Sets Reps and Cycles

When you perform an exercise you typically repeat a specific action a certain number of times or reps. Reps is short for repetitions. Repetitions (Reps) are grouped into Sets. The number of repetitions you performed before you stop is a set. Sets and repetitions are fundamental weight training concepts to know thoroughly. They are important because typically everything you do during a weight workout is organized into sets and repetitions.

I normally begin the students (athletes) that are in my program on the 3×8 (3 sets of 8 reps – total 24 reps per lift) cycle.  We really stress correct technique and form during this phase.  Actually, we stress form and technique during ALL our cycles, but you would probably hear us vocalizing and teaching technique more during this phase then any other cycles.

You can see the 3 x 8 cycle and weight amounts here on the workout card I have shared

3x8In this example of a bench press workout, the athlete would lift 125 lbs. on their first set, 155 lbs. on their second set, and 170 lbs on their third and final bench press set.  The rest time between sets would be roughly 1-2 minutes.  We have our lifters work in groups of three, with each lifter rotating through on each set.

After 6-12 weeks on the 3 x 8 cycle, we progress our athletes to a 5 x 5 (5 sets of 5 reps – total 25 reps per lift) cycle.  This is probably the most difficult and strenuous of the three cycles.

You can see the 5 x 5 cycle and weight amounts here on the workout card I have shared

5x5

In this example of a bench press workout, the athlete would lift 125 lbs. on their first set, 155 lbs. on their second set, and 170 lbs on their third, 180 lbs on their fourth, and finish with their fifth set of 190 lbs. On both the 3 x 8 workout, and 5 x 5 workout , the first set is a warm up set… only 62% of their one rep max.

 

As a change up, normally about 4 times a year, we will progress our more advanced lifters to a 3 x 3 cycle ( 3 sets of 3 reps – total 9 reps per lift) cycle for 2-3 weeks.

You can find the 3 x 3 cycle and weight amounts here on the workout card I have shared

3x3

In this example of a bench press workout, the athlete would lift 170 lbs. on their first set, 185 lbs. on their second set, and 195 lbs on their third and final bench press set.  You can see that in the 3 x 3 cycle, the first set is NOT a warm up set.  Because of this, we have our athletes complete a warm up set (about 50% of their 1 rep max for 6-8 reps) prior to hopping into their 3 x 3 workout.

Again, all three cycles are printed on each workout card in the Excel workbook that I have shared.  By using these cards, you do not need to print new cards for everyone when you change cycles.  You will only print new cards for your students (athletes) that “break” – increase their max … but more on that later this week!

Have fun – work hard! Any questions, ask!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

4 thoughts on “Sets Reps and Cycles

  1. Pingback: How Do You “Skin the Cat” | You Can Do More!

  2. Pingback: Navigating the Workout Card | You Can Do More!

  3. Pingback: Jumping Mental Hurdles | You Can Do More!

  4. Pingback: Efficacy and Safety – Middle School Strength Training | You Can Do More!

Leave a Reply