Sets Vs. Reps: What's More Important For Weight Loss?

Developing a workout routine at the gym can be daunting. If you're new to exercise, you might be tempted to avoid going to the gym or to avoid the weight-training area. But strength training is an essential part of any exercise regimen. Whether you're training to trim down, bulk up, or just get in a bit of extra movement, strength training could be the answer.

Half of the journey to re-entering your gym can be just getting there. But the other half is figuring out what to do to make the most of your time. We've all fallen victim to moping around on each machine for a few minutes before getting over it and calling it a day. Hey, at least we moved, right? The best trick to avoid a waste of a workout is to head there with a full plan. 

Fortunately, the internet is full to the brim of fitness influencers and personal trainers sharing their tips and tricks, including full workout videos showing you the circuits to do depending on your goal. And when it comes to weight training, it all seems to boil down to the foundational basis: sets and reps. If your strength training routine includes weight-loss goals, here's what to know about the difference between the two.

Fewer sets and more reps are best for weight loss

At the end of the day, your goal will determine your gym routine. When it comes to losing weight, cardio is half the battle. Increasing your cardiovascular health is important. Getting that movement in will help you get that heart rate up and burn fat (via Healthline).

However, a healthy combination of weight training and cardio is the key to a successful weight-loss journey. For a fat loss goal, Verywell Fit recommends committing to one to three sets of each exercise, with each set consisting of 10 to 12 reps. Rest between each set and then do it all over again. This pace, combined with selecting a weight that's challenging enough for you, will help you reach your goals. Fewer reps with heavier weights may help you build more strength than doing more reps with lighter weights, per Greatist. However, the outlet also notes that doing more reps with lighter weights will help you build endurance, too.

The best approach is setting a schedule for yourself depending on how many days you're able to work out. Choose whether you'd like to target your legs, your upper body, or your abs on each given day. Once you've got that down, it's time to select three to four exercises from the vast array of workouts readily available online. No matter what strength-training exercises you choose, it's all about consistency!