How many sets and reps?

Have you chosen the right set and rep range for your training goals? When planning a workout how do you chose how many repetitions to do? Is it pre planned or do you just go to failure? Let me explain some of the numbers behind planning an exercise session.... Reps Reps are the number of repetitions you perform of an exercise. The table below outlines what you'll be targeting if you train at a certain rep range. The yellow sections are the focus with the others fading out as you move along: For example if you want to build muscle size (hypertrophy) you should use 8-12 reps per set. If you want to build strength you would use a heavier weight but do 1-6 reps For power you would still use heav

Cardio or weights first? - How to structure your workout

With so many of us struggling to fit workouts in we'll often combine strength work with cardio when we get the chance, but could this mean you get less from your exercise? There is a notion called the interference effect which describes that when you combine weights and cardio you're limiting your ability to adapt to strength work. The short answer is do cardio first then strength training to allow strength training adaptations to occur without being impeded by the cardio pathway. Now for the science... Got it from this diagram?! Me neither let me explain... At a cellular level there are two pathways that are activated when you're doing cardio or endurance exercise. The cardio pathway activa

Future proofing your back

Following on from what to do with back pain, I've put together some practical tips on how to prevent back pain starting in the first place. I've broken this down into the areas I think you should focus on to have a future proof back... Move! One of the biggest thing people are worried about with their backs is posture. Whilst there are some bad postures there is no proven link between posture and pain. Even if you're sat in a perfectly aligned position, if you sit for 8 hours a day you will be straining your back. There is a phrase that 'your best posture is your next posture' highlighting the need to move regularly. It's the sustained part of posture that is the problem. If you've sat on th

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