T Nation

Reps Query


Hi guys first post, read from this site for a number of years but never asked a question due to the responses I've seen some people get, getting torn apart for asking newbie questions.

Anyway, I have searched myself this site and others, but failed to find a definitive answer to what i need to know.

When im training in lets say the 8-10 rep range (but any rep range) should I be using the same weight throughout or not.
I try to, but can never stay in that rep range if I do use the same weight.

Here's an example of my last bench press set as an example. 235lbs is my current working weight

Bar only x 20 reps
135lbs x 10
185lbs x 10
235lbs x 10
235lbs x 7
235lbs x 5
235lbs x 5

As you can see, I did 3 warm up sets and 4 working sets. But by using the same weight, ive fatigued and my numbers keep dropping. I take about 90 seconds rest between sets.

Is what ive been doing correct? or how should it be done.

If it helps, I do push/pull, 4 days a week. I have no particular goal ie strength or size, other than enjoying getting away from the pressures of life and getting into the gym.

If you can help in a constructive way, many thanks in advance.


Greetings, welcome to posting on T-Nation.

I suggest first longer rests between sets. Maybe 2 minutes. I have seen it posted somewhere that there is no point resting more than that for anything other than heavy leg work, but I have in the past with bench press gone as long as 3 minutes.

Thorough warmup I see, maybe go slightly lighter and don't feel you need to be near failure on the first set or two. It should challenge you sincerely near the end.


Since you have no goal other than enjoying yourself (which is a legit/worthwhile goal in and of itself), I'd say you should lift in whatever manner you enjoy the most.


Thanks for those 2 reply's. So I guess what i'm doing is OK, i'd just always wondered when I see different programmes how people stick to the rep ranges.

I remember when I first started out, reading somewhere something along the lines of, once you can do 3 sets of 10, up your weight, but my whole time training, if I pick a weight I can lift for 10 reps on my first working set, there's no way I could get 10 reps for the remaining sets. I have at times got the same number on the 2nd set, but never the 3rd or 4th.

I always wondered when people claim they could get 3x10 at the same weight if they were using a sub maximal weight, IE there 12 rep max perhaps and if that's what I should have been doing.

I know it would probably make more sense if I had a goal in mind. I only got into weights because of the boredom of being deployed. I love filling out my tops, I'm not gonna lie, i'd love to be huge, but my biggest downfall is not my commitment to the gym, its the nutrition and ive seen myself, its probably the biggest part.


Thanks, I just wanted to make sure im doing it right though, don't want to waste my time.


You won't be wasting your time lifting!

Right now, I need 2-3 minutes for anything, as my heart needs to catch up between sets. Ideally for a young, fit 18 year old, that would be shear laziness. Unfortunately, as the song goes "I'm an adult now..."

You need to lift how you need to lift. See what works.

You could try doing is just keep adding weight and keeping at the 10,7,5,5 rep scheme as heavy as you can go. As long as you are adding reps or weight you are improving.

A lot of people start with 5x5 rather than 3x10 to build up strength. If you drop off a lot on your weight after 5 reps, maybe start there. Play around. When you are starting out, as long as you are strict about your form so as not to hurt yourself, you'll improve whether you follow some exact program or not. Getting in there and lifting is the important part.

After a while you will see what works for you.


Understanding better what you are saying, some programs are 'several sets of such a number of reps to such a number of reps;. You can do more on your first set than last, it just makes sense.

On the other hand, some programs, such as a 5% program I have done, insist it be a light enough weight to get the full quorum every time, it should be genuinely challenging to get the prescribed reps that last set. With this the goals increase in weight each week, and you are supposed to keep up with the schedule.


Work up to your top weight for 10 then take 90% of that for 2 sets and when you can get those for 10 go up in weight.

Example: barx10,95x10,135x10,185x10,235x10 then try getting 210x10 for 2 sets. ( actuall number was 211.5 I rounded down)

At least this way of programming you can record your progress.

Hope this helps


Personally, id increase rest between sets since the time you're taking is too short and not recovered enough to complete your work sets for the desired reps.


Thanks for all the replies, alot of ideas seem to make sense, im going to go with longer rest breaks for now and see where that takes me for a few Weeks.