If you want to get stronger, it's recommended to use a challenging weight and stick to a rep range of 1 to 5. If you're looking to add size, 8 to 12 reps are commonly prescribed. For fat loss, many try interval work to increase their heart rate.
Believe it or not, there are some methods that can accomplish all three. One of these methods is to utilize burnout sets in your workouts.
Burnouts are typically done at the end of a body-part workout or specific movement. They target the same muscle group(s) just worked and often involve the same exercise, or a very similar exercise. These sets are usually done with a lighter weight in an effort to perform a high amount of reps, often to failure.
Note: Burnouts are considered an advanced training modality, so if you're new to strength training, it's recommended to stay away from them until you've developed a solid strength base. These are meant to be challenging and push you physically and mentally.
Burnouts1 of 11
Lower Body2 of 11
Begin a typical lower body routine. For example, perform 5 sets of 5 reps of barbell squats.
Lower Body Part 23 of 11
After your last set, drop the weight to around 50 percent of what you were using. Finish with one final set of 20 reps.
Do your best to not rack the weight. Most importantly, be smart.
Chest4 of 11
During a workout that includes chest-specific training, try adding a quick finisher to the end of your last set.
Chest Part 25 of 11
For example, after your last set of bench press, hop off the bench and hit the floor for some push-ups.
The goal is to complete 50 reps with as little rest as possible. If your muscles fatigue and your form starts to break down, take a break for 10 to 15 seconds.
Triceps6 of 11
Perform 3 sets of 10 reps of dips.
Triceps Part 27 of 11
After your last set of dips, use a band or a cable machine, pick a weight you think you can perform for 20 to 25 reps without stopping, and get to work.
Keep your rest as short as possible without having breakdown in form.
Note: These can be also be done like the squat burnout, as you can start with heavy press-downs. If you're using a cable machine with a weight stack, simply lower the weight to roughly 50 percent of what you finished your last set at.
Example: 3 sets of 10 reps at 80 pounds, followed by a burnout set of 50 reps with 40 pounds.
Abs8 of 11
For this burnout, double the reps from the last set of your hanging abdominal exercise but vary the movement by decreasing the length of your moving body part (legs).
Abs 29 of 11
For example, say your workout includes for 3 sets of 15 reps of straight-leg hanging leg lifts. After the last set, immediately bend your knees, which will make the exercise a bit easier, and complete 30 reps. Try to complete all reps without a break.
Doug Balzarini10 of 11
Doug Balzarini is a personal trainer, fitness writer and creator of DB Strength. He's currently offering his services in Beverly, Mass., at Iron Village Strength & Conditioning.
Doug has several certifications, ranging from MMA to CrossFit. You can find out more on his website, DBstrength.com.