I've only ever done weight-lifting, and know that 10-20 sets per week seems to be a good number per muscle group.

Now due to COVID, I am doing at-home bodyweight exercises (push ups, pull ups, and squats, mostly, but I do different variants of them).

How many sets should I now be doing? Most of my reps are in the 10-50 range. For example, I might do 50 squats and count that as "one set", and then do 10 pull ups, and count that as 1 set.

I am thinking about doing 10 sets per muscle group per day (and do it 3x a week). Is this a good number?

So that'd be 10 upper body push sets, 10 upper body pull sets, and 10 lower-body leg-work (push + pull combined, the reason is that it's kind of hard to find a good pull-exercise....), per day.

Or would that be too much/too little? What's the optimal strategy?


1 Answer 1


The natural method is generally 90-120 reps for major muscle groups and 30-60 for smaller muscle groups. If you're an intermediate or advanced bodybuilder this might be stretched to 150 reps and 90 reps.

These reps are divided into sets based on your training. High endurance sets such as 50 rep squats without weight end up becoming more like cardio, rather than muscular training, so these rules don't quite apply. Not to say it won't cause muscle growth, but itll focus a bit on endurance, and the rest on lactic acid/cardio.

For your training, the higher reps (35-50 range) you could do century sets. Basically do AMAP until you fatigue, subtract that number from 100, and wait that number for seconds rest, than finish amap, and repeat. for example, you do 40 push ups. this is 60 away from 100 so you take a 60 second rest, then do 30 push ups. now you're at 70 altogether, so now take a 30 second rest, then you do 15, now you're at 85, take a 15, etc. You repeat until you get to 100. Typically you'll be burning in pain by the last 5, barely doing 1 rep at a time. These work better than just a few sets of 50.

For lower number (1-30), I would start with 2 sets and move up to 3, I wouldn't try to do more than 3 sets.

With 10 sets, that is way too many. for high rep workous, you'll naturally do less and less until you're doing 1 or 2 in the last set, in which case you should just do century sets. I've only seen 10 sets with German volume training.

Also, you could try to add resistance bands you can buy cheap sets for like $50, and make these exercises more difficult. a resistance band can be added to almost any exercise, and will allow your workout to me more in the range of hypertrophy and strength

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