How many reps should I do …. ?
Workouts are often designed by fitness enthusiasts that are not coaches, do not have training in human performance or are workouts to test you rather than train you for a specific goal. In performance training, there are rep ranges based upon loads that should be followed for performance enhancement of strength, speed and power. If ignored, overtraining often occurs at best, while illness or even injury occurs at worst.
Alexander Prilepin was a coach for the USSR junior national team from 1975-80 and the national team from 1980-85. During his career as an Olympic weightlifting coach he worked with 9 Olympic champions, 3 silver medalists and 7 world champions. In addition to actually getting it done at the highest levels as a coach he revolutionized training. His chart is still widely accepted as the key to training volumes when volumes are related to load.
Prilepin’s Weight Training Chart
Percentage Approximate Optimal Total Training Effect
of 1 Rep Max Number of Reps per Workout
Reps (with range)
95-100 3 – 1 7 (4 – 10)
Max Strength (power if Olympic lift)
85-95 6 – 3 10 (6 – 14)
75 – 85 10 – 6 5 (10 – 20)
Hypertrophy and Endurance
65 – 75 20 – 10 18 (12 – 24)
Explosive Power, Endurance and Hypertrophy
55 – 65 35 – 20 24 (18 – 30)
45 – 55 50+ – 35 100 (50 – 150) Endurance
Great chart for squats, dead lifts, cleans, pulls, etc.
Bench can be a little more volume.
Can you do more volume than is recommended? Sure. Are you then training or working? If you do more than is recommended, what is your reasoning? Remember, volume is the cause of injury, not load! Just because you can does not mean you should!!
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