how many reps is effective

When pushing our limits during exercise, it is common to feel your arms shaking, booty burning and abs blazing. In order to build muscular endurance (long-lasting muscle), more repetitions than the usual 10-15 are often required.

Can 10 more reps really make that much of a difference? According to celebrity pilates trainer and founder of Natural Pilates, Laura Wilson, the effects can make all the difference.

How Many Reps Should I Do For Best Results?

Laura is known to push her clients to the point of muscle fatigue, achievable by just “10 more reps” on a regular basis. This ensures that every muscle is worked, toned, and strengthened, leading to the best possible results for those who visit her studio.

Reaching “muscle fatigue” is the point where every fiber and cell is turned on and you’ve achieved peak activity. This trains the muscles to perform for an extended period of time, but at a lighter weight, which in turn will improve your muscle endurance, strength, and heart health while protecting against injury. 

According To Laura, “Based on different factors such as stress, sleep, and inflammation, we are unaware of how far we can push ourselves in a workout on any given day. It’s always about the right resistance and the appropriate number of repetitions that will bring you to muscle failure without over-stressing your joints.”

“Exercise to exercise, it may be recommended that you use x amount of weight for x amount of repetitions. But the truth is that this varies individual to individual. I like to start with a resistance that my clients tolerate without overwork or compensation through enough reps that maximum challenge is achieved. Sometimes, maybe it’s 10 reps that will make a difference, but if fatigue is not achieved, we can always add at least 10 more!”

“My ’10 more reps can change your life’ motto is about a daily mindset to achieve the optimal challenge per individual — finding that sweet spot to build muscle without over-stressing the body.”

How do we gauge the difference between ’10 more reps’
and muscle overwork or strain?

“You can overwork muscles during a few days of consecutive hard workouts without giving your body time to recover from the soreness. If you continue to push yourself, your body will continue to break down and you may experience muscle strains.

A muscle strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon. Symptoms include heaviness and fatigue in the muscles, increased soreness, longer recovery times and an inability to train at a level that was previously easy for you.

Overtraining affects not just your muscles but also your joints, increasing inflammation in the body.  A combination of appropriate challenges during your workout routines, enough rest between workouts, a healthy diet and less stress are the keys to longevity and healthy muscles.”

What’s a good schedule for most of us to add
the appropriate reps without strain? 

“In a training session with heavy weights and lower reps, I would suggest alternating body parts. For example, legs and glutes one day and then abs and upper body the next.

If your sessions are of medium-moderate resistance and higher reps, I would suggest one day of intense training followed by restorative training the next — focusing on mobility versus strength. Incorporating at least one day of rest is important for either of these scenarios.”

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