Reps and sets don't stand alone!
So what other basic training variables should you consider when designing more effective workouts?
- Weights or Loads
- Training Duration
- Training Frequency
Your reps and sets not only affect these other variables, but are influenced by these other variables in return.
And the bottom line is...all of these variables need to be adjusted based on YOU and YOUR GOALS.
But your intensity, your weights, the exercises you use can all affect the number of reps and sets you perform. Or the reps and sets you decide to perform may then change all of these things.
The key is to make sure that all of these variables are adjusted in a way to help you reach your goals.
For instance, a beginner may start with a lower intensity and lower volume as they allow not only their muscles to strengthen but also their connective tissues to adapt. They will use lighter loads, compound moves, maybe slower tempos to control movements, more rest, and more reps but fewer sets.
As this beginner progressed, you could increase loads, which then may force you to decrease reps while increasing rest. (See how changes to one variable affect changes in another!?)
You could also increase overall volume, upping the number of sets without adding more load as your body will be challenged by in the increased number of reps done overall instead of the load. The tempo you choose to use for movements may also influence how many reps and sets. Slowing down the tempo may force you to do fewer reps than if you went more quickly through the move!
Or if you want to work on power and make moves explosive, that may also force you to decrease the number of reps.
While your goals drive everything, you want all your training variables to be working FOR you!