Training Tip # 3- Designing your Own Program (3)

In the last two Training Tips, I talked about exercise selection and chosing your rep range. I tried to give your some guidelines to follow that would match your goals.

For this training tip, I will talk about sets and rest periods and give you some simple guidelines on how you can figure them out.

In general, Reps and Sets have an inverse relationship. This means that if your exercise has a lot of reps, you are going to match those with less sets. If you are performing a few reps, you can choose to have more sets.


  • 12 reps                            2-3 sets
  • 8 reps                              3-4 sets
  • 6 reps                              4-5 sets
  • 4 reps                              5-6 sets
  • 3 reps                              6-10 sets

Again, there is some room here for shift numbers around a bit, but you should get the idea and a good guide of where to start.

For rest times, we follow the same inverse relationship. The lower the reps, usually the higher the weight, and therefore more rest will be needed between sets.

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