How Many Sets, Reps, And Exercises For A Good Workout?

I make no secret about it – I like love food.

Fortunately for me, my wife is a great cook and always
feeds us a great meal.

Funny thing is, it’s always relatively simple.

There aren’t a lot of courses and not a lot of pieces to the
main course.

A typical meal might look something like this:

– A beef roast, with some kind of rub – lately it’s been a
coffee rub (she pre-orders these at WholeFoods)

– Roasted red baby potatoes seasoned with rosemary,
and cooked in either olive or coconut oil in the oven
in a cast iron skillet

– Green beans sauteed in either butter or coconut oil

Pretty simple – and absolutely delicious!

Your KB workouts should be the same.

I’m amazed that the trend in the mainstream fitness world
is STILL toward the complicated –

Way too many exercises, way to many sets and reps.

I was on a popular website recently and one of the “pros”
on there had literally 8-10 exercises a day, 5 days per
week, with 5-8 sets per exercise.

That’s great if you’re a) on drugs to help you recover and b)
you can devote 2 hours each day to your workouts.

Since I’m guessing neither apply to you, then you have to
be smart about your workouts so you can manage your time
and also not burn out do to limited recovery ability.

Here are the rules of thumb when designing your own programs:

– The more exercises you have, the fewer sets, and therefore
the fewer reps you’ll do.

– The more sets you do, the less reps per set.

For example, if you have 5 exercises per workout, you’ll be
well served to use just 2-5 sets of each exercise, depending
on how many reps you’re using. And use between 10 and
25 reps on average per exercise.

Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the

More reps, less sets. Less sets, more reps.

Like this (sets x reps):

Get Ups: 5×3
Presses: 3×5
Front Squats: 3×5
Swings: 3-5×10-20

(Ballistics play by slightly different rules than Grinds – less
tension on the muscles = more reps and sets.)

I personally favor for both my clients and myself, 2 to 3
exercises per workout.



I’ve found that the more exercises I have, the less I’m able
to focus on each exercise over the course of the workout.

Maybe it’s just me… I dunno. Maybe it happens to you too.

And I like to keep my workouts purposefully short.


Because, and here’s a little secret – so don’t tell anyone, ok – ;-)

The shorter my workouts, the more frequently I can train.

And the more frequently I train, the stronger I get.


Right now I’m only training about 30 minutes per day – “just”
2 exercises per session. And like I outlined earlier, I’m using
between 10 and 25 reps per exercise.

It’s one of my favorite templates and for me, it repeatedly
yields big-time results.

My other favorite template is simply one exercise a day.

It’s the simplest, most time-efficient, and most psychologically
easy template I know.

How do you do it?


Pick one exercise – one that you want to improve – and do
only that exercise 2 to 4 times a week, depending on what
your schedule will allow.

Is just one exercise enough?

Enough for what?

Enough to meet your goals?

It more often than not can be – if you set up your sets and
reps correctly.

For example, it’s no secret I like the Clean + Press.

I can’t think of another total body exercise that yields such
total body results in such a short period of time.

That’s why it’s the backbone of the “STRONG!” program.

And because there’s “only” one exercise, I can really push
the number of sets to be done.

For example, the very first workout in the “STRONG!” has
10 sets.

From there the sets and the reps vary but the results are
always the same across the board no matter who uses it

Stronger clean, stronger press. More muscular upper body.

And for most, “incidental” fat loss – that is – losing fat without

It’s kind of like a great meal – not too many parts, the right
spices – and you’re left fully satisfied yet ready for more
the next day.

If you want to quit trying to figure out which sets, reps, and
exercises you need for a great or even good workout –

Take the “recipe” approach and get “Kettlebell STRONG!”.

To me, it’s like letting my wife cook a simple, yet deliciously
healthy meal, or me trying cook something up myself –

It may taste good, it may not, and it’ll usually take me
twice the time it’s supposed to take to make it, leaving a

big fat mess in the kitchen afterward.

Cooking for me is like program design for you – not a
strong point.

Speaking of “strong points” – now you can make your whole
body strong with “Kettlebell STRONG!.”

(No kitchen clean-up required.)

Get your copy here.

Talk soon.


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