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Sets and Reps Cycling for Faster Strength Gains

  May 2nd, 2011
An effective muscle confusion technique that you will need to use to get ripped as quickly as possible is the changing of the number of sets and reps you perform during your workouts.

Your training program should be structured so that you will be training with a different number of sets and reps by training with different levels of resistances week after week. I will now take a moment and explain the importance of modifying the amount of sets and reps you perform from week to week.

Cycling Your Sets and Reps

Occasionally changing up your number of sets and reps allows you to keep your muscles in a prime state for training and also helps to prevent injuries. Performing sets consisting of 4-6 reps for each and every workout will work just fine for quickly building muscle – as long as you are training to failure and consistently adding greater levels of resistance.

However, this can be very taxing on your muscles over time and can potentially lead to injuries such as tendonitis. By changing up the number of sets and reps you perform during your training sessions, you will give your muscles a chance to more fully recover by not placing them under the stress of so much resistance each and every week.

Sets and Reps Changes for Strength Gains

Sets and RepsWhen I started implementing this technique of changing my sets and reps, I noticed my strength gains improve dramatically over the course of just a couple of months. My new-found strength stemmed from the weeks of using slightly less resistance, giving my muscles a much needed break from the strain of heavy weights.

Using slightly less weight will not sacrifice muscle growth as long as you are still training to failure with maximum intensity.

As a general rule, heavier weights are better for high intensity workouts and training to failure without causing you to become over-trained by having 2 hour long training sessions consisting of 25 rep sets. Nevertheless, muscle growth requires overload, not necessarily heavy weights.

By occasionally reducing the amount of weight you are using while continuing to train to failure, your strength and muscle gains will be much greater over the long run as cycling your number of sets and reps will ensure that your muscles remain primed and ready for the most training intensity possible.

Here is a simple chart to show you how to most effectively structure your sets and reps for your training sessions from week to week:

Sets and Reps Cycling Chart

Week# of Sets Completed for Each Lift# of Reps Completed for Each Set
Week 13 Sets4-6 Reps
Week 23 Sets4-6 Reps
Week 34 Sets7-9 Reps
Week 45 Sets4-6 Reps
Week 55 Sets7-9 Reps

After completing this 5 week cycle, you will go back to week 1 and start the sets and reps cycle over again. If you are skeptical about using this sets and reps cycling plan to get ripped, give it a try for 2 cycles.

I promise that you will notice a measurable increase in your strength for many or all of your lifts if you are training to failure for every set.


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