Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Simple Guide to sets and Reps

Weight Training Journal

Weight Training Article

Not sure of the reps or sets for your workout? Prilepin's table may just be the tool you are looking for.

A Soviet sports scientist named A.S.Prilepin recearched and collected data from the training logs of more than 1000 World, Olympic, National and European weightlifting champions throughout the 60's and 70's. The analyzing and sorting of this data resulted in the development of a simple easy to follow table for elite weightlifters training for maximal strength. Although dated Prilephin's table still proves to be useful to weightlifters today.

He was head coach of the national junior team from 1975 – 1980 and head coach of the national senior team from 1980 – 1985. The USSR earned 24 gold, 19 silver and 4 bronze medals in the total at the junior world championships and 20 gold, 15 silver and 3 bronze medals at the world senior championships, including 5 gold and 3 silver medals at the 1980 Olympics.

Prilepin's table takes advantage of both the maximal and dynamic effort methods of strength training. These methods are rarely used by bodybuilders but all others weight training will find some value in the table.



Optimal total

Total range

below 70%












90% and above




A quick example of how the table works. Gym rat A benches 300 1RM. On this particular bench workout Gym Rat A is going heavy, 90% plus. He starts off with 270 x 2, throwing on another 10 pounds he does 280 for 2, Gym Rat decides to hit 280 x 2 again. He now has 6 reps within his recommended range but he is feeling good so adds some weight and gets 285 for 1. Happy with todays lifts and at the optimal reps for this percentage Gym Rat ends his bench session for the day. Stopping at 7 reps allows him to add an extra rep each week for a progressive overload and remain within the target reps.

All the best in your weight and programs.
Jason, CSCS
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