Circuit Training / equipment / Fat loss / Motivation / Uncategorized

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 “15 Minute Abs Challenge” click HERE to check it out

You Might also want to check out this post. “How much time should I rest between sets”

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.

29 thoughts on “How Many Reps Should You Do?

  1. By doing the set until failure you mean doing it with every muscle right? It’s that I have some doubts because one of my cousins is a personal trainer and told me that in one of the classes they told him that doing a 9-10 reps set it’s wrong, that it should be 15, 12(2) & 8 with the heaviest weight you can. I really want to know if that’s o.k. or if it is wrong in some way… Thanks man

    • Hey Luis.

      Doing a set to failure means doing it until you can not do anymore. No disrespect to you or your cousin, but when he said “the heaviest weight you can” he meant (or should have meant) “pic a weight were you hit failure at 15, 12(2) & 8 ”

      but to say “15, 12 & 8 ” is be better that reps of “9-10” is just not true. better for what? You will be way better off going to failure NO MATTER HOW MANY REPS YOU DO because that is the best way to let your body know it need to adapt (get stronger).

      Every gym is full of people that workout out every day, but look the same as when they started because they think doing reps composed of some magical combination of arbitrary numbers is better than going to failure with each set.

  2. Good article. I’m guilty of stopping a set when the burn sets in. Now that I know that isn’t failure, I’m gonna cut that shit out.

  3. Really nice article man! im actually a personal trainer my self and can vouch for really hitting failure when you train. but that dosnt mean its only one way to get there, im currently going trough Full Contact Volum Traning where you have a fixed progression model with totalt volume week by week and not hitting failure this have given me really good results aswell but no matter how you do it, you have to have some form of progression in your training! good luck everyone. – go HARD, or go the fuck home! im out

  4. hey brandon,,,,, awesome article and thnx alot for all ur advises i wanted to ask u tht i want to remove the cheat day and the junk food meals i hav,,, can i hav it during the normal days of healthy eating will it be ok or not??

    • Thanks a lot Osz!

      You CAN remove the cheat day. But its not sustainable because sooner or later your gonna find your self at a social event like a party, wedding, or BBQ and you will ostracize if your not eating and enjoying the meal like every one else. just eat what ever you want such and even as long as its only one day a week and your eating healthy on the other 6 days.

      Good Question homie

  5. Aye Brandon can this be done on the last day of the work out schedule and still be effective? You would have 2-3 days rest and could start the next week off fresh?

    • Hey Jermaine.

      If you should ALWAYS go to failure EVERY TIME you workout. If your not going to failure, then it is a rest day cuz your not really working out lol. When I used to train people one on one my clients that quit before failure “If your going to quit before failure then you should just say home and PRETEND to workout there” lol

      Thanks for the comment homie

  6. Sup bro, with your workouts i’ve shed off about 20 lbs of nasty fat and i’m getting leaner and more built. I’ll update some pics when iv’e reached my goal. Oh and that tea-rexx stuff really works! Much respect to you my man!

    • Congrats!!! I am happy and proud of you!!! thats a major accomplishment! If you have before and after pics for me to post PLEASE email them to me so I can post them here! it will really help people that are trying to what you have done!!! and yeah, I LOVE TEA-REXX too!!!

      Thanks homie, keep me updated with your progress!

  7. Brandon i liked the article (as always) and i do my exercises to failure too, but; isn’t it better to use a index number for any exercise? you know it’s not right to take a huge weight and do 1 rep or taking a very light weight and doing 50 reps with it… I actually set a number to guide me for weight selection and i tear my a*s off then fail or i finish my rep number i have set before and still have a little power in me, i do couple more reps and fail… isn’t it better this way?(sorry for grammar mistakes)

  8. Hey man, all thos advices you give us are really awesome… But I’m having a little problem. I really want to bulk up and a good ripped but in some kind of way big… hope you understand me… I’m reading all your articles and I was hoping if you could send me some advices and some examples of a diet that could help me reach my goal. My email is #############

    Thanks man, that would be great.

  9. When training to failure with lighter weights… should one still (or is it always better too…) train “eccentric”.. or bang it out with some speed (while keeping form of course)… I find that with a particular weight I can:

    a) do eccentric training and hit failure at sometimes only 6 to 8 reps

    or b) bang ’em out (with exactly the same weight as (a)) & get 25 – 30 reps… I know you say don’t count but after years of lifting weights I have a bit of a habit now of counting my reps lol…

    So wondering what would your opinion be on this? eccentric.. or a little “speedy”?

  10. Thanks for all the great posts and articles!! They really do help out a ton! I am definitely very guilty of following a set rep range in most work outs :/ except usually chest day when I have a spotter. But I will definitely take your advice and use this for every workout!

    Thanks for all the great advice all the time…you get me amped up to go the gym…only problem is I read your articles in the morning at work and have to weight to get through my day hahaha!! Thanks though bro!! Appreciate everything…and the music!

  11. Thank you for all the great info!

    My question:

    I understand reps until failure.
    But when trying to build size, how heavy a weight should I choose? One that I fail after just a few reps, or one that I can go 20+ before failing?

    Thank you!

  12. hey brandon

    i have a question i can do this with any abs workout or with some especially, because i do it with one abs routine and don’t feel anything the only thing is hurting my self, hurting my back and that things…

  13. If i want to take a certain weight,lets say i can do shoulder press about 15 reps(can’t do anymore) with 25 lbs on first set,and then i take a 30-40 seconds rest then do another set,but this time i can only do about 5 reps then muscle failure comes so i can’t anymore,so which is is better actually :
    1.Do 10 reps of shoulder press with 25 lbs,then take 30-40 seconds rest,then another set of 10 reps
    2.Do up to muscle failure which is 15 reps for me on shoulder press with 25 lbs,then take 30-40 seconds rest,and do another set with 5 reps as that’s my highest point for the moment.
    3.Do only the last set up to failure only
    Let me know Sir 😀
    Greetings from Bangladesh 🙂

  14. i set to failure means until you cant do anymore abs because you feel i lot of pain in your abs but what if you cant anymore because you feeling pain in other part of your body and that don’t let do anymore it also count like a set to failure?

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