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How Many Exercises Should An Ideal Workout Have?


The common misconception is that if you want to see good and fast progress from workouts, you must include a wide range of workouts. The truth is you will see improvements regardless of the number of exercises if you apply the basic progression rules. However, individual opinions about incorporating several exercises may vary, but the lesser, the better. The adjustment period is necessary for every workout, or you will always feel tired and lose track of the sessions. 

Along with individual opinion, goals matter too. If you aim to gain strength, adding fewer exercises and concentrating more on the sets and reps will give effective results. However, if you aim for weight management, you might want to add a few more but reduce the sets and reps per exercise—generally, 3 to 5 exercises per session count as an ideal workout.

How Many Reps And Sets Should You Do?


Short for repetition, reps refer to the number of times the exercise is carried out. Completing one squat means you have completed one rep of the squat. If you do ten squats, this means you completed ten reps of squats. 

Sets refer to the groups of reps. You can do one set of reps or go for multiple sets if you want to build muscle strength or endurance. So, if you’re going to lose weight, you might want to add three sets of 10 jumping jacks. After completing each set, you can take a short break and go for the next set of 10 jumping jacks. And when you are done with the third set, you can proceed to the next exercise. 

The number of sets and reps will depend on your training objective. If you add more sets, the repetition per set of exercises should be reduced with a lightweight load. On the other hand, if you increase the number of reps, you have to perform more sets with a heavier weight load.

For instance, to achieve muscular endurance, you should increase the number of reps and use lighter weights to build endurance. The range of reps for every set should be between 13 to 20. 

For muscle strength, a low range of 5 to 7 reps per set produces beneficial results. For muscle size and strength, going for a moderate degree of 8 to 12 reps per set will help you achieve efficient results. 

Figuring The Structure of Your Workout

The workout structure depends on whether you are targeting your entire body or just parts. It is more commonly known as workout splits, which means separating the workout into different parts of the body. Almost everyone goes for the primary upper and lower body or either of them. But you can divide this further to concentrate on the chest, arms, biceps, or legs. 

Recovery is as important as any exercise you perform to reach your goal, and the workout splits serve that purpose. Before hitting the whole body with workouts, this structure gives time for the muscles to rest and recover. 

Full Body Split


Doing a full-body split workout targets all the major groups of muscles. Beginners usually try this in the hopes of getting excellent results or when they have barely managed time. It would be best to give yourself at least a day to recover when you do a full-body split. If you start working out today, take a break tomorrow. In that way, three sessions each week will be a great start. Since you are going whole body, add only one exercise for every muscle group, which includes the chest, arms, legs, shoulder, core, etc.

Push, Pull, And Leg


In this workout, you are targeting the muscle groups individually. You could divide the days with pushing exercises that will include the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Another day for pulling exercises, including the biceps, hamstrings, and back muscles, and finally for leg exercises. After which you can take a day off before starting again. 

For the pushing and pulling exercises, incorporate two exercises for every muscle group and three sets with 8 to 12 reps. For the leg days, incorporate at least four exercises with the same number of sets and reps. 

Upper And Lower Split

Although the number of days goes down to 4 days a week, the intensity and volume of the workouts will have to be increased to ensure continuous progress. Two days for the upper and two more for the lower with an alteration; if you work the upper body for the first day, the next day, your focus should be on the lower body and then a break. 

If you are a beginner, start with two exercises for every muscle group with a goal of 3 sets and 10 to 12 reps. You can gradually increase the intensity as you get progress and get accustomed. But don’t add more than five exercises. 

Body Split 

With this workout, you can target to improve strength and mass in individual muscle groups, which is an advanced level of the split workout. The number of body parts involved is reduced here, so the number of exercises and sets for every muscle group will be increased. For the same reason, this type of split requires you to train for five days a week. Try it out when you are ready. 

During this workout, include five exercises with increased sets so you can go with four sets, and reps should range fewer than 12.

Final Thoughts

To work out how many exercises you should include in a workout, you must first understand and set your fitness goal. Ideally, 3 to 5 exercises in every workout session have shown significant results. Within this range, you can change, add or reduce the number of sets and reps as you go along. 

You can also check: Is Stretching Really Necessary? The Latest Research Findings

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Hello, I am the founder of Health and Stamina and a full-time health and fitness blogger. Bringing you the most talked-about health and fitness issues from reliable sources. 

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