Toning / weight lifting: what are sets? What are reps? I’m looking to TONE NOT BULK UP?

Question by Aviation747: Toning / weight lifting: what are sets? What are reps? I’m looking to TONE NOT BULK UP?
Back in high school 4 years ago, I was on the football team (yes, I AM female, and yes, I was the only female on the team—lol) and did track. It was the same coach for both and he required that everyone (on team) did weight training, as supervised by him, as a group, all of us in the weight room at once.

But, from 4 years of just being into cardio (I do 1.5 hours a day 6 days a week) and not weight training, I feel like I’ve forgotten EVERYTHING. Plus, while I’m NOT flabby or fat, I feel I could LOOK more toned. So I want to get into weights to TONE up, not BULK up.

To start…what are “reps”? What are “sets”? Asking friends (who, all, coincidentally DO NOT do weight training or toning of ANY KIND), I’ve heard so many things, like:

Reps: number of times you repeat an exercise in a row without stopping (e.g., 10 repeats = 10 ‘reps’ in gym-speak)
I’ve also heard that reps are: the number of times you complete a cluster of the same exercise. So, you may do exercise x 10 times in a row, wait 30 seconds, and repeat (‘rep’ = “gym-speak”) that cluster 4 times, for a total of 40 times working that muscle.

And…basically, I heard the exact 2 definitions for sets. One saying it was #x you do an exercise (like 10 x) and the other being the number of times you repeat a cluster of the same exercise.

I do have a weight training book. There were only 3 to choose from at my bookstore because most of the fitness books at my bookstore (its a huge bookstore) are about calorie-counting / healthy recipes, or yoga & pilates. And the training book says to TONE up, you should only do 8-12 reps, and do this 2-3 x per week. But…how many sets? It doesn’t say that.

Would appreciate it if answerers are either 1) weight training / weight toners currently 2) fitness experts/traingers. NOT just people (like my friends) that have either 1) never lifted weights or 2) have done so but done so so many years ago they forget (like myself).

Best answer:

Answer by Jason Cooper
im gonna do 10 pushups..

now ihave done 10 pushups.

which makes it 1 rep.

if they say 3 reps then you have to do:
10 pushups……then pause……. then 10 pushups again……. pause……. 10 pushups.
3 reps

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