The Guide To The Optimal Workout: Find Out How Many Exercises Per Workout You Need

Fitness consciousness and sensitivity towards good health is on the rise these days. People, in general, want to adopt a lifestyle that is healthy and active. Gone are the days when junk food was a fashion trend. Today it is all opposite. It is trendier to be fit and healthy these days. Organic foods, gym sessions, and yoga workouts are the new way of living.

But this is not just a fad or a passing trend; this is a positive step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. We all want to look good.

Improvement in physical appearance leads to enhancement of self-esteem and personality confidence. Being able to live an active and stress-free life is the right way towards a successful future, both professionally and personally. We all need to incorporate the regular exercise and workout sessions in our daily routines.

But how do we go about it? Where to start from? What should we do? How many exercises per workout do we need? What will be the optimal levels? These are some very common questions that come to our mind if we are a beginner in our quest for achieving fitness.
Even if we have already adopted a fitness routine, we might not be aware of what types of exercises will be most beneficial for our body? How many exercises per workout should be optimum for us?

Unless we have an expensive trainer or coach, finding out the solution to these questions can be a bit of a hassle.


So what to do? This article will help you out in addressing some of these critical issues.

When we start to exercise regularly, we might have a certain objective or motive behind our efforts. Various factors that influence our workout regime include things like:


  • The intensity of the workout or exercises
  • Number of times every exercise set is repeated
  • Total number of exercise sets
  • Recovery period or resting time between each set
  • Frequency of the workouts
  • Types of exercises you undertake in a workout

These are some common factors that influence the effectiveness of our workout sessions. It is also important to understand whether you are exercising for reducing weight, toning some parts of your body or simply to gain strength. In every scenario the answer to the question, how many exercises per workout, will vary according to the personal characteristics of every individual and the experience of the trainer.


Look at some factors that influence workout effectiveness.


Type of workout

The first question to ask yourself before assessing the optimum number of exercises is which type of workout you are performing. The three common workout categories are:

  1. Full body workout
  2. Upper body workout
  3. Lower body workout

Type of Work Out Exercise Categories

Full Body Workouts

  • single upper body compound exercise
  • double upper body accessory lifts
  • single lower body compound exercise
  • double lower body accessory lifts

Upper Body Workouts

  • 1 to 2 upper body compound exercises
  • 2 to 3 upper body accessory lifts

Lower Body Workouts

  • 1 to 2 lower body compound exercises
  • 2 to 3 lower body accessory lifts

The best approach in all three types of workouts is to go for a test and trial approach. You do not want to over stretch your body. The pains and the aches can kill the motive behind the workout.

In fact doing too much or beyond your capacity can lead to temporary or even permanent damage. So better avoid any such situations for your own well-being.

“There is no use of spending hours and weeks in the gym and crushing tons of exercises with no gaps for recovery.”

This will only be leading to over ambitious injuries and damages.

The goal should be muscle stimulation for the creation of enhanced muscle strength and larger sizes. Leaving the gym at the right time for recovery is essential for a fit and healthy body and mind.

“In the world of fitness, this workout time needed to create the desired effects in the body is called the Minimum Effective Dosage.”

Let us now come to the original question of how many exercises per workout?

Here is a simple procedure to assess yourself:

1. Measuring workout volume:

This is the number of reps you can do per session. This volume figure will help in determining the sets that you can adopt. The methodology used for actually finding out your workout volume is not that difficult.

Many trainers use mathematical formulas and scribbling of numbers to assess it, but the real workout volume will be the number of reps.
If you have undertaken forty-eight reps in an exercise and twenty-four in the second one, then the former is the higher workout volume than the latter.

2. Assessing your Ideal Workout Volume:

This would mean the number of reps that should be undertaken for an ideal workout. According to scientific research and studies, the following results have been assessed:

Larger Muscle Sizes:

For big muscle groups, you should go for 30 to 60 reps in every workout they do.

Small muscle sizes:

For small muscles groups, you can adopt up to 20 to 30 reps in every workout.

For a further break down of the volume here is a small table:

Area of Exercise Number of Reps per Workout Chest 30-60 Quadriceps 30-60 Hamstrings 30-60 Back 30-60 Shoulders 20-30 Triceps 20-30 Biceps 20-30 Abs 20-30 Calves 20-30

3. Assessing your own Ideal Number of Sets and Reps

Based on your own workout objectives and goals here is an assessment of your optimal rep and set number:

  • For building Strength:

You should perform 1 to 5 reps with 6 to 8 sets.

For muscle gain, you should perform either 6 to 8 reps with 3 to 4 sets or You perform 9 to 12 reps with 2 to 3 sets.

  • For building Endurance:

For this objective, the ideal volume would be to perform 12 to 15 reps with 2 to 3 sets or you can choose to perform 15 to 20 with 2 sets only.

4. Building personal workout plan:

Based on the information collected in the above three steps you are now capable of building up your own personal workout.

For Example: Let us explain this process with an example. Suppose you want to assess the workout for your chest and you want to gain muscles. Here is the process to follow:

  1. Assess what your workout volume is or find out the number of reps that you can perform
  2. According to the table, chest falls in the larger muscle size and ideal volume is 30 to 60 reps per workout
  3. So keeping into consideration your objective of muscle gain, the set per rep selection would be 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps or 2 to 3 sets of 9 to 12 reps.
  4. Based on the above the workout session for your chest muscles would be:
  • 1. Bench Press – 24 Reps ( three sets with eight reps )
  • 2. Incline Bench Press – 24 Reps ( two sets with twelve reps )
  • 3. Overall Volume of Session – 24 + 24 = 48 reps.

You can clearly see that this number falls in the ideal workout range for large muscle groups of 30 to 60 reps.
You need to maximize the results of your workout sessions using the above methods and procedures.

For any comments and queries feel free to contact us through the portal.

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