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Sets and reps can be so confusing, I am here to set the record straight!

I wanted to write a post about this on its own because it’s so intimidating as a beginner to get a grip on all of the “lingo”. I remember hearing people in the gym talking sets and reps and I had no clue what that meant. After researching and talking to professionals I got the low down on what they mean, the different ways you can write them and how they help you work out. You’ll be an expert at fitness journals in no time

What is a rep?

Short for repetitions, this is the amount of times you repeat the exercise in one go, a lot of different people will write their sets and reps in different ways (I would love to know how you write yours, leave me a comment) I write mine like this;
Squats 2 x 12, 30r”  = Which is simply, 2 rounds of 12 non-stop squats with 30 seconds rest in between = 24 squats total

What is a set?

This can also be described as a “round” but essentially is the number of times you repeat the GROUP of exercises;
using the Example above:
Squats 2 x 12, 30r” is 12 squats non stop, 30-second rest, repeat 2 times.

Other ways of writing sets and reps:

Everyone is different and you will find that you will prefer a certain type of shorthand, other ways that people write it down are:
  • Sets x Reps
  • Reps x Sets
Those who are serious about bodybuilding will look at incorporating the weight they are lifting into their sets and reps too i.e:
Sets X Reps X Weight
Ultimately it doesn’t matter as long as you know what your own shorthand means and you are not accidentally performing them the wrong way around (i.e. 2 squats, 30 seconds rest x 12 – because that does not work out your muscles at all) It’s also important to note that sets and reps can be applied to bodyweight exercises and aren’t exclusive to weight or strength training. Here is an example of my log book and diary that I use to note sets and reps.
My Log it or Lose it book makes it easier for me to track workouts

Hopefully, this has made it easier to understand and less confusing or intimating if you are a beginner starting out.

For more information for beginners, check out the Health & Fitness Index

*To get my log book (it’s great for beginners) here’s my affiliate link: Gym Diary – A pocket sized workout log book … (Red) to purchase one. For more information on my affiliates visit the Affiliate Page

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

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