Lifting For Reps Through 3 Sets

Lifting For Reps Through 3 Sets If you head into a weight training session with the goal of completing 10 reps for each set, you might not get there even if you correctly estimate a 10 reps max (10RM) load. Muscle fatigue might get the better of you, especially if you keep your rest between sets fairly brief. A study published in the November edition of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research offers load reduction recommendations for completing 10 reps for all 3 sets on 3 different exercises.

A group of 32 recreationally trained women in their late 20s performed barbell bench presses, barbell back squats and wide grip lat pull downs on 4 separate occasions. For their first trip to the gym, the 10RM resistance did not change between sets. Next time, weight was reduced 5% after the first and second sets. For the third workout, resistance decreased 10% between sets and the last session saw a 15% reduction in weight after the first and second set.

True Strength Moment: With a minute of rest between sets, reducing the load by 10% after each set was enough to allow the full 10 reps for squats and pull downs. Ten percent wasn't enough for the bench press, but a 15% reduction made the last set too easy. Use these findings to get more out of your next trip to the weight room. For some advice on the effects between sets rest, see today's Performance Blog post at
Leave a Comment