How many sets should i do? How many reps?
When you understand the science behind how the muscle works and what it takes to provide an adaptation, you can see why many people fall short when it comes to exercise performance.
Inroad is the amount of muscle cells (fibers) that you can momentarily fatigue during any one exercise. The greater the inroad, the greater the stimulus for beneficial change such as increased strength, increased cardiovascular efficiency, and increased calorie-burning muscle tissue.
What we need to focus on when it comes to Exercise performance is the intensity. So how do you know if your 6th rep is better than the 8th or the 23rd rep?
How do we know we have achieved something?
One of the main principles of exercise is Overload. What this basically means is that the body needs to be subjected to a greater stress than what it is accustomed to in order to change.
With quality weight training, this means keeping a log of your workouts and increasing either weight or reps each time you workout. So if you get to 12 reps and you still have some strength left, push for a few more until you reach that point where you have fully worked your muscles.
This is easier said than done and it’s easy to stop when it begins to get slightly uncomfortable if you don’t have someone pushing you along to continue the set.
But in general the people you see working the hardest in the gym will be the people getting the best results. (Assuming they have their nutrition in order.) Comfortable exercise such as going at the same pace on a treadmill for 20 minutes doesn’t give the body enough stress to change.
So to sum up: Train harder, but briefer!