Erica Rodriguez, PT, DPT, CSCS

Resistance training such as lifting weights can be beneficial with proper prescription individualized to your needs. An effective training program will include a needs analysis, exercise selection, training frequency, exercise order, load and repetitions, volume, and rest periods customized to your goals. Here is a simple guide to set up a program design for resistance training from the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook.

The training program is broken down into seven steps. The needs analysis is the first step and will determine the requirements and characteristics of the sport with an assessment of the athlete. Also, the training status of the individual is important to consider. Exercise type is based on the movement analysis of the sport and season. The training frequency will focus on the training status and sport season. For example, during the offseason athletes will have low sports specific skills and a high amount of resistance training. As the season approaches, the sport specific training will increase as the resistance training frequency decreases.

Exercise order during a session is key to complete exercises with proper technique to avoid injury. The arrangement should begin with all power exercises, followed by nonpower core (multijoint) exercises, and ending with assistance (single-joint) exercises. The power exercises require a high amount of skill and are most affected by fatigue, so they are completed initially.

The load is the amount of weight used during an exercise set, followed by the number of repetitions in each set. Volume refers to the amount of weight lifted during the entire training session. Lastly, the rest period is dependent on your training goal. The heavier the load lifted, the longer the rest break will be needed. To help you reach your goal, here is a quick reference compiled from the textbook.

Haff, Greg, and N. Travis Triplett. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 4th ed., Human Kinetics, 2016.