for exercises like abs. i was doing side bends with dbs.
would it be 1 rep, when you go to the left then to the right and come back where u started?[/quote]
Not to overanalyze the technique of a side bend, but if you’re holding a dumbbell in each hand, you’ll probably end up doing a rep to one side, and then a rep to the other. That would be “one”. Let’s say you’re aiming to do 2x4. It would be something like “left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right. Rest. Repeat.”
If you’re holding one dumbbell, you’d do all your reps to that side, and then switch hands.
Pretty much, yeah. Again, you can either do all reps for one leg and then shoot for the same number on the other side, or you can alternate legs each rep (one right, one left, one right, one left.)
I generally find that, for things like lunges and step-ups, alternating sides is a little better for strength (giving each side a mini-rest between reps) and doing the same side all at once lends itself more towards hypertrophy (keeping a more constant tension).
[quote]Papa Nick wrote:
Its side bends… just do it till it burns. Why not just do X amount on one side then repeat on opposite side.[/quote]
Because even though some people don’t count reps for abs (or forearms, or calves), you wouldn’t even think of not counting reps for any other bodyparts… because it doesn’t make any sense (as a primary training method. For a “shock technique”, maybe, but that’s not what we’re talking about here). “I’ll just squat until it burns. I’ll jump on the pulldown and rep until I’m bored.”
How can you apply progressive overload if you don’t pay attention to how much overload you’re applying in the first place?
Also, whenever we’re dealing with a unilateral exercise (resistance applied to one side of the body, or the work being done by one limb/side of the body), it helps to know how much (if any) strength discrepancy there is, so we can address it to prevent injuries and maximize total body strength in the long run.