Work Out Tip – How Many Sets/Reps Should I Complete
The number of sets and reps that you do for each exercise is highly dependent on what you are wanting to achieve out of your training program.
Someone who plays a high intensity, power based team sport such as netball or basketball would ideally want to increase their strength and then progress to improve their power and speed. However, perhaps you enjoy hiking or running marathons where endurance based program is more suited to allow you to continue at a constant speed for longer.
Here is a description of each fitness goal to allow you to select the correct sets and reps for your gym program:
• Endurance- Ability to maintain a certain activity at a constant speed for longer
• Hypertrophy – Increasing the size of a muscle
• Strength – Ability to move a certain amount of weight
• Power – Ability to more a certain amount of weight quickly
The following table demonstrates the required number of sets and reps needed to focus on each specific goal:
Fitness goal Sets Repetitions Rest between sets
Endurance 3 15-20 30 sec
Hypertrophy 3-4 8-12 1 min
Strength 4-5 6-8 2 min
Power/Speed 5-6 6-8 2-4 minutes
Make sure you read our previous article ‘What weight should I choose’ http://www.mdhealth.com.au/weight-using/ and you will be able to apply this general rule of weight selection:
“If the last 2 reps of each set are hard to complete without losing technique you have the correct weight however, if it was too easy to complete or you could not complete all of the repetitions your weight is too light or too heavy!”
Written by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health
Exercise Myth Busted
“You Shouldn’t Exercise While Pregnant”
Many women are afraid of exercising whilst pregnant, however it is highly dependent on what type of exercises you choose to do.
For example it is very important to maintain the strength and stability of your joints especially your pelvis. During pregnancy the ligaments that support your pelvis become more relaxed, which means you are more dependent on your muscles for stability.
If you have weak muscles you are at risk of back and pelvic pain. Maintaining the strength of the muscles that support the joints will reduce the pain and support your pelvis during labour.
The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
There are many other benefits of taking part in a specific exercise program designed for you and your body’s needs such as:
• Improved strength of your back and gluteal (buttocks) muscles which can help manage back pain as your baby grows
• Improved posture
• Improved core and pelvic floor control
• Improved circulation
• Weight management
• Improved sleep and stress relief
• Prepares your body for labour
• Recover from labour faster = faster return to pre-pregnancy fitness and a healthy weight
All of the above positive outcomes will allow your pregnancy to be a much smoother process for you and your baby.
Exercises that are safe during pregnancy:
• Pilates – core and pelvic floor strength and stability
• Specifically chosen resistance exercises for increasing your strength
Exercises to avoid:
• Contact sports
• After approximately 16 weeks you should avoid exercises lying on your back due to the risk of your baby slowing the return of blood to your heart. Exercises in side lying, standing or sitting are fine.
• Jumping or activities that risk falling such as skiing or horse riding
Recommendations for you:
We recommend that before you decide to exercise whilst pregnant you must speak to a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to design a program specific for you. That way you know that the exercises you are doing are safe and will benefit you and your baby!
Please share this article with your expecting friends or contact MD Health on 03 9857 0644 for a FREE Full Body Assessment. We would be happy to help design a program for you!
Article written by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health
Common Exercise Technique Mistakes
This Week: The Push-Up
Push-Ups are one of the most commonly prescribed upper body exercises as they can be performed anywhere with no need for any exercise equipment. However because of this many people perform push-ups on their own, with no supervision and may be unaware of any technique mistakes they may be making, reducing the effectiveness and safety of the exercise.
1. Dropping The Lower Back and Head Forward
When performing a push-up it is important to use your trunk and neck stabilising muscles to maintain a straight line through your body. If you don’t do this, you will place extra pressure on the lower back and neck which can result in pain and injury.
2. Sticking the Backside in the Air
Some people will cheat on this exercise by keeping their backside up in the air as they go down onlinepharmacytabs into the push-up. A straight line should be maintained through the body, throughout the movement. If you are unable to do this, reduce the difficulty of the exercise by performing it from your knees rather than toes or reducing the depth of your push-up to the point where you are able to maintain good technique and control
3. Hunching Shoulders and Neck
People with poor strength in the stabilising muscles around the shoulder blades will tend to shrug their shoulders up towards their ears as they perform the movement. To avoid this keep your hands right under your shoulders and think about keeping your shoulders down as you go through the push-up.
For more information check out our Workout Wednesday video on “The Perfect Push- Up”
Written by Jack Hickey