What Is A Rep

There is some disagreement among experts about the exact length of rest periods. But one literature review of 35 clinical studies shows that, depending on your goals, resting anywhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes between sets will increase the efficacy and safety of your workouts.


Adjective Quotes–> Extra Examples–> The paintings are representative of English art in the early 19th century. The students chosen for the survey are a fairly representative sample of college students from across the U.S. Noun Quotes–> Extra Examples–> Do you know who your representatives are? The bill was introduced by Representative Smith. a representative of her age group

Recent Examples on the Web

The report, which is based on a survey conducted in December 2021, analyzed a nationally representative sample of more than 5,000 adults ages 18 to 64 making below four times the federal poverty level. — Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2023 YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,144 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 4-6, 2,023. — Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News, 10 Jan. 2023 Researchers have administered the survey to a nationally representative sample of 12th grade students every year since 1975. — Jennifer Brookland, Detroit Free Press, 17 Dec. 2022 The latest survey was based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,259 adults and was conducted from Nov. 29 through Dec. 8. — Jan Hoffman, New York Times, 16 Dec. 2022 Although not representative of the entire community, the controversy has divided it in recent months, racking up national headlines and leaving some LGBTQ residents feeling unsafe and unwelcome. — Zachary Schermele, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 The letter demanded swift and sweeping structural changes to improve conditions for BIPOC theater professionals and to make the American theater far more representative, both onstage and off. — Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 9 June 2022 There’s a curse when a great band has one big hit that’s not particularly representative of the rest of their work. — Zach Schonfeld, SPIN, 15 Mar. 2022 Almost three-quarters of Republicans were now skeptical that elections are representative (74%), as were 59% of independents, and only a third of Democrats (32%). — Jennifer Agiesta, CNN, 10 Feb. 2022

On Thursday he was released at the Polish border to former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who is a representative of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw. — Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2023 Sam Mast, a representative of Priscilla Presley, her mother, announced the death in a statement. — Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2023 There remains a very good chance that the legislator who peddled numerous falsehoods about his personal and professional experience stays in the House with all the authority that comes from being a representative. — Julian Zelizer, CNN, 12 Jan. 2023 The original participants are far from representative of the American population, then or now. — Richard J. Mcnally, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2023 By the end of the year, the 4-acre park is expected to don a colorful art piece created by residents who will have spent time fostering self-esteem and brainstorming a design that’s representative of their community. — Tammy Murgareporter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Jan. 2023 Once trained, his neural network could take a noisy image sampled from a simple distribution and progressively turn that back into an image representative of the training data set. — Anil Ananthaswamy, Quanta Magazine, 5 Jan. 2023 Tim Henderson is now a sales representative of medical devices for orthopedic injuries like replacement shoulders, knees and elbows for sports injuries. — Stephanie Kuzydym, The Courier-Journal, 29 Dec. 2022 Councilmember Carlos Garcia, representative of District 8, which includes parts of south and central Phoenix, asked Bays if the public would get another chance to view the contracts. — Miguel Torres, The Arizona Republic, 15 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘representative.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The House Explained

Constitution of the United States

As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government’s legislative branch. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

Learn About:


What is a Representative?

Also referred to as a congressman or congresswoman, each representative is elected to a two-year term serving the people of a specific congressional district. Among other duties, representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees. The number of representatives with full voting rights is 435, a number set by Public Law 62-5 on August 8, 1911, and in effect since 1913. The number of representatives per state is proportionate to population.

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Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution provides for both the minimum and maximum sizes for the House of Representatives. Currently, there are five delegates representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico. The delegates and resident commissioner possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote when the House is meeting as the House of Representatives.

To be elected, a representative must be at least 25 years old, a United States citizen for at least seven years and an inhabitant of the state he or she represents.


Find Your Representative

Enter your ZIP code in the banner of this page to find the representative for your congressional district.

Did You Know?

After extensive debate, the framers of the Constitution agreed to create the House with representation based on population and the Senate with equal representation. This agreement was part of what is referred to as The Great Compromise.


House leadership includes the speaker, majority and minority leaders, assistant leaders, whips and a party caucus or conference. The speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several institutional and administrative roles. Majority and minority leaders represent their respective parties on the House floor. Whips assist leadership in managing their party’s legislative program on the House floor. A party caucus or conference is the name given to a meeting of or organization of all party members in the House. During these meetings, party members discuss matters of concern.

The majority party members and the minority party members meet in separate caucuses to select their leader. Third parties rarely have had enough members to elect their own leadership, and independents will generally join one of the larger party organizations to receive committee assignments.

Leadership List

View the list of leadership offices and links to the websites.

Past Leadership

Curious about who else has been Speaker of the House or Majority Leader? Read more about past house leadership.

Do You Know?

How many people have served as Speaker of the House? Has the Speaker ever become President? Find out more about the history of the Speakership!


The House’s standing committees have different legislative jurisdictions. Each considers bills and issues and recommends measures for consideration by the House. Committees also have oversight responsibilities to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions, and in some cases in areas that cut across committee jurisdictions.

The Committee of the Whole House is a committee of the House on which all representatives serve and which meets in the House Chamber for the consideration of measures from the Union calendar.

Before members are assigned to committees, each committee’s size and the proportion of Republicans to Democrats must be decided by the party leaders. The total number of committee slots allotted to each party is approximately the same as the ratio between majority party and minority party members in the full chamber.

Committee Websites

All committees have websites where they post information about the legislation they are drafting.

What’s a Select Committee?

The House will sometimes form a special or select committee for a short time period and specific purpose, frequently an investigation.

Did You Know?

Each committee has a chair and a ranking member. The chair heads the full committee. The ranking member leads the minority members of the committee.


Congress has created a wide variety of temporary and permanent commissions to serve as advisory bodies for investigative or policy-related issues, or to carry out administrative, interparliamentary, or commemorative tasks. Such commissions are typically created by either law or House resolution, and may be composed of House members, private citizens, or a mix of both. In some cases, the commissions are entities of the House or Congress itself; in other cases, they are crafted as independent entities within the legislative branch.

Examples of commissions

  • Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: a temporary, independent investigative body created by law and made up of private citizens.
  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission): an independent U.S. government agency composed of nine members of the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
  • House Page Board: a permanent, Congressional advisory group created by law and made up of House members, Officers, and private citizens.

House Commissions

  • Congressional Executive Commission on China
  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
  • House Democracy Partnership Commission
  • Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
  • U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

A Representative’s Schedule

Whether working on Capitol Hill or in his / her congressional district, a representative’s schedule is extremely busy. Often beginning early in the morning with topical briefings, most representatives move quickly among caucus and committee meetings and hearings. They vote on bills, speak with constituents and other groups, and review constituent mail, press clips and various reports. Work can continue into the evening with receptions or fundraising events.

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Key Concept

Representatives carry out a broad scope of work in order to best represent their constituents.

Contact Your Representative

Share your thoughts with your representative. Use the Find Your Representative box in the banner of this site to identify your representative, then use the contact form to share your thoughts.

Did You Know?

Representatives’ schedules are sometimes planned out in increments as short as five minutes.

Beginner’s Guide to Reps

What Is A Rep

In strength training, also known as resistance training or weightlifting, reps are the number of times you complete a single exercise before taking a rest or a break. Short for “repetitions,” reps help you keep track of your strength workout.

When doing a resistance exercise, such as a biceps curl with a barbell, each time you lift your weight up and bring it back down would be one rep.

Similarly, when doing a bodyweight resistance exercise, like a pushup, each time you flow through the full move is one rep. So, one full pushup from up to down and back up again could be called one rep.

What is a set?

Completing several reps of a specific exercise in a row is called a set. It’s a common workout strategy to do a planned number of sets of each exercise, with time built in for a short rest between these sets.

For example, a weight training workout plan including triceps dips might include instructions to do 3 sets of 12 reps with a 30-second rest in between sets. You might see these instructions written out in a kind of workout log shorthand, as “3X12, 30 secs.”

Using reps and sets to organize your workouts has many benefits. To start, they can be very useful in gauging your baseline strength and measuring your progress.

Following a defined workout plan can also help take the guesswork out of strength training.

Knowing your rep and set goals each time you exercise can be motivating when you might feel like quitting early. Plus, following a reasonable set and rep goal for your fitness level can help reduce your chances of accidentally overdoing it and injuring yourself.

There are many important factors to consider when deciding how many reps and sets you should do, not to mention which exercises.

If you’re a true beginner to strength training, it’s always a good idea to meet with a certified personal trainer who can help you assess your goals and create a plan. But if working with a personal trainer isn’t an option for you, don’t let that hold you back from exercise!

The key is to work your muscles to a point of fatigue. That’s when the deeper muscle fibers will start to build more strength.

Depending on your base level of strength and the size weights you use, the number of reps required can vary. So, the number of reps your friend does might not be the best number for you.

As a general rule of thumb, lift lighter weights for a higher number of reps and heavier weights for a lower number of reps.

Each set should consist of the number of reps you can do using correct form before you start to compromise your form. Then, you can take a planned rest between sets to recover.

So, if you can correctly do a biceps curl for eight reps before you start to lose your form, then plan to do eight reps per set.

There is some disagreement among experts about the exact length of rest periods. But one literature review of 35 clinical studies shows that, depending on your goals, resting anywhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes between sets will increase the efficacy and safety of your workouts.

The exact number of reps and sets you do should depend on your current strength, the amount of weight you’re using, and your specific training goals. So which strategy is right for you?

Goal: Improve fitness and health

If you’re new to strength training and looking to build overall fitness and health, try starting with lighter weights and see how many reps you can do with good form. Then, take adequate rest and try another one or two sets of the same reps.

Goal: Increase functional strength

If you want to increase your functional strength, use heavy weights with relatively low reps and sets.

Goal: Build definition and bulk

If you want to build definition and bulk, use heavy weights with a moderate level of reps and sets.

General tips for all goals

If at any time you find that you aren’t able to complete all your reps with good form, lower your weight or the number of reps.

If, on the other hand, you find that you’re not getting to the point of muscle fatigue after several reps, you may want to use a heavier weight.

Reps, short for repetitions, are the action of one complete strength training exercise, like one biceps curl. Sets are how many reps you do in a row between periods of rest.

By using reps and sets to guide your strength workouts, you can pinpoint and achieve your fitness goals with more control.

Last medically reviewed on June 26, 2019

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • de Salles BF, et al. (2009). Rest interval between sets in strength training. DOI:
  • Mathews J. (2010). When strength training, is it better to do more reps with lighter weights or fewer reps with heavier weights?
  • McCall P. (2016). How many reps should you be doing?

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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