Workout Tips

Lift Doctor: Optimal Number of Exercises Per Workout

Consider following this prescription for maximizing muscle gains during each workout.

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“How many exercises should I do for each muscle group to maximize my gains in a workout?” – Jeff Lee

It will depend upon what type of workout you’re hitting; a full body workout, an upper body workout, or a lower body workout.

In my experience, you should always err on the side of efficiency and take a shock and awe approach. You don’t want to spend hours in the gym and crush a ton of exercises, because it will be very hard to recover between workouts and can lead to overuse injuries. The goal is to stimulate the muscle, create an adaptation of greater strength and muscle size, and then leave the gym to recover. 

It will depend upon what type of workout you’re hitting; a full body workout, an upper body workout, or a lower body workout.

Knowledgeable coaches call this the ‘minimal effective dose.’ The minimal amount of training needed to create a training effect.


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To optimize your results, the reality is that the number of exercises you should perform in the workout will depend upon the intensity and effort you put into each and every repetition. 

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