How Much Do Sets and Reps Matter?

Before I knew a lick about strength and conditioning, I thought sets, reps, and the specific exercise I was doing was the magic concoction to the “gain train.” I would go into the rec center at Ball State and if I didn’t feel like I was performing the perfect set and rep scheme I would feel like I completely wasted my time. I would go back and forth in my head about what was best and would look up programs on Bodybuilding.com to find the magic program. I think the unnecessary stress I put myself through debating which set and rep schemes were the best, probably had a more detrimental impact on my progress than if I were to just go into the gym and work really hard at something random.

Anyways, I am here now and think I know quite a bit more about training than I did in those days. In fact, I cringe when I think about my thought process back then.

Let’s look at what sets, and reps really are. Sets and reps are just a measure of your training volume. It is a measure of the stress that you intentionally give your body in the form of training to elicit certain adaptations. The sets and reps aren’t the important part. The important part is the stress or training load that you are implying.

Sets and reps are important because it is such an easy way to measure and continue to measure your training volume. It has been so useful