Bodyweight Routine And Sets


First Post
Hello community,

After training consistantly in a gym (mostly free weight and machine based) some months ago I started to train just with my own bodyweight. I read a lot of books, articles, materials etc. but I still have some questions about sets and reps as it seems that every source of information has another viewpoint on it. I think I know all about (or most) progressions and the single excercises but I was wondering how many sets others are doing. My actual routine consists of a full body workout which I do 3 times a week including vertical/horizontal pull and vertical/horizontal push in each session as well as some squat and lunge work. I typically do 3-4 sets of about 10-15 reps. A typical session would be as below:

Decline Diamond Push Ups 3x 10-15
Weighted Push Ups 3x 10-15

Pull Ups or Chin Ups 3-4x 7-10
Decline Inverted Rows or other Row Variation 3x 10-15

Dips 3x 10-15

Weighted Lunges or Squats 4x 15

I have to say that with my current routine I noticed good progress in muscle mass and muscle definition during the last months so I think it's a good routine (for me) but was wondering how you guys determine how many sets and reps per movement pattern you do?

Thanks a lot :)

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
It depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. If gunning for mass I use as close to a DeLorme method as possible - 2 easy sets to warm up, a RPE of about 5-6 and a final set of 10+, often involving Rest/Pause or Clusters on the final go. If just going for strength I'll use Clusters at about a 7-8 RPE and only use two sets (available time depending).

With bodyweight the specific exercise will dictate rep range. If I find myself reliably getting more than 10 reps on the initial go for the last set I'll try to use a tougher variation/more weight.

Erik Hournou

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey if you're getting good results then that's great, keep going, the routine seems sensible enough, later you could experiment with increasing the weight and going for sets of 5 reps to see how that feels.


First Post
Thanks for your replies. I probably forgot to mention that my goal is to maintain my muscle mass acquired through the years and to add some more muscles and definition. @Erik Hournou yeah I'm constantly trying to master harder progressions as well as using different techniques (very slow reps, supersets etc.) to stimulate the muscles.


Level 8 Valued Member

Most of the time, I use from 3 to 5 sets, regardless what I am looking for.

Then, there are two variables: number of repetitions, rest between sets.

Strength goal:
3 to 5 repetitions, with 3 to 5 minutes rest between set. During the rest, most of the time, I do another exercise

Strength-endurance / hypertrophy:
6-15 repetitions, with roughly 60s of rest

Muscular endurance and conditioning:
15+ repetitions, with no more than 30s of rest.

Of course, my above description follows a sort of "continuum". But there are always way to cheat, depending on what we want to achieve:
- Escalating density
- Drop sets
- Cluster sets & Rest pause
- Tempo

I usually change the variation when I feel this is very easy. So this is fairly feeling based.

From what I understand on your post, you seem to target body composition. In this thread (post #11), you'll find a protocol with cluster for hypertrophy:

Another one here on post #5

Kind regards,

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