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Difference Between Reps and Sets

Reps vs Sets

One complete motion of an exercise is called a rep (repetitions) while several such reps make up a set.

Reps and Sets are not regular English words but rather terms that are heard more commonly in gymnasiums and among health conscious people talking about their exercise routines. These words hold great significance in the world of strength building that requires doing physical exercises with often dumbbells or barbells in hands. Not knowing the difference between reps and sets can lead to an individual doing exercises in a wrong manner or duration thereby not getting the desired results from them. This article attempts to highlight the differences between reps and sets to remove all confusion from the minds of the readers.

The concept of strength training is based upon reps and sets. Reps is a short form of repetitions and the number of times a particular movement is done to complete the exercise is called the number of repetitions or reps. If you are doing bicep curls using a dumbbell, the number of times you move your arm up and down constitutes the reps. So your arm going up and then coming down completes a single rep, and you are asked to do this rep at least 10-15 times at one go to make it a set. So, if your trainer asks you to do 5 sets of 10 reps each in a period of 30 minutes, you know that you have to stop and take a break after 10 repetitions that constitute a single set. You start another set that comprises 10 reps and so on until you are able to do 5 sets.

If you are doing pushups, the number of times you do pushups in one go is called the reps and the complete exercise is a set. A particular number of repetitions complete a set. So in case of pushups, if you have done 15 at a time, it is said that you have done a set of 15 pushups. If your trainer has asked you to do 2 such sets, you may be required to do another set of 15 reps before leaving the gym. The number of reps in a set and the number of sets you should do are dependent upon your body strength, your experience, and the goal of strength training that you have in your mind.

What is the difference between Reps and Sets?

• One complete motion of an exercise is called a rep while several such reps make up a set.

• Thus, a set consists of several reps or repetitions.

• The number of reps you should do in a set is dependent upon your goal of strength training and your present body condition.

• Gym instructors recommend reps and sets to individuals according to their strength and their goal.

• If you are doing pushups, the number of pushups or complete motions you do at a time are called the reps and the complete exercise is a set.


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