If you’re new to the world of fitness, you might be confused about a lot of terminology. The most common terms are reps and sets, but there are actually a ton of different ways you can organize your workouts, says Jessica Liles, a certified personal trainer in Seattle.
Do I sleep or go to the gym?
Depending on your goals, you might want to focus on a certain rep/set combination to get more out of an exercise. Or, you might prefer to do more reps but less weight because it helps you build muscle faster, she explains.
A set is the number of consecutive work out sets you perform without taking a rest break, and it can vary widely from one exercise to the next. It can also include a rest interval between sets, which helps your muscles recover before you start the next set, according to the International Sports Science Association.
Types of Workout Sets
The most common set in any gym is the standard set, which consists of performing one or more exercises back-to-back and then resting for a pause before doing the next one. This technique works best for a variety of exercises and can help maximize strength gains, Liles says.
Supersets: The second most commonly used set, a superset features two exercises that target opposing muscle groups and can be done back-to-back with little to no rest in between. This allows your muscles to recover faster in between sets and stimulates muscle growth, according to Edem Tsakpoe, a trainer at Manhattan Exercise Co.