Resistance workout is among the three major components in a healthy exercise programme, the other 2 being aerobic and flexibility training.
There’re many principles, that apply to all these modes of training and this article covers the basic principles, which should be applied to resistance exercise.
When preparing a resistance-training programme it’s important to make sure that exercises are incorporated to target every main muscle group in the body. This is crucial to maintain a well-balanced body, avoiding possible muscle weaknesses, or postural problems. The primary areas to target are chest, back, arms, shoulders, quads, hamstrings and calves. In some instances, more than one muscle group can be worked at a time by using compound exercises, but it is still crucial to target each of the key muscle groups listed.
Another important aspect to any resistance training programme is to permit enough rest for each muscle group between exercises. There is little or no benefit to targeting the same muscle group more than once or twice every week, as when a muscle is worked, it requires sufficient recovery time to repair and rebuild. Training splits are a wonderful way of avoiding muscle over training. A 3-day training split might look something like this:
Monday: back, biceps and hamstrings, Wednesday: quads, triceps, chest, Friday: shoulders, calves and abdominals
Another key element in any resistance training programme relates to the number of repetitions done in each set of a particular exercise. The number of repetitions done is proportional to the goals of the individual. Training for muscular strength and toning normally needs 12 or more repetitions. Reps ranging from 8 to 12 stimulate muscular growth and muscular strength enhancements are attained when rep ranges of 4 to 8 are used.
The final major element is progression. To enable your body to improve, you must continue to increase the stimulus on your muscles. This is achieved by increasing numbers of repetitions (whilst remaining within your preferred rep range), increasing weights, or increasing the number of sets done. It’s also necessary to change your exercises or training splits every 4-6 weeks to avoid plateaus in progress.