Resisitance Training Program Design

Posted by: Ken Kaus on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

American Council of Sports Medicine’s current recommendations on resistance exercise are: 


  • Adults should train major muscle groups 2 or 3 days each week, using a variety of exercises & equipment.
  • Very light or light intensity is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults who are starting exercise.
  • 2-4 sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength & power.
  • For each exercise:
    • 8-12 reps improves strength & power
    • 10-15 reps improves strength in middle-age & older persons starting exercise
    • 15-20 reps improve muscular endurance
  • Adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

When starting a resistance program it’s important to remember to:

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE. Advanced programs can be executed later.
  • USE S.M.A.R.T. GOALS. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound goals.
  • EMPLOY PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. Build upon your work capacity, strength & conditioning level in a systematic & logical way.

A beginner who wants to increase strength & power may choose to follow an overall-body resistance program 2 times a week:

  • Leg Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Seated Row 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Chest Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Bodyweight Lunges 2 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Overhead Press 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 reps

For an individualized resistance training program, contact our personal training staff.

Sources: ACSM, Strength & Conditioning Journal, NCSA’s Performance Journal



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