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 Strength Training: How Many Repetitions?  

Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., is Fitness Research Director at the South Shore YMCA, national strength consultant, and author of several fitness books including Building Strength and Stamina and Strength Training Past 50.

Table 1

Strength gains for athletes training with muscle specific repetition range

(13 subjects)

Muscle Fibre Type Repetition Range Strength Improvement 10-Degree Chest Machine

Sprinters Predominantly Type 2 6-8 22.5 lbs.
440-880 Runners Even Mix 9-11 21.0 lbs.
Distance Runners Predominantly Type 1 12-14 20.0 lbs.

Table 2

Time and Repetitions Relationships for Different Muscle Fiber Make-up

Time Per
Exercise Set
Repetitions Per
Exercise Set

Type 2 Muscles 30-50 seconds 5-8 reps
Even Mix Muscles 50-70 seconds 8-12 reps
Type 1 Muscles 70-90 Seconds 12-15 reps

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 About The Author
Wayne Westcott PhDWayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......more
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