How Many Reps Should You Do Each Exercise?

The late Greg Plitt once said, “your body won’t change unless you give it a reason to change.” arnold quote

Let that concept sink in for a minute…..

On the surface it seems simple; if I work out, I can change my body.

It is that simplicity in approach that leads people to failure.  What needs to change is not just your routine, but your belief.  Your belief of what is necessary to achieve results, your belief of what you are capable of and your belief on what is possible!

So what does that mean to the person who wants to get to the next level?  How do you apply this macro concept to your workouts, in order to achieve tangible results?  You stop believing the limits and boundaries that the mediocre masses have created for us.

Here is an example.…  Lets say you are training biceps.  You walk in, warm up, and start a standing barbell curl.  You add the weight that you know you can do for 10 reps, you aim for 10 reps, you do 10 reps, and you put the weight down.  You feel a slight burn, and think….. “Niiiiiiiiice….Suns out Guns out BABAAYYYY!!”  And that’s how you continue on for the rest of your work out, for every set and every exercise.

Reality check: You have trained your body, in terrific fashion, to do a specific number of reps with a specific weight.  But was that your goal?!?  NO! Your goal is to grow your biceps!!!!

And let me ask you something, why 10 reps?  Are your 10 reps = to my 10? Does the number even matter? (Enter your change in belief…)

What we need to realize is that when you start to feel that burn, it’s your body saying, “Hey, this is normally where we stop….I’m not sure whats on the other side of these 10 reps.” If you never venture there, if you never push past this limit, why would your body change?  This is the reason you see the same people in the gym for years, and they look the same they did the day they started.  Practice doesn’t make perfect…..Perfect Practice makes perfect.

Reality check #2: many people actually believe that they are pushing and that they are doing what is necessary…. if this was true, how are they not the strongest person in the gym?

To answer one of the above questions; no, the number does not matter.  Not at all.  What matters; the only thing that matters, is the burn.  When you feel that burn, thats when the reps start to count.  Yes, START TO COUNT.  That’s the moment when your body says, “that’s enough,” and your mind says, “we’re just getting started.”

Those reps, from that point on, are the key to growth,  change, results, and fulfillment… all aspects of life.  When the average person would put the weight down, thats when you say average isn’t good enough, and I will not settle for mediocracy.

So how many reps should you do once you fell that burn?  That question makes me think of a line from the Boondock Saints,  “The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far is as needed?”

Give your body a reason to change.


Every rep….everything you’ve got.

Jerry Salerno

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