T Nation

Question about Reps

hey everyone,
Got a newbie question about how many reps I should be doing. My question is this, if I am going into the gym to do, lets just say bench press, and I am expecting to do 8 x 3 of flat bench and expecting that I can do 225 lbs for 8 reps. But when I am actually benching and I feel i can squeeze out another 1 or 2 reps on top of the 8 should i do so or just stop at 8 and then do my next set?

Increase the weight. You should barely be able to get the 8th rep (positive faliure). If you get 7 that’s ok, next chest day push for 8, if you get 9 increase the weight. By holding back so you can get 8 reps on all sets, you are only fatiguing your muscles, not overloading them. I would also go to 4 - 6 reps per set (if you are looking to build muscle)if you get 7 increase if you get 3 decrease the weight. The lower reps let you keep your focus better from set to set. Just my opinion.

There are all types of different rep schemes: 5x5, 8x3, EDT where you shoot for as many as able in alloted time. The thing is they’re all effective, but only for a while. You should be changing your workout and prescribed rep-shceme every 4-6 weeks.

Once you’ve seelcted a rep scheme then you should only barely be able to get the last rep of the last set, it’s better not to than to get too many I would guess.

Thanks for the feedback and I understand and agree that I should increase the weight, question is if I’m in the middle of my set is it better to stop at 8 or continue til failure. My goal is to build mass at this point.

[quote]jcv423 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback and I understand and agree that I should increase the weight, question is if I’m in the middle of my set is it better to stop at 8 or continue til failure. My goal is to build mass at this point. [/quote]

You should only go to failure some of the time. Do a search for Ian King and Black Book. I think you’ll find some information supporting this.

However, there are other things to take into consideration. Feel free to PM me for further discussion.

I think that once you figure out the appropriate weights you shouldn’t be able to go past 8 reps. If you can struggle for 9, go for it. If you can do more I would stop and add more weight. I also wouldn’t shoot for 8. I think you should shoot for 4-6 or 6-8 or 8-10, whatever you want to do, but have a range and and shoot for the low end. Once you hit the upper end add weight - progressive overload!!

If I am having an easy time of it, I let loose on the last set and push it to the max.

There are many ways you can play it, all of them good. The only bad thing is if you stopped training!

There is no one right way. Bodybuilding is a journey, learn from others, experiment to find what’s best for you. Your on the right path! T-Nation is where it’s at!

If you start a set and realize the weight is too light, you can always slow down the tempo to make the set harder. Like the others said, it’s not hard to keep track of what you can lift for the exercises you do regularly. If you can’t remember, keep a workout log.

~Paul

First of all, 8 x 3 means 8 sets of 3 reps.

This is just another thing that everyone has a different opinion on. I don’t think you should ever go to failure, stop one, two, or three reps short. You can however go to failure once every 2-4 weeks to shock your muscles. It’ll leave your cns fresh and aid in recovery times. Ian King likes to get progressively closer to failure every week and then goes to absolute failure once every three weeks.