, it is what I use to help me stay ripped.

30 thoughts on “How Many Reps Should You Do?

  1. I am 51 years old and have just now seen you for the first time. You are incredibly ripped. How can a guy my age get even close to that? It is harder to build muscle at my age isn’t it?

    • Thanks, I know a guy that i 62 that is bigger than me and is just as ripped! He showed me how to workout when I was first starting. I dont think you should think about if its “harder” for you or not. Just do the best that YOU can do. good luck bro!

  2. Yo Brandon, wassup?
    What do you do, if you’re bench pressing and have to do until failure, and can’t get the bar up in place at the end, and you don’t have a friend with you that day? Also can you give me some info about your body? like height, weight, bodyfat?
    I’m 6 feet tall, weights 172 lbs and got a 8,5% bodyfat… Just wants to check how far I am from your level 🙂

      • Okay, I’ll work out with dumbbells in the future, does it target your chest any differently than a barbell bar does?
        Also I often workout early in the morning before there are anybody else and before school, and it can be quite hard to find a spotter that early 😀

  3. Brandon. Great post as always. I was wondering if you use the same weight on every set or do you change the weights? Currently I work to failure as you advise but I drop the weight on every set so that I can fail in between 8-10 reps. Will this work? Also at what point do you know when to increase the weight the next time you workout the same body part? Thanks.

    • Its cool if you do it like that, I do sometimes too. But normally i just use the same weight. It dont really matter witch way you do it because going to failure is the important thing

      • thank god you said that man has been bugging me for ages,
        but can you please tell me why people are so obsessed with rep ranges, like 6-8 or 10-12 for building best muscle gains etc… or is it just as long as you go to failure with reps below 12 atleased you will be building muscle? thanks 🙂

  4. Ay Brandon, I need to know whether or not I need to focus on building muscle or losing weight cuz Im not fat but I’m not skinny my stomach seems to poke out but its not FAT kinda like Georges St Pierres or that one pic of Usher, anyway how should I train.

  5. Brandon you are an inspiration to me. I am 15 and skinny. I am 6 foot and 145 pounds.I have been working out with weights for the last 2 months and am having trouble building muscle. Do you have any suggestions to getting ripped. How did you build all that muscle from scratch. Thanks

      • I have been trying some of the 12 week bulking on bodybuilder.com. I have been doing that and eating around 3000 calories a day and not gaining weight. How did you put on so much muscle before you were got ripped. Thanks

  6. Im sorry, if you can tell me some exercices to improve myself, cause i had seen you practice Muay Thai. Thanks, you`re an inspiration.

  7. hello Brandon ,
    I am 165 Cm , and 70 Kg . I want to loos weight and gain muscle. how much duration should i spend on exercise and how many days a week. I specially want to improve my core so how much portion of my total exercise efforts should be given to Ab exercise. what are the diet plans to follow specially when I am vegetarian.


  8. bro,
    i have been trying to get this six pack for ages but no matter wat i do i just cant get it.
    i do Shaun T’s Insanity 3X week
    and P90X (shoulder & bicep) and your ab workout monday, Your chest and ab workout on wednesday, and your leg and ab workout on friday
    My diet includes peanut butter sandwich (morning), almonds (snack), veggie sandwich w/ protein shake (lunch), almonds (snack), two totillas and beef or chicken curry (dinner)
    but its hard to follow that diet with my schedule and it doesn’t seem to work
    i was wonder if you can give me some nutrition and workout advice that can get me ripped and help me get that six pack fast in my busy schedule. I need to get it fast cause i have a family show in one and a half month
    When i see my self in the mirror I see 2 perfect pack, barely see my 4 pack and i dont see my six pack at all
    Please Help!!!!!!!

  9. Hey u r totally incredible, here i am 26 years old weighing around 82 kgs for height 5.10
    feet, so here is my concern i have hit the gym last month and i have been working for 1 1/2 hr daily but i don’t see the result, has i checked my weight after 1 month i.e, today
    still i weigh around 81 kgs , so please suggest me how to get down the weight and tummy

  10. hey Brandon
    what is more effective for me to do, the push and pull sort of workout split you said to do, or the one muscle group per day gym workout in order to build muscle?
    and if i do the workout split and basically get all the muscle groups done within 3 days, will this be as good as the 5 day plan for muscle gain and basically getting extremely physically fit and ripped? its just i would like to think that it is just as affective just because it will not be quite as time consuming in the week and i will have more free days in the week in order for me to be able to go boxing again without feeling sore from the 5 day routine. please reply man thanks 🙂

  11. Hi just discovered your website. Seems really good. Im 20 years and I’ve been working out for almost 4 years now and there has been literally no change. At one point I was even considering roids to help me get ripped. But I decided ageist it. What can I do to get ripped.

    • yoooooo, what ever you do, DO NOT DO ROIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! roids WILL make your nuts shrink!!! It will all so fuck up your organs! it also causes impotence! whats the point of getting ripped if your cant do nothing with a girl??? its not worth it! you just need to eat right and workout right. you have probably been doing the wrong thing for 4 years. Check out my program, i broke the diet and the workouts down in a way thats easy to understand. keep me updated on your progress homie

  12. Hey bro amazing workouts cuz, I hve been watching
    ur videos, I posted the same question in another post but couldn’t remember the post, same question for u again, bro, u eat chicken thighs right, do u eat the whoole chicken thigh or jst leave out the last thigh thing with the skin and of course u eat the thighs skinless right???

  13. hi brandon
    i have a 8packs but i have a fat layar in the lower abs how can i loss it fast
    i dont have a cardio machine can i use the rope jump ?

  14. Hey brandon, (i have no Ida If this form is dead or not btw) but I got a question: Im a skinny fella 6’1″ 145lbs run on average 7 miles everyday (even in winter). I’ve been working out for 4.5 months now??? I was getting results but they seem to have halted. I want my abs to show more too! I don’t get it I eat right train properly, consistent any tips?

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