Skip Nav
Workouts
Strengthen and Sculpt Every Muscle in Your Core With This Quick and Intense Ab Workout
Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?
Workouts
Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?
Healthy Living
This Charity Wants You to Start Touching Yourself
Healthy Living
Need to Shrink Your Budget? These Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Couldn't Be More Affordable
Healthy Living
New to Meal Prep? Here's a Grocery List and Step-by-Step Instructions For Your First Week

What Is a Rep in Strength Training?

What Exactly Is a Rep in Strength Training? A Personal Trainer Explains

Photographer: Benjamin StoneRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising, no print.

In strength training and weightlifting, there's one word that gets mentioned over and over again: rep. It pops up when talking about performing an exercise, putting together a circuit, and completing sets of exercises. But what exactly is a rep?

Rep is short for repetition. "A rep or repetition is one complete motion of exercise," said ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, RDN, exercise physiologist and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. "So if you shoot for eight to 12 reps per set, you are performing the exercise eight to 12 times during the set." For example, if you're doing a biceps curl with a dumbbell, the rep would be one movement of starting with your arm fully extended with your hand down by your leg, then bending your arm (with your elbows acting as a hinge) until your hand reaches up toward your shoulder, then slowly extending back down to the starting position: that's one rep.

A set is the number of reps performed in a row, usually with only a second or two in between. So if your workout calls for three sets of 10 reps, each set will involve 10 movements in a row, then usually a short break (between 45 seconds and two minutes) before starting the next set.

The number of reps and sets you do depends on your fitness level, but a good place to start is with a couple sets of between 10 and 20 reps. Eager to put your strength to the test? Try this 10-move arm workout to tone your upper body.

More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
Best Exercises For Strong Butt
How to Do a Suitcase Deadlift
30-Minute Dumbbell Workout
The Fitness Marshall "Say My Name" Video
How to Choose an Online Fitness Plan
Kelsey Wells Cardio Tabata
Workout Songs by Female Artists
How Do I Engage My Core?
24-Minute Total-Body Workout
Quick At-Home Ab Workout
Kayla Itsines Full Body Workout
Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?
From Our Partners
Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds