If you’re just starting out and want time-efficient strength training, here are some recommendations on how much you should do:
- Ensure the exercise/weight requires a high level of effort (1‒3 reps in reserve), preferably where you can perform between 6‒15 reps; for example, if you can goblet squat holding a 10-kg dumbbell for 8 reps but you could do another 1‒3 reps at most if you didn’t stop, then that’s a good intensity
- Alternatively, you could use an easier exercise/weight and higher rep range between 15‒40 reps, but it’s more important here to reach muscular fatigue/failure (0‒1 rep in reserve)
- Perform at least 4 sets per muscle group per week—these sets can be distributed throughout the week how you like (e.g., 2 days of 2 sets, 1 day of 4 sets)
- Rest 1‒2 minutes between sets but ≥2 minutes can be better for more challenging exercises
- Rest at least 48 hours before training the same muscle group again.1
Again, these are general recommendations so people with specific experience levels, preferences and goals might benefit from different dosages.
It can also be helpful to change training dosage over time, especially if you want to get progressively stronger.
Reach out to us if you’d like some help with dosage for strength training.
- Iversen et al. (2021) (PMID: 34125411)
- Image from thoroughlyreviewed.com