How Many Reps to Build Muscle (BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES!)

How Many Reps to Build Muscle (BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES!)

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The most common question asked by those working out is how many reps should you do to build muscle. When it comes to bodyweight exercises and workouts, the answer to this depends on a lot of factors, namely how strong you are and how much you weigh. You see, prescribing a specific number of reps to a bodyweight exercise is ignoring the strength and size differences that could exist between two people doing the exact same workout.

In this video, I show you a method for determining the best reps to build muscle and answer the questions of how many reps for building muscle as applied specifically to bodyweight exercises. Whether you are doing dips, pullups, pushups or any other body weight exercise…you’ll be able to start adding muscle mass if you follow the steps outlined.

The first thing you want to do is warmup. Following a brief warmup of jump rope or light jogging and some mobility work for the joints involved in the workout you are about to do, you will want to perform a set of the bodyweight exercise to failure. Whatever the number of reps that this occurs at is, will become part of the workout equation. Use the multiplier shown here (either 3, 5, 7 or 10 times) to push yourself to the level of challenge that you’re after.

Any bodyweight workout can be made extremely hard if you follow these recommendations for how many reps should you do to build muscle. You can build mass with any rep range that challenges the muscles being used and takes them to failure, provided you do this within 45-60 seconds per set. This is the concept of time under tension. Too many sets to failure done in just 5-10 seconds tends to work more on strength than it does muscle growth.

With bodyweight exercises and workouts, you want to be sure that you take your reps to failure each time so that you’re not leaving effort (and untapped muscle growth) on the table each time.

For a complete bodyweight only workout with the exact sets and reps needed to build muscle spelled out every day, be sure to head to http://athleanx.com/xero and get your ATHLEAN XERO program. This six week no equipment workout lays out the best reps and sets for muscle building as well as a day by day meal plan.

For more videos on how many reps to build muscle and the best sets and rep schemes to do it, be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel at http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24


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Once cannot overemphasize how important motivation is to achieving your fitness goals. Setting realistic goals that are exciting for you to reach is very important. You need to ensure that you make exercising enjoyable. You should try to make exercising like a reward. Integrate the ideas in this article into your plan and you’ll be losing weight in no time.


Get in the groove by listening to some good music! Music helps you get on track. You will find your body wanting to move, just by listening to the beat. Dancing can help pep you up and get your body excited to exercise. If you already love dancing, this will not be a problem. Make sure you move your whole body! When you have fun, you will exercise better. Listen to the music and let it distract you from your body’s aches and pains.


Try to exercise with a group of friends. While you are working out together, you can catch up on things. Friends make exercising fun. Friendly banter can be a diversion. Involving your friends can make your exercise legitimately fun!


Exercise video games are a fantastic method for getting a workout. The game pulls you in, so you don’t even realize that you’re getting a workout. If your mind isn’t on the physical strain, then you will hardly notice it.


When starting on your fitness plan, the first thing you should do is to update your workout wardrobe with something that makes you feel attractive. If all your workout clothes are old, it is going to discourage you from working out. Dressing in cute and attractive workout gear can help motivate you to get moving and continue to work towards your goals.


If you do the same workout every day, you will soon tire of it. If you are bored with your exercise routine, then you will start trying to avoid it. That is a sure-fire path to failure. You might want to change your routine periodically in order to keep it interesting. Following this advice will help you appreciate the benefits of exercise and help you maintain a healthy fitness routine and lifestyle.


Make sure that you reward yourself along the way. Rewards are wonderful motivators. Be sure to reward yourself with something that is significant to you. It doesn’t have to be grand, but it should be something you actually want. Chose a reward that will make you feel good and proud of the work that you have been doing. Staying motivated to move forward on your fitness plan is the reason for the reward.


Exercising does not have to be a chore. It’s not impossible to enjoy working out. This article has some tips that will help you make your exercise plan entertaining.

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Dr. William W. Tong
Dr. William W. Tong
An authority on food psychology, Wansink is most beneficial known for his work on consumer behavior and for popularizing terms such as "mindless eating" and "health halos." He authored the best-selling book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam, 2006). Wansink participated in the first two editions of Best Diets.

36 Comments

  1. I think that's overtraining! I got the biggest chest of my life doing 1 set to failure, then 4 similar sets

  2. Does the "test" set count? Or you do 50 + 150 ?

  3. OK, high number of reps, but how many is too many ? If I do 1,2,3 sets til failure isn't this enough ? Hasn't this sent more than a strong signal to the body to build some muscle ? Could it be that if I continue more and more I am going beyond tearing muscle tissue and just injuring myself, which will result in unnecesarily added recovery time I will need after ?

  4. hey please answer one question- If I do one kind of pushups only and let say I do 500 and I finish then how can I target other parts of chest because I need to do variation to target lower chest or upper on same day. please answer if you read my comment thank you 🙂

  5. I did 300 push ups a day within 30mins😜..

  6. It Physics (person that works late at night)!

  7. Shouldn't I be increasing the difficulty of an exercise with a weight vest for example, and be staying within the 8-12 reps range in order to build muscle?

  8. 107 in a row was the top for me.

  9. Mike Cola says:

    I like 30 to 90 seconds time under load at about 90% effort. You have to mix up your rep ranges (time under load) for the best results.

  10. Rick Niu says:

    If I do pushups till I physically drop, I hit around 110. But then even with 10 minutes of rest, my arms won't allow me to hit 20…. so….

  11. I'm lifting my weights 4 times, with no repetition after that. And every one of those 4 movements takes about 50 seconds. Isn't that OK? A book taught me that…

  12. 150 push ups decent effort? I'm so fucking dead

  13. Ruebacca says:

    I did 18 push-ups last time I tried. So pro would be 90. I guess I could do nine sets of 10 with 90 seconds of rest between sets. Is that right?

  14. I needed this video so much, thanks Jeff!

  15. s0nny126 says:

    Ive been wondering about workout paths? sleek vs monster build

  16. this is just for push ups or for all the others exercises

  17. excuse me, i have a question..if i do bodyweight like pull up and so on, and i do add extra weight using dipping belt so do i need to do reps and set like bodyweight or reps and set like freeweight workout

  18. Jeff can u make a video explaining how often a week we should train, how many times we should train with weights and bw, and how often we should train each muscle in our body per week

  19. So do you want me to do that for every set? I mean if 7x is my max, then the next set is probably going to be like 5 or 4

  20. TaK Fury says:

    I can only do 30 push-ups, I went my hardest and was able to get 100 in the day, and physically couldn't do any more no matter how hard I tried, is that good or bad(I'm 13)

  21. I do 50 pushups – 10 pushups with 5 deep breaths in between
    3 times a day morning noon and night

  22. I know that this program is used to build muscle mass, but I'm more interested in building muscle strength, if I did this program with only the 5-10 seconds rest would it help me to build strength?

  23. I have finally started doing really strict pushups. Sorry Jeff, I don't care what I ever do, there is no way in hell I plan to do more than 150 push ups max in any one day. Selling my self short? No. if I get up to 150 I am going to start weighting myself, doing inclines, etc.

  24. Just to paraphrase something I read somewhere, if anyone can do 20 pull or chin ups in perfect form and deliberate tempo, up and down, I want to see it.

  25. Shrikey says:

    I'm still confused. I thought you had to be in the 7-12 rep range to build muscle?

  26. I only do 60 pushups in a workout, 5 sets, first 2 are 12 reps but I do them very slowly with perfect form, full extension and using bars to go as low as possible. If I were doing half push-ups I could churn out allot but I don't see how I'd be getting a better workout.

  27. EdwardSk8s says:

    I mostly do calisthenic movements even tho I live very close to a gym 1-2 min walk
    I started with basic movements like push-ups sit-up etc. now I add weight 10-30 pounds on my push-ups

  28. He's making us "push up ourselves as mush as we can

  29. L.Pasteur says:

    2:44 – That little movement right there. That head scratch told me Jeff is not impressed with that C+/B- "Solid" effort. I feel like, he was straining himself to not smirk.

  30. Imanto G.s says:

    what if i do without reps continuously??? will i make gains???

    and what if i do till failure and again repeat it till failure??…will i make more gains??

  31. I just realized that my workout is pointless

  32. DeadTv says:

    If you experienced workout out before. Who remember that they couldn't do a push-up and it was the hardest thing in the world

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