Pull The Switch! Change Your Body Building Rep Scheme

Elvis Elvis

The typical body building rep scheme of the routine that novice gym rats use in any given gym will run something like this:

“I do four to six exercises for three to five sets a piece, with a six to twelve rep range…”

Sounds like fun?

For some people, this most definitely is! After all, a good body building routine is something that must be tailor made for your goals and ability. Anything else would be missing the mark – and wasting your time. So if this body building rep scheme works for you, stick with it!

However, in order to get the most effective gains from your workout, you need to switch things up a bit to keep your body in a state of confusion. Changing up the mix of your workout is the key to overcoming homeostasis, your body’s natural tendancy to resist change. If this is your case, an extremely productive method of mixing it up is by altering the amount of reps and sets you perform in a given workout. In other words – your body building rep scheme!

 Pull The Switch! Change Your Body Building Rep Scheme


Lately, if your gains are slow in coming, try some of the following alterations to your body building routine:

Go through the exercises you typically do for a given workout, but cut the amount of sets down to one or two per exercise. If we were using the example mentioned above, that would mean four to six exercises for only one or two sets. The catch here is to use the same rep range, but go twice as slow (or even slower if you’re feeling particularly masochistic…) as you normally would with a weight that presents an equal or greater challenge. Chase the ensuing burn and don’t you dare wimp out and quit in the middle of the set!

For an even greater challenge, cut your sets to only one or two per exercise, and drop your rep range as well. Using our “typical” example, we would do four to six exercises, with one or two sets, and do four to eight reps per set. Again, the catch is to complete the reps significantly slower than normal, in order to up the intensity and shock the body into growth. By the time the first couple of sets are through, you’ll feel like you’re on fire! Don’t stop now - LIGHT IT UP!

Another change you can add to your body building routine is by focusing on only a handful of three or four exercises, no more. Again, with this approach you’ll want to perform the exercises for no more than two sets, with extremely slow and focused reps in the four to eight rep range. This approach is a good way to prevent overtraining – you’re training with higher intensity, but for a shorter period of time.