Overload is a fundamental criterion for strength training. In order to stimulate further adaptation toward specific training goals, progressive resistance training (RT) protocols are necessary.
The optimal characteristics of strength-specific programs include
1) Use of all verities of muscle contraction: Use of concentric (CON), eccentric (ECC), and isometric muscle actions.
2) Performance of bilateral and unilateral single- and multiple-joint exercises.
3) Sequential protocol: Strength programs sequence exercises to optimize the preservation of exercise intensity i.e.
a. Large before small muscle group exercises.
b. Multiple-joint exercises before single-joint exercises
c. Higher-intensity before lower-intensity exercises).
How the novices should go about their strength training:
Novice refers to untrained individuals with no RT experience or who have not trained for several years. For novice, training, it is recommended as follows:
1. Loads correspond to a repetition range of an 8-12 repetition maximum (RM).
2. Frequency should be 2-3 days a week.
How the intermediate & advanced should go about their strength training:
Intermediate refers to individuals with approximately 6 months of consistent RT experience. And advanced refers to individuals with years of RT experience. For Intermediate & advanced training, it is recommended as follows:
1. Individuals should use:
a. a wider loading range from 1 to 12 RM in a periodized fashion with emphasis on heavy loading (1-6 RM)
b. These high load exercises should use 3- to 5-min rest periods between sets.
c. These high load exercises should be performed at a moderate contraction velocity (1-2 s CON; 1-2 s ECC).
2. When training at a specific RM load, it is recommended that 2-10% increase in load be applied when the individual can perform the current workload for one to two repetitions over the desired number.
3. Frequency should be 3-4 days a week for intermediate & 4-5 days a week for advanced training.
Similar program designs as said above are recommended for hypertrophy training with respect to exercise selection and frequency. In such cases
1. Loading, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 1-12 RM be used in periodized fashion with emphasis on the 6-12 RM zone.
2. Rest between loadings: 1- to 2-min rest periods between sets at a moderate velocity.
Higher volume, multiple-set programs are recommended for maximizing hypertrophy.
Progression in power training entails two general loading strategies:
1) Strength training and
2) Use of light loads (0-60% of 1 RM for lower body exercises; 30-60% of 1 RM for upper body exercises) performed at a fast contraction velocity with 3-5 min of rest between sets for multiple sets per exercise (three to five sets).
It is also recommended that emphasis be placed on multiple-joint exercises especially those involving the total body.
For local muscular endurance training, it is recommended that
1. Light to moderate loads (40-60% of 1 RM) be performed for high repetitions (>15) using short rest periods (<90 s)
Recommendations should be applied in context and should be contingent upon an individual's target goals, physical capacity, and training status.
American College of Sports Medicine; Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):687-708.