In this week’s post, we’re looking at some details and suggestions on how many reps for endurance exercises.

In a previous post, we reviewed exercise prescription at a high level, which takes you through the different types of exercise to choose from.

Watch the video or read below:



Endurance exercises target the smaller muscles, so think of stabilising and postural muscles.

These kind of exercises are obviously important for those that do sport and athletes who need to keep going for a long time. It’s also important for everyone as you need stabilising muscles throughout the day when you’re standing or sitting down.

Figure out your load/weight to use for your strength exercises

During the exercise prescription video, we spoke about finding 1RM (one rep max). The definition of 1RM is the maximum weight that you can possibly lift in one repetition.

In order to endurance train, you want to be working at a percent of this 1RM.

How many reps for endurance. Find your 1RM to help determine load.

Suggestion for Load:

The load suggested for endurance exercise is below 50% of your 1RM


If we use calf raises as an example. You find that your 1RM is 20kg. When you do calf raises as an endurance exercise, you want to be loading up to 10kg (which is up to 50% or your 1RM).

Repetitions and Sets

At least 15 repetitions (the more you do the better).

At least 3 sets.

The more sets you can do of this the better because you’re thinking it relates to the activity – you’re wanting these muscles to be switched on for a long time.


30-90 seconds

You want a little bit of a rest and then you can get back to it.

Time under Tension

You want to be aiming for a slow to moderate time under tension. Those that are inexperienced aim for 4-5 seconds of being under tension.

All that means is, with the example of the calf raise, you’re counting 4-5 seconds as you raise yourself up and you’re counting  4-5 seconds as you lower yourself down.


Here’s a summary slide of what we’ve discussed above. Load, how many reps for endurance exercises, sets, time under tension and rest.

How many reps for endurance. Summary slide


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Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.


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