Goal setting: How I now go after TOTAL reps vs. weight [FITNESS]

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Aside from the different types of storytelling, fitness has been an important part of my life.

From the days of practicing judo as a seven-year-old to my 10-year career in American football to running and weightlifting after college.

I used to spent days at the basketball court, weight room and fields at the now demolished Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, Germany.

I tested and tried different workouts to shoot for different results, quicker results and different experiences. You might say that’s still a strategy I use today in digital marketing and audience growth.

One of the latest things that I’m doing at the gym when it comes to lifting is to now go after total number of reps versus exact exercises. Sarah Bowmar of Bowmar Fitness gave me that idea in one of her Instagram videos.

I used to meticulously track how much weight I was lifting and what exercises. That certainly is one strategy but the strategy that Sarah put in my head was to go after a total number of reps. So now I break down my lifting days like this:

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


I also add off days and cardio days of course.

So let’s take Day 1 as an example. Let’s say I’ve set my goal at 500 total reps for that workout, now I have to figure out how to get there.

I like to somewhat split them between the different muscle groups. It doesn’t have to be an exact split and 500 reps for abs is a lot easier than 500 reps for legs- see Day 2, by the way. ?️‍♀️

So I could do a lot of sets with few reps or I could do higher reps and fewer sets or somewhere in the middle of course.

From a practical perspective I find it easiest to do intervals of five exercises with 10 reps per set with five total sets.

So after doing that interval one time that gets me to 250 reps. Do that twice with different exercises gets me to 500, three times to 750 and four times to 1000.

Within each interval of five exercises and 250 reps I try to mix it up so it might look like this for Day 1:

  • Chest exercise like bench press
  • Back exercise like lat pulls
  • Abs
  • Abs
  • Chest

And then in the second interval of 250 reps I might do two back exercises, one abs and one chest.

This allows me to not be too tight to specific exercise machines. For example, I often go to a 24-hour gym and let’s say the bench press free weighs are already taken. Not a big deal, I’m not doing free weight bench presses today necessarily anyways.

I have enjoyed this way of lifting very much and I started at around 400 reps per workout and now have gotten as high as 800 reps.

Will this be the only workout I’ll be doing for the next 15 years? Doubtful. Like digital marketing-fitness evolves as well and so do the workouts and the strategies. So I’m certainly going to continuously look at ways to evolve what I’m doing at the gym-just like I’m doing in digital marketing.