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New, Advice on Reps and Workout Length

I’m new to the gym/weightlifting (3 weeks now) and have played around with different sets/rep combos. I have done the higher rep range with lower weight, which felt pretty good after I was done.
I also tried a lower rep range with higher weight and it doesn’t seem like I get the same effect from (if that makes sense)

Today I played around with pyramid sets, but just staying with one exercise, going down by 5lbs each set for 4 sets. Can this cause damage to the muscles by pounding the hell out of them for a 50 minute workout?

How long should a workout last to get a good affect from the time spent? (Sorry for not knowing jack but I’d like to learn to make the most of my time) that ka in advance for any guidance and knowledge

Since I started lifting my workouts have rarely been 50 minutes long.

For rep ranges since you are a beginner I would stick with 4 sets of 8 where every rep is slow and controlled. Focus on learning good form and feeling the muscle work (comes with time).
Also, what training split are you using? If full body you may need a little longer in the gym but if you are “working out” more than an hour and a half you are probably doing to much or taking to long of rest periods.

Work in whatever rep range feels the best to you–the range you find the most rewarding/gratifying. The idea behind this is very simple–if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more apt to stick with it. Like lifting heavy? Lift heavy. Like doing pump work? Do pump work.

As for doing too much–it’s essentially impossible for someone at your level to overtrain. You are not going to ‘damage the muscles by pounding the hell out of them for a 50 minutes.’ Feel free to work as hard as you’d like.

How long should a workout last? I’d ballpark it in the 45-90 minute range.


I’ve done a lot of programs, the one I enjoy the most is an upper lower split. You get the best of both worlds

Monday: heavy lower
Tuesday: heavy upper
Wednesday: rest/Cardio
Thursday: hypertrophy lower
Friday: hypertrophy upper
Saturday: rest/cardio
Sunday: rest

Workouts are usually around 50 minutes. Monday and Tuesday require fewer heavy sets with a lot of rest between. Thursday and Friday require a lot of sets with little rest in between.

As a beginner, intermediate, or even elite athlete your focus should always be on controlling the weights. You should be able to stop the movement anywhere in the range of motion and hold it for a second or two if you wanted. At the same time, you don’t want it to be too light either. There is a definite sweet spot that you will learn with practice.

I’m playing around with it and at the moment it is
Day 1- shoulders/triceps
Day 2- biceps/upper legs
Day 3- chest/abs
Day 4- back/ lower leg
Day 5- abs/ triceps/ forearms
My weekly day routine probably looks horrible but I’m still playing around with what fits best. I hate working and and love the tricep exercises so right now I’m doubling up on them so I can do less daily with abs and more daily with triceps, which now that I write it down makes 0 sense.
I guess I should have said that I am about 5’9" and 260lbs trying to stay around the 1700 calorie mark and hoping to lose weight while building muscle as I go.

Thanks for the insight @EyeDentist it’s nice to know I can’t overtrain to the point of damage. When I find an exercise I enjoy doing, it seems to make all the difference in wanting to go back and those are the ones I felt I was overdoing, by pounding the hell out of my body.

Yeah, that’s not going to turn out too well. That low of calories and you will crash and burn. Ask me how I know.

You should target, at most, a 20% calorie reduction from your TDEE.

With all respect both parts of this statement can’t be true. Within 3 weeks you can’t have played around with many different reps/set. At least not to a point where you know what works. Or feels good over a period of time greater that few hours. That’t not to say you’ve not done good work. But 3 weeks is a toe in water time scale. Don’t dismiss other training parameters just yet.

With regards to work out length - I’ve had workouts last 15-20mins. They are not massively effective. I’m not making the best progress. But they work to retain / moderately improve my strength / size.
My current workouts are 90mins. I can not see how people work out for longer. I’m done at the end of these. 100% spent.

100% agree with this. There is NO way you should be on 1700 calories at 260lb. See this from Eric Bach. You should be on 2 times this.

EDIT in put the link

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There is no issue with having his calories that low. He is obese and has energy reserves in the form of fat. There will be no “metabolic damage”. @nate4207 train hard but, focus on fat loss 3-4 sessions a week is enough.

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No one mentioned “metabolic damage”. But 1700 calories is the diet a 180lb woman with an office job would need. A 260lb guy trying to work out 3/4 time a week needs more. LOTS more.

At those sorts of calories they’ll burn out, ditch the diet or at the very best carry on and be left with a sub par results (lossing fat slowly with a high protein diet means that when you get to 15% BF you have something worth showing).


Exactly. I don’t think there is anything wrong with rapid weight loss for a short period of time (2-3 weeks), but going for months is a big problem. When I did this I lost 65lbs and got to 10% body fat. I watched all my lifts plummet over the months and by the end looked like I got out of a concentration camp. I was so over trained it took me literally a year to be able to add any appreciable muscle back and gained a lot of the fat back while doing that.

This year I’m going to try a 2 on 2 off super low calorie diet.
2 weeks of 800-1200 calories a day.
Then 2 weeks of 2500/3000.

But again. Short bursts. Long periods of tike at low low levels never goes well.

You ever consider the ABCDE diet?

is there an app for this?

Never seen it. Will read

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My favorite program is Jonnie Candito’s strength hypertrophy program. But all his programs are awesome (and free)


As for tracking my progress, I use the “Strong” app.

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I’m not really sure what’s under all the chub, but I would assume it’s much better than what is at the surface now lol.
I guess I have alot more to learn than I thought I did.

I feel like this is a more attainable approach. I can’t see myself taking in roughly 3200 calories a day(that’s my deficit number) all the time. 2 days light and 2 days heavy seems way better

No reason any beginner (without injury) should not be training lower body at least 2x/week. Lower body typically makes up ~70% of your body mass. Why are you giving triceps more attention than your quads, hamstrings, or glutes?

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OP, PLEASE don’t try this. You don’t even need to count calories at this stage. Just get in the habit of making more conscientious dietary decisions throughout the week.