What is the typical number of repetitions for an abs movement? How many sets must be done? Normally, you have to perform at least 10 to 12 counts per exercise at three sets. Well, that is correct and that is proper. But, it would be better if you leave one set for a max out challenge. What is maxing out? You keep on moving, in this case the abs workout, until you can move your muscles because of the tension. That is maxing out. It means your peak has been reached until you fail to do it properly.