Why 11 Reps is the Answer to Your Fitness Goals

As a long-standing fitness professional (of 15 years) who has seen it all and tried almost everything, I can tell you, the right number of reps for real composition change is 11. It’s magic.

11 is the difference between you achieving your goals and not. It’s the difference between maintaining and exceeding your goals. It’s the difference between toiling away, spinning away, running, boot camping, and actually crushing your body composition goals.


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Why 11, you may ask…

Wish me happy birthday. I am turning 53 in January. I’m 52 and 11/12th years old now. I‘m in better fitness than I was at 42 and 11/12ths and certainly more than I was when I was 32 and 11/12ths. How have I gone from super frustrated about – and ashamed of – my hips, my butt, my whatever to now feeling as confident as ever?

I have found great success in my fitness to not do what the so-called experts say is the best. I do what is right for me…that day…that week. I pace myself when I need to – and I push myself when the time is right. 11 times. I do crazy things like crawl for 6 minutes, hang on a bar for 2 and push the sled for 3. Silly…yet it has worked. Blazing my own trail, not what I previously thought was the way to be fit.

Here is some background to the way my silly mind works. As a professional to whom many turn to for their health, wellness. and fitness goals, I take my job seriously. Many women look to me for expert advice on how they will not only look better but feel better and say “adios” to the roller coaster ride of your inner voice saying things like:

  • ”I’m fat.”
  • ”I hate how I look in white jeans.”
  • “I’ll never wear a bathing suit again.“
  • “I wish I looked like _____.”

I research. I observe. You see, my business is like a laboratory for what works and what doesn’t.



I see tears, I see anger, and I of course I see denial or lack of accountability for lifestyle choices that are clearly not aligning with goals. Although you may believe you really want a particular weight, size, happiness, or contentedness with your physique, your actions may not be reflecting those same goals. Are you also thinking the old way(s) of calorie deprivation and a pool of sweat or that you must meet a certain number goal on your wearable are not working for you?

One thing I hear a lot is “I just want to feel better about myself.” When you have this goal and approach me, we will talk about the different areas you need to focus on from the Wellness Wheel (pictured below). I encourage my concierge clients to choose from 2-3 of them and focus on the strategies that will make the biggest difference. And, yes, 99.9% of the time one of the areas to work on is most certainly physical movement – and have a healthy “growth” perspective of physical movement and leave behind the guilt-ridden relics of your past and turn to what works – and feels best – to you.

Getting in control first of your stress (the ability to respond rather than react to stressful circumstances), your schedule, and getting your sleep are the strategies that will lead to the best results. These are usually what I call the “low hanging fruit” because they will make the biggest difference when addressed early and consistently. Soon, you’ll be hearing more about what it’s like to be an AW concierge client and lose 30 pounds by focusing on certain areas of the wellness wheel.

When you master those strategies, you simply feel better about you and your strength. Like a domino effect, you then are able to go the “extra step” and every little bit adds up. You can then add a second or two more, a rep or two more, and get more in over the course of a week, a month, and an entire year.

It’s like compound interest…over one year, that one more rep will pay off.

Imagine adding one second, one minute, or one more repetition over the course of one year. Do you think it would make a difference? Of course you do!

So, this is my point:

  1. Don’t fall pretty to the trends or what the latest repetition scheme is. Go at your own pace, yet recognize there are days when you can push one more.
  2. Small change makes a huge difference. It is the difference between making a goal and continuing your frustration.
  3. No one ever regretted giving one more rep – or 3 more seconds – of an exercise. So why don’t you?

It’s true that one more rep or a couple more seconds over the course of six months makes a huge difference. Next week, I’ll talk about some of the specific strategies I use with clients and give some examples so you can see how every little bit can add up.

If you or a loved one want to give yourself the gift of wellness this holiday season, you can schedule a free consult with me here.



  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 1,500 clients, 25 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now-more-than-ever passionate about helping others view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty workout weeks to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Now, Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down”, a healthy mix of strength and metabolix work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength. Adrien believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and our health and that change, or improvement, is always within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help Alexandrians learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness and listening to clients’ success stories and bragging about her twin 12 year old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!


Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




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