Fitness Goals

Timed-based Workout VS. Rep-based Workouts

Sworkit Fitness

When it comes to deciding whether you’ll do a time-based workout or a rep-based workout it really comes down to your preference and your goals. We’re breaking down the benefits of both so that you can decide what’s best for you. And remember that if you’re not sure how to decide what your goals are and where to start, Sworkit offers one-on-one personal training when you sign up (and we have thousands of ways to make your own time-based workouts and rep-based workouts)!

Benefits of Timed Sets

  • Keeps your heart rate up and increases fat burn
  • Faster and more powerful
  • Make it a goal to keep moving the entire work time or decrease the rest time to challenge yourself in different ways
  • You don’t have to remember to count reps
  • Focus on the exercise and proper form
  • Set the time for how long you have

When performing a Timed Set workout you are working for a specific time with rest breaks incorporated throughout depending on the settings you’re using. For these types of workouts, your heart rate is elevated for 2+ minutes which results in increased fat burn!

This is a great option if your goal is to lose weight, get lean, maintain/build initial strength gains or improve overall fitness. A few benefits that are specific to this type of routine include not having to keep count, you can make goals related to the work:rest ratio, and you can set a specific time for your workout based on your schedule. 

For timed sets, you can make goals related to the work:rest ratio that is easy to assess as you go to keep you motivated. One example is to simply keep moving for the entire “work” time. Once you’re able to do that you can increase the work time accordingly. Another goal could be to decrease the “rest” time throughout. This can be controlled by increasing the number of exercises between rest intervals or decreasing the rest interval itself. One thing to be aware of when determining when to reduce rest is proper form, if you’re unable to complete the exercises with proper form then you aren’t ready to decrease the rest intervals just yet. Quality is always better than quantity!

Arguably one of the best things about a timed set is that you can set it to whatever time you have available that day. If you have 15 minutes to get a quick leg day workout in, you can set that time and get it done. 

Benefits of Rep Based Workouts

  • You know exactly how many reps you have to do
  • They are efficient – you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time
  • You may feel less pressure when trying harder exercises that you might not have been able to complete for an extended period of time initially since it isn’t timed
  • The workouts can be more self-directed, you count the reps

Using Rep Based workouts will keep your exercise routine exciting and has many benefits! The number of reps is either determined by your fitness goals or the specific type of rep routine you choose but can be modified accordingly.

One main benefit is knowing how many reps you have to do. Sometimes it’s easier to be motivated when you know exactly how many are left and you can count them down! You may also have a smaller number of different exercises in a rep based routine, therefore you can really focus on getting comfortable and improving your form for the ones being performed. Rep based routines are often able to be completed in a quick amount of time depending on how many and the type of exercises performed, which allows for an efficient calorie burn if you only have a short time to utilize. Along with that, it allows you to customize your routine based on fitness level. If you’re only able to do 5 archer push-ups, but you can do 8-12 push-up rotations, then you can set those separately and be sure to complete them both in full. Be sure to challenge yourself and increase reps according to your goals and abilities as you start to get stronger! 

When Should You Switch it Up?

You can switch up your workouts from reps to time-based anytime. The most important thing for an exercise program is that you find something you will be consistent with. It’s important to switch it up when you’re bored or lacking motivation. It’s all about balance and what works best for you and your goals.

There is no “right” way to exercise that works for everyone, so try new things and find what works best for you! 

Can you do both?

You can, and should, do both! It’s great to incorporate both into your routine. You don’t have to consistently do each of them if you don’t want to, but they both have benefits and it’s great for your overall fitness to challenge yourself! 

With Sworkit, you can try a mix of rep based workouts as well as time-based workouts to see which ones you prefer, or you can create your own custom workout with both timed exercises with a mix of rep based exercises. All workouts are guided by our trainers to give you the ultimate workout as if you’re working with a trainer one-on-one.

Sworkit Fitness

Sworkit is a digital fitness app that makes it simple for you to get (and stay) in the best shape of your life. Whether you have 2 minutes or 60 minutes, Sworkit's customizable strength, cardio, stretching, yoga, and Pilates workouts are designed to fit your life. Make fitness a habit with Sworkit.
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