The Final Rep

Question: When is one rep worth six? Answer: When it’s the final rep, the one that takes you to failure.

Question: When is one rep worth six?

Answer: When it’s the final rep. The one you wouldn’t normally do. The one that takes you to failure.

The strain we put on our muscles during a workout can stimulate hypertrophy.

Hypertrophy equals growth.

Without enough strain, hypertrophy doesn’t occur, and we don’t benefit from growth.

A single repetition of an exercise that pushes our muscles to failure is worth more than the six reps preceding it.

Cognitive dissonance

The surprising thing is, despite knowing this, most people in the gym don’t do it.

Although they want muscle growth, they choose not to perform the ‘final’ rep.


Probably because it’s hard.

It’s uncomfortable.

And it can hurt.

And maybe because they’ve already done six reps leading up to the moment of truth.

The internal dialogue might go something like this:

“This is getting tough. I’ve done six good reps already, that must count for something. Let’s leave it here. It’s a good effort.”

The truth is those first reps were the warm-up. The groundwork for the real work.

Aim to fail

The final rep is truly the final rep when you can’t complete it.

That’s muscular failure.

When our body fails, and we give it time to recover, it grows and adapts.

Growth is found on the other side of our limits and we find it when we attempt to push past them.

Life is a workout

The internal conflict and discomfort we experience in the gym shows up throughout our lives.

In our relationships, with our family, in our business.

When we feel discomfort and things get tough let’s remind ourselves that everything leading up to this point was the warm-up.

The workout has just begun.

This is where we find growth.