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Position stand: Progression models in resistance training for healthy adultsAmerican College of Sports MedicineMed Sci Sports Exerc20023436438011828249

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In order to stimulate further adaptation toward a specific training goal(s), progression in the type of resistance training protocol used is necessary. The optimal characteristics of strength-specific programs include the use of both concentric and eccentric muscle actions and the performance of both single- and multiple-joint exercises. It is also recommended that the strength program sequence exercises to optimize the quality of the exercise intensity (large before small muscle group exercises, multiple-joint exercises before single-joint exercises, and higher intensity before lower intensity exercises). For initial resistances, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 8-12 repetition maximum (RM) be used in novice training. For intermediate to advanced training, it is recommended that individuals use a wider loading range, from 1-12 RM in a periodized fashion, with eventual emphasis on heavy loading (1-6 RM) using at least 3-min rest periods between sets performed at a moderate contraction velocity (1-2 s concentric, 1-2 s eccentric). 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. The recommendation for training frequency is 2-3 d x wk(-1) for novice and intermediate training and 4-5 d x wk(-1) for advanced training. Similar program designs are recommended for hypertrophy training with respect to exercise selection and frequency. For loading, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 1-12 RM be used in periodized fashion, with emphasis on the 6-12 RM zone using 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 (30-60% of 1 RM) performed at a fast contraction velocity with 2-3 min of rest between sets for multiple sets per exercise. 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 light to moderate loads (40-60% of 1 RM) be performed for high repetitions (> 15) using short rest periods (< 90 s). In the interpretation of this position stand, as with prior ones, the recommendations should be viewed in context of the individual's target goals, physical capacity, and training status.
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Progression Models in
Resistance Training for
Healthy Adults
POSITION STAND
SUMMARY
American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand on Progression Models
in ResistanceTraining forHealthy Adults.Med. Sci.Sports Exerc.Vol. 34,No.
2, 2002, pp. 364–380. In order to stimulate further adaptation toward a specific
training goal(s), progression in the type of resistance training protocol used is
necessary. The optimal characteristics of strength-specific programs include
the use of both concentric and eccentric muscle actions and the performance of
both single- and multiple-joint exercises. It is also recommended that the
strength program sequence exercises to optimize the quality of the exercise
intensity (large before small muscle group exercises, multiple-joint exercises
before single-joint exercises, and higher intensity before lower intensity exer-
cises). For initial resistances, it is recommended that loads corresponding to
8–12 repetition maximum (RM) be used in novice training. For intermediate
to advanced training, it is recommended that individuals use a wider loading
range, from 1–12 RM in a periodized fashion, with eventual emphasis on
heavy loading (1–6 RM) using at least 3-min rest periods between sets
performed at a moderate contraction velocity (1–2 s concentric, 1–2 s eccen-
tric). 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. The recommen-
dation for training frequency is 2–3 d·wk
1
for novice and intermediate
training and 4–5 d·wk
1
for advanced training. Similar program designs are
recommended for hypertrophy training with respect to exercise selection and
frequency. For loading, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 1–12
RM be used in periodized fashion, with emphasis on the 6–12 RM zone using
1- to 2-min rest periods between sets at a moderate velocity. Higher volume,
multiple-set programs are recommended for maximizing hypertrophy. Pro-
gression in power training entails two general loading strategies: 1) strength
training, and 2) use of light loads (3060% of 1 RM) performed at a fast
contraction velocity with 2–3 min of rest between sets for multiple sets per
exercise. It is also recommended that emphasis be placed on multiple-joint
exercises, especially those involving the total body. For local muscular endur-
ance training, it is recommended that light to moderate loads (4060% of 1
RM) be performed for high repetitions ( 15) using short rest periods ( 90 s).
In the interpretation of this position stand, as with prior ones, the recommen-
dations should be viewed in context of the individual’s target goals, physical
capacity, and training status.
INTRODUCTION
The ability to generate force has fascinated humankind
throughout most of recorded history. Not only have great
feats of strength intrigued people’s imagination, but a suf-
ficient level of muscular strength was important for survival.
Although modern technology has reduced the need for high
levels of force production during activities of everyday
living, it has been recognized in both the scientific and
medical communities that muscular strength is a fundamen-
tal physical trait necessary for health, functional ability, and
an enhanced quality of life. Resistance exercise using an
array of different modalities has become popular over the
past 70 years. Although organized lifting events and sports
have been in existence since the mid to late 1800s, the
scientific investigation of resistance training did not dramat-
ically evolve until the work of DeLorme and Watkins (46).
Following World War II, DeLorme and Watkins demon-
strated the importance of “progressive resistance exercise”
in increasing muscular strength and hypertrophy for the
rehabilitation of military personnel. Since the early 1950s
and 1960s, resistance training has been a topic of interest
in the scientific, medical, and athletic communities (19
21,31,32). The common theme of most resistance training
studies is that the training program must be “progressive” in
order to produce substantial and continued increases in
muscle strength and size.
Progression is defined as “the act of moving forward or
advancing toward a specific goal.” In resistance training,
progression entails the continued improvement in a desired
variable over time until the target goal has been achieved.
Although it is impossible to continually improve at the same
rate with long-term training, the proper manipulation of
program variables (choice of resistance, exercise selection
and order, number of sets and repetitions, rest period length)
can limit natural training plateaus (that point in time where
no further improvements takes place) and consequently en-
able achievement of higher levels of muscular fitness (236).
Trainable fitness characteristics include muscular strength,
power, hypertrophy, and local muscular endurance. Other
variables such as speed, balance, coordination, jumping
ability, flexibility, and other measures of motor performance
have also been positively enhanced by resistance training
(3,45,216,238,249).
Increased physical activity and participation in a compre-
hensive exercise program incorporating aerobic endurance
0195-9131/02/3402-0364/0
MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE
®
Copyright © 2002 by the American College of Sports Medicine
This pronouncement was written for the American College of
Sports Medicine by: William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., FACSM (Chairper-
son); Kent Adams, Ph.D.; Enzo Cafarelli, Ph.D., FACSM; Gary A.
Dudley, Ph.D., FACSM; Cathryn Dooly, Ph.D., FACSM; Matthew S.
Feigenbaum, Ph.D., FACSM; Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D., FACSM; Barry
Franklin, Ph.D., FACSM; Andrew C. Fry, Ph.D.; Jay R. Hoffman,
Ph.D., FACSM; Robert U. Newton, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Potteiger, Ph.D.,
FACSM; Michael H. Stone, Ph.D.; Nicholas A. Ratamess, M.S.; and
Travis Triplett-McBride, Ph.D.
364
activities, resistance training, and flexibility exercises has
been shown to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases
(e.g., coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis,
low back pain). Resistance training has been shown to be the
most effective method for developing musculoskeletal
strength, and it is currently prescribed by many major
health organizations for improving health and fitness
(79,71,206,208). Resistance training, particularly when
incorporated into a comprehensive fitness program, reduces
the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease
(84,86,126,127), noninsulin-dependent diabetes (72,180),
and colon cancer (141); prevents osteoporosis (91,158);
promotes weight loss and maintenance (56,135,251,259);
improves dynamic stability and preserves functional capac-
ity (56,79,138,235); and fosters psychological well-being
(59,235). These benefits can be safely obtained when an
individualized program is prescribed (172).
In the American College of Sports Medicines position
stand, The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for
developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular
fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults, the initial standard
was set for a resistance training program with the performance
of one set of 812 repetitions for 810 exercises, including one
exercise for all major muscle groups; and 1015 repetitions for
older and more frail persons (8). This initial starting program
has been shown to be effective in previously untrained in-
dividuals for improving muscular fitness during the first
34 months of training (33,38,63,165,178). However, it is
important to understand that this recommendation did not
include resistance training exercise prescription guidelines
for those healthy adults who wish to progress further in
various trainable characteristics of muscular fitness. The
purpose of this position stand is to extend the initial guide-
lines established by the American College of Sports Medi-
cine (ACSM) for beginning resistance training programs
and provide guidelines for progression models that can be
applied to novice, intermediate, and advanced training.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS
OF PROGRESSION
Progressive overload. Progressive overload is the
gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise
training. Tolerance of increased stress-related overload is a
vital concern for the practitioner and clinician monitoring pro-
gram progression. In reality, the adaptive processes of the
human body will only respond if continually called upon to
exert a greater magnitude of force to meet higher physiological
demands. Considering that physiological adaptations to a stan-
dard, nonvaried resistance training program may occur in a
relatively short period of time, systematically increasing the
demands placed upon the body is necessary for further im-
provement. There are several ways in which overload may be
introduced during resistance training. For strength, hypertro-
phy, local muscular endurance, and power improvements, ei-
ther 1) load (resistance) may be increased, 2) repetitions may
be added to the current load, 3) repetition speed with submaxi-
mal loads may be altered according to goals, 4) rest periods
may be shortened for endurance improvements or lengthened
for strength and power training, 5) volume (i.e., overall total
work represented as the product of the total number of repeti-
tions performed and the resistance) may be increased within
reasonable limits, or 6) any combination of the above. It has
been recommended that only small increases in training vol-
ume (2.55%) be prescribed so as to avoid overtraining (69).
Specificity. There is a relatively high degree of task spec-
ificity involved in human movement and adaptation (217) that
encompasses both movement patterns and force-velocity char-
acteristics (95,113,261). All training adaptations are specific to
the stimulus applied. The physiological adaptations to training
are specific to the 1) muscle actions involved (50,51,115), 2)
speed of movement (51), 3) range of motion (15,144), 4)
muscle groups trained (69), 5) energy systems involved
(153,213,248), and 6) intensity and volume of training
(21,109,194,222). Although there is some carryover of training
effects, the most effective resistance training programs are
those that are designed to target specific training goals.
Variation. Variation in training is a fundamental princi-
ple that supports the need for alterations in one or more
program variables over time to allow for the training stim-
ulus to remain optimal. It has been shown that systemati-
cally varying volume and intensity is most effective for
long-term progression (241). The concept of variation has
been rooted in program design universally for many years.
The most commonly examined resistance training theory
including planned variation is periodization.
Periodization. Periodization utilizes variation in resis-
tance training program design. This training theory was
developed on the basis of the biological studies of general
adaptation syndrome by Hans Selye (224). Systematic vari-
ation has been used as a means of altering training intensity
and volume to optimize both performance and recovery
(110,166,209). However, the use of periodization concepts
is not limited to elite athletes or advanced training, but has
been used successfully as the basis of training for individ-
uals with diverse backgrounds and fitness levels. In addition
to sport-specific training (112,140,147,154), periodized re-
sistance training has been shown to be effective for recre-
ational (47,118,238) and rehabilitative (62) training goals.
Classic (linear) model of periodization. This model
is characterized by high initial training volume and low
intensity (239). As training progresses, volume decreases
and intensity increases in order to maximize strength,
power, or both (68). Typically, each training phase is
designed to emphasize a particular physiological adapta-
tion. For example, hypertrophy is stimulated during the
initial high-volume phase, whereas strength is maximally
developed during the later high-intensity phase. Comparisons
of classic strength/power periodized models to nonperiodized
models have been previously reviewed (68). These studies
have shown classic strength/power periodized training superior
for increasing maximal strength (e.g., 1 repetition maximum
(1 RM) squat), cycling power, motor performance, and
jumping ability (192,238,241,256,257). However, a short-
term study has shown similar performance improvements
between periodized and multiple-set nonperiodized models
PROGRESSION MODELS IN RESISTANCE TRAINING Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
365
(13). It has been shown that longer training periods (more
than 4 wk) are necessary to underscore the benefits of
periodized training compared with nonperiodized training
(257). The results of these studies demonstrate that both
periodized and nonperiodized training are effective during
short-term training, whereas variation is necessary for long-
term resistance training.
Undulating (nonlinear) periodization. The nonlinear
program enables variation in intensity and volume within each
7- to 10-day cycle by rotating different protocols over the
course of the training program. Nonlinear methods attempt to
train the various components of the neuromuscular system
within the same 7- to 10-day cycle. During a single workout,
only one characteristic is trained in a given day (e.g., strength,
power, local muscular endurance). For example, in loading
schemes for the core exercises in the workout, the use of heavy,
moderate, and lighter resistances may be randomly rotated over
a training sequence (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) (e.g., 35
RM loads, 810 RM loads, and 1215 RM loads may used in
the rotation). This model has compared favorably with the
classical periodized and nonperiodized multiple-set models
(13). This model has also been shown to have distinct advan-
tages in comparison with nonperiodized, low-volume training
in women (154,165).
IMPACT OF INITIAL TRAINING STATUS
Initial training status plays an important role in the rate of
progression during resistance training. Training status reflects
a continuum of adaptations to resistance training such that level
of fitness, training experience, and genetic endowment con-
tribute categorically. Untrained individuals (those with no re-
sistance training experience or who have not trained for several
years) respond favorably to most protocols, thus making it
difficult to evaluate the effects of different training programs
(68,92). The rate of strength increase differs considerably be-
tween untrained and trained individuals (148), as trained indi-
viduals have shown much slower rates of improvement
(83,107,111,221). A review of the literature reveals that mus-
cular strength increases approximately 40% in untrained,
20% in moderately trained, 16% in trained, 10% in ad-
vanced,and 2% in eliteover periods ranging from 4 wk to
2 yr. Individuals who are trainedor intermediatetypically
have approximately 6 months of consistent resistance training
experience. Advanced training referred to those individuals
with years of resistance training experience who also attained
significant improvements in muscular fitness. Elite individ-
uals are those athletes who are highly trained and achieved a
high level of competition. Although the training programs,
durations, and testing procedures of these studies differed,
these data clearly show a specific trend toward slower rates of
progression of a trainable characteristic with training
experience.
The difficulty in continuing gains in strength appears to
occur even after several months of training. It is well docu-
mented that changes in muscular strength are most prevalent
early in training (92,185). Investigations that have examined
the time course of strength gains to various training protocols
support this concept. Short-term studies (1116 weeks) have
shown that the majority of strength increases take place within
the first 48 wk (119,192). Similar results have been observed
during 1 yr of training (185). These data demonstrate the
rapidity of initial strength gains in untrained individuals, but
also show slower gains with further training.
TRAINABLE CHARACTERISTICS
MUSCULAR STRENGTH
The ability of the neuromuscular system to generate force
is necessary for all types of movement. Muscle fibers,
classified according to their contractile and metabolic char-
acteristics, show a linear relationship between their cross-
sectional area (CSA) and the maximal amount of force they
can generate (66). In whole muscle, the arrangement of
individual fibers according to their angle of pull (pennation),
as well as other factors, such as muscle length, joint angle,
and contraction velocity, can alter the expression of mus-
cular strength (90,144). Force generation is dependent on
motor unit activation (217). Motor units are recruited ac-
cording to their size (from small to large, i.e., size principle)
(117). Adaptations with resistance training enable greater
force generation. These adaptations include enhanced neural
function (e.g., greater recruitment, rate of discharge
(159,181,217)), increased muscle CSA (6,170,232), changes in
muscle architecture (136), and possibly a role of metabolites
(215,226,230) for increased strength. The magnitude of
strength enhancement is dependent on the muscle actions used,
intensity, volume, exercise selection and order, rest periods
between sets, and frequency (245).
Muscle action. Most resistance training programs in-
clude primarily dynamic repetitions with both concentric
(muscle shortening) and eccentric (muscle lengthening)
muscle actions, whereas isometric muscle actions play a
secondary role. Greater force per unit of muscle size is
produced during eccentric actions (142). Eccentric actions
are also more neuromuscularly efficient (55,142), less met-
abolically demanding (58), and more conducive to hyper-
trophy (115), yet result in more delayed onset muscle sore-
ness (52) as compared with concentric actions. Dynamic
muscular strength improvements are greatest when eccentric
actions are included in the repetition movement (50). The
role of muscle action manipulation during resistance train-
ing is minimal with respect to progression. Considering that
most programs include concentric and eccentric muscle
actions in a given repetition, there is not much potential for
variation in this variable. However, some advanced pro-
grams use different forms of isometric training (e.g., func-
tional isometrics (128)), in addition to use of supramaximal
eccentric muscle actions in order to maximize gains in
strength and hypertrophy (139). These techniques have not
been extensively investigated but appear to provide a novel
stimulus conducive to increasing muscular strength. For
progression during strength training for novice, intermedi-
ate, and advanced individuals, it is recommended that both
concentric and eccentric muscle actions be included.
366
Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm-msse.org
Loading. Altering the training load affects the acute met-
abolic (40), hormonal (42,146,150,152,171,211), neural
(96,102,104,143,217), and cardiovascular (67,242) responses
to resistance exercise. Proper loading during strength training
encompasses either 1) increasing load on the basis of a load-
repetition continuum (e.g., performing eight repetitions with a
heavier load as opposed to 12 repetitions with a lighter load),
or 2) increasing loading within a prescribed zone (e.g., 812
RM). The load required to increase maximal strength in un-
trained individuals is fairly low. Loads of 4550% of 1 RM
(and less) have been shown to increase dynamic muscular
strength in previously untrained individuals (11,78,218,243,
253). It appears greater loading is needed with progression. At
least 80% of 1 RM is needed to produce any further neural
adaptations and strength during resistance training in experi-
enced lifters (96). Several pioneering studies indicated that
training with loads corresponding to 16 RM (mostly 56
RM) was most conducive to increasing maximal dynamic
strength (19,194,253). Although significant strength increases
have been reported using loads corresponding to 812 RM
(46,147,163,232), this loading range may not be as effective as
heavy loads for maximizing strength in advanced lifters. Re-
search examining periodized resistance training has demon-
strated that load prescription is not as simple as originally
suggested (68). Contrary to early short-term resistance training
studies from the 1960s, wherea6RMload was indicated, it
now appears that using a variety of training loads is most
conducive to maximizing muscular strength (68,147,238) as
opposed to performing all exercises with the same load. This is
especially true for long-term training. For novice individuals, it
has been recommended that moderate loading (60% of 1 RM)
be used initially, as learning proper form and technique is
paramount (63). However, a variety of loads appears to be most
effective for long-term improvements in muscular strength as
one progresses over time (68,241). It is recommended that
novice to intermediate lifters train with loads corresponding to
60–70% of 1 RM for 8–12 repetitions and advanced individ-
uals use loading ranges of 80–100% of 1 RM in a periodized
fashion to maximize muscular strength. For progression in
those individuals training at a specific RM load (e.g., 8–12
repetitions), it is recommended that a 2–10% increase be
applied on the basis of muscle group size and involvement (i.e.,
greater load increases may be used for large muscle group,
multiple-joint exercises than small muscle group exercises)
when the individual can perform the current intensity for one
to two repetitions over the desired number on two consecutive
training sessions.
Training volume. Training volume is a summation of
the total number of repetitions performed during a training
session multiplied by the resistance used. Training volume has
been shown to affect neural (107,112), hypertrophic (48,247),
metabolic (40,258), and hormonal (87,145,149,150,152,190,
209,252) responses and subsequent adaptations to resistance
training. Altering training volume can be accomplished by
changing the number of exercises performed per session, the
number of repetitions performed per set, or the number of
sets per exercise. Low-volume (e.g., high load, low repeti-
tions, moderate to high number of sets) programs have been
characteristic of strength training (96). Studies using two
(49,167), three (19,20,147,232,234), four to five (50,122,
131,177), and six or more (123,218) sets per exercise have
all produced significant increases in muscular strength in
both trained and untrained individuals. In direct comparison,
studies have reported similar strength increases in novice
individuals who trained using two and three sets (32), and
two and four sets (195), whereas three sets have been
reported as superior to one and two (20).
Another aspect of training volume that has received con-
siderable attention is the comparison of single- and multi-
ple-set resistance training programs. In most of these studies
to date, one set per exercise performed for 812 repetitions
at an intentionally slow velocity has been compared with
both periodized and nonperiodized multiple-set programs. A
common criticism of these investigations is that the number
of sets per exercise was not controlled for other variables
such as intensity, frequency, and repetition velocity. This
concern notwithstanding, comparisons have mostly been
between one popular single-set training program relative to
multiple-set programs of various intensity, and they have
yielded conflicting results. Several studies have reported
similar strength increases between single- and multiple-set
programs (38,130,178,212,227,231), whereas others re-
ported multiple-set programs superior (20,24,219,237,244)
in previously untrained individuals. These data have
prompted the notion that untrained individuals respond fa-
vorably to both single- and multiple-set programs and
formed the basis for the popularity of single-set training
among general fitness enthusiasts (63). In resistance-trained
individuals, though, multiple-set programs have been shown
to be superior for strength enhancement (147,154,155,222)
in all but one study (114). No study has shown single-set
training to be superior to multiple-set training in either
trained or untrained individuals. It appears that both pro-
grams are effective for increasing strength in untrained
individuals during short-term training (e.g., 3 months).
Long-term progression-oriented studies support the conten-
tion that higher training volume is needed for further im-
provement (24,165). It is recommended that a general re-
sistance training program (consisting of either single or
multiple sets) should be used by novice individuals initially.
For continued progression in intermediate to advanced in-
dividuals, data from longer term studies indicate that mul-
tiple-set programs should be used with a systematic varia-
tion of training volume and intensity (periodized training)
over time, as this has been shown to be the most effective for
strength improvement. In order to reduce the risk of over-
training, a dramatic increase in training volume is not
recommended. Finally, it is important to point out that not
all exercises need to be performed with the same number
of sets, and that emphasis of higher or lower training
volume is related to the program priorities as well as the
muscle(s) trained in an exercise movement.
Exercise selection. Both single- (39,193,263) and
multiple-joint exercises (107,112,147,238) have been
shown to be effective for increasing muscular strength in the
targeted muscle groups. Multiple-joint exercises (e.g., bench
PROGRESSION MODELS IN RESISTANCE TRAINING Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
367
press, squat) are more neurally complex (35) and have
generally been regarded as most effective for increasing
overall muscular strength because they enable a greater
magnitude of weight to be lifted (240). Single-joint exer-
cises (e.g., leg extension, arm and leg curls) have typically
been used to target specific muscle groups, and may pose a
lesser risk of injury because of the reduced level of skill and
technique involved. It is recommended that both exercise
types be included in a resistance training program with
emphasis on multiple-joint exercises for maximizing muscle
strength and closed kinetic chain movement capabilities in
novice, intermediate, and advanced individuals.
Free weights and machines. In general, weight ma-
chines have been regarded as safer to use and easy to learn,
and allow the performance of some exercises that may be
difficult with free weights (e.g., leg extension, lat pull down)
(73). In essence, machines help stabilize the body and limit
movement about specific joints involved in synergy and
focus the activation to a specific set of prime movers (73).
Unlike machines, free weights may result in a pattern of
intra- and intermuscular coordination that mimics the move-
ment requirements of a specific task. For novice to inter-
mediate training, it is recommended that the resistance
training program include free-weight and machine exer-
cises. For advanced strength training, it is recommended
that emphasis be placed on free-weight exercises, with ma-
chine exercises used to complement the program needs.
Exercise order. The sequencing of exercises signifi-
cantly affects the acute expression of muscular strength
(225). Considering that multiple-joint exercises have been
shown to be effective for increasing muscular strength,
maximizing performance of these exercises may be neces-
sary for optimal strength gains. This recommendation in-
cludes performance of these exercises early in the training
session when fatigue is minimal. In addition, the muscle
groups trained each workout may effect the order. There-
fore, recommendations for sequencing exercises for novice,
intermediate, and advanced strength training include:
When training all major muscle groups in a workout:
large muscle group exercises before small muscle
group exercises, multiple-joint exercises before single-
joint exercises, or rotation of upper and lower body
exercises.
When training upper body muscles on one day and
lower body muscles on a separate day: large muscle
group exercises before small muscle group exercises,
multiple-joint exercises before single-joint exercises,
or rotation of opposing exercises (agonist-antagonist
relationship).
When training individual muscle groups: multiple-
joint exercises before single-joint exercises, higher
intensity exercises before lower intensity exercises.
Rest periods. The amount of rest between sets and
exercises significantly affects the metabolic (153), hormonal
(149,150,152), and cardiovascular (67) responses to an
acute bout during resistance exercise, as well as perfor-
mance of subsequent sets (147) and training adaptations
(203,214). It has been shown that acute resistance exercise
performance may be compromised with short (i.e., 1 min)
rest periods (147). Longitudinal resistance training studies
have shown greater strength increases with long versus short
rest periods between sets (e.g., 23 min vs 3040 s)
(203,214). These data demonstrate the importance of recov-
ery during optimal strength training. It is important to note
that rest period length will vary on the basis of the goals of
that particular exercise (i.e., not every exercise will use the
same rest interval). Muscle strength may be increased using
short rest periods but at a slower rate, thus demonstrating the
need to establish goals (i.e., the magnitude of strength im-
provement sought) prior to selecting a rest interval. For
novice intermediate, and advanced training, it is recom-
mended that rest periods of at least 23 min be used for
multiple-joint exercises using heavy loads that stress a rel-
atively large muscle mass (e.g., squat, bench press). For
assistance exercises (those exercises complementary to core
exercise including exercises on machines, e.g., leg exten-
sion, leg curl), a shorter rest period length of 12 min may
suffice.
Velocity of muscle action. The velocity of muscular
contraction used to perform dynamic muscle actions affects
the neural (55,96,97), hypertrophic (123), and metabolic
(14) responses to resistance exercise. Studies examining
isokinetic resistance exercise have shown strength increases
specific to the training velocity with some carryover above
and below the training velocity (e.g., 30°·s
1
) (69). Several
investigators have trained individuals between 30 and
300°·s
1
and reported significant increases in muscular
strength (41,60,123,133,144,182,191,250). It appears that
training at moderate velocity (180240°·s
1
) produces the
greatest strength increases across all testing velocities (133).
Data obtained from isokinetic resistance training studies
support velocity specificity and demonstrate the importance
of training at fast, moderate, and slow velocities to improve
isokinetic force production across all testing velocities (69).
Dynamic constant external resistance (so-called isotonic)
training poses a different stress when examining training
velocity. Significant reductions in force production are ob-
served when the intent is to perform the repetition slowly. In
interpreting this, it is important to note that two types of
slow-velocity contractions exist during dynamic resistance
training: unintentional and intentional. Unintentional slow
velocities are used during high-intensity repetitions in which
either the loading and/or fatigue are responsible for limiting
the velocity of movement. One study has shown that during
a 5 RM bench press set, the concentric phase for the first
three repetitions was approximately 1.21.6 s in duration,
whereas the last two repetitions were approximately 2.5 and
3.3 s, respectively (183). These data demonstrate the impact
of loading and fatigue on repetition velocity in individuals
performing each repetition maximally.
Intentional slow-velocity contractions are used with sub-
maximal loads where the individual has greater control of
the velocity. It has been shown that concentric force pro-
duction was significantly lower for an intentionally slow
velocity (5 s concentric, 5 s eccentric) of lifting compared
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with a traditional (moderate) velocity with a corresponding
lower neural activation (139). These data suggest that motor
unit activity may be limited when intentionally contracting
at a slow velocity. In addition, the lighter loads required for
slow velocities of training may not provide an optimal
stimulus for strength enhancement in resistance-trained in-
dividuals, although some evidence does exist to support its
use as a component part of the program in the beginning
phases of training for highly untrained individuals (254). It
has recently been shown that when performing a set of 10
repetitions using a very slow velocity (10 s concentric, 5 s
eccentric) compared with a slow velocity (2 s concentric, 4 s
eccentric), a 30% reduction in training load was necessary,
which resulted in significantly less strength gains in most of
the exercises tested after 10 wk of training (137). Compared
with slow velocities, moderate (12 s concentric: 12s
eccentric) and fast ( 1 s concentric, 1 s eccentric) veloc-
ities have been shown to be more effective for enhanced
muscular performance (e.g., number of repetitions per-
formed, work and power output, volume) (156,188) and for
increasing the rate of strength gains (116). Recent studies
examining training at fast velocities with moderately high
loading have shown this to be more effective for advanced
training than traditionally slower velocities (132,189). For
untrained individuals, it is recommended that slow and
moderate velocities be used initially. For intermediate train-
ing, it is recommended that moderate velocity be used for
strength training. For advanced training, the inclusion of a
continuum of velocities from unintentionally slow to fast
velocities is recommended for maximizing strength. It is
important to note that proper technique is used for any
exercise velocity in order to reduce any risk of injury.
Frequency. Optimal training frequency (the number of
workouts per week) depends on several factors such as
training volume, intensity, exercise selection, level of con-
ditioning, recovery ability, and the number of muscle groups
trained per workout session. Numerous resistance training
studies have used frequencies of 23 alternating d·wk
1
in
previously untrained individuals (28,41,50,119). This has
been shown to be an effective initial frequency (20),
whereas 12d·wk
1
appears to be an effective maintenance
frequency for those individuals already engaged in a resis-
tance training program (89,184). In a few studies, a) 3
d·wk
1
was superior to 1 (176) and 2 d·wk
1
(88); b) 4
d·wk
1
was superior to 3 (125); c) 3 d·wk
1
was superior to
1 (207); and d) 35d·wk
1
was superior to 1 and 2 d·wk
1
(82) for increasing maximal strength. Therefore, it is rec-
ommended that novice individuals train the entire body 23
d·wk
1
.
It appears that progression to intermediate training does
not necessitate a change in frequency for training each
muscle group, but may be more dependent on alterations in
other acute variables such as exercise selection, volume, and
intensity. Increasing training frequency may enable greater
specialization (e.g., greater exercise selection and volume
per muscle group in accordance with more specific goals).
Performing upper-body exercises during one workout and
lower-body exercises during a separate workout (upper/
lower-body split) or training specific muscle groups (split
routines) during a workout are common at this level of
training in addition to total-body workouts (69). Similar
increases in strength have been observed between upper/
lower- and total-body workouts (30). It is recommended that
for progression to intermediate training, a similar frequency
of 23d·wk
1
continues to be used for total-body workouts.
For those individuals desiring a change in training struc-
ture (e.g., upper/lower-body split, split workout), an overall
frequency of 34d·wk
1
is recommended such that each
muscle group is trained 12d·wk
1
only.
Optimal frequency necessary for progression during ad-
vanced training varies considerably. It has been demon-
strated that football players training 45d·wk
1
achieved
better results than those who trained either 3 or 6 d·wk
1
(121). Advanced weightlifters and bodybuilders use high-
frequency training (e.g., 46d·wk
1
). The frequency for
elite weightlifters and bodybuilders may be even greater.
Double-split routines (two training sessions per day with
emphasis on different muscle groups) are common during
training (111,264), which may result in 812 training
sessions·wk
1
. Frequencies as high as 18 sessions·wk
1
have been reported in Olympic weightlifters (264). The
rationale for this high-frequency training is that frequent
short sessions followed by periods of recovery, supplemen-
tation, and food intake allow for high-intensity training via
maximal energy utilization and reduced fatigue during ex-
ercise performance (69). One study reported greater in-
creases in muscle CSA and strength when training volume
was divided into two sessions per day as opposed to one
(100). Elite power lifters typically train 46d·wk
1
(69). It
is important to note that not all muscle groups are trained per
workout using a high frequency. Rather, each major muscle
group may be trained 23 times·wk
1
despite the large
number of workouts. It is recommended that advanced
lifters train 46d·wk
1
. Elite weightlifters and bodybuild-
ers may benefit from using very high frequency (e.g., two
workouts in 1 d for 45d·wk
1
), so long as appropriate
steps are taken to optimize recovery and minimize the risk of
overtraining.
MUSCULAR HYPERTROPHY
It is well known that resistance training induces mus-
cular hypertrophy (129,170,232). Muscular hypertrophy
results from an accumulation of proteins, through either
increased rate of synthesis, decreased degradation, or
both (23). Recent developments have shown that protein
synthesis in human skeletal muscle increases following
only one bout of vigorous weight training (201,202).
Protein synthesis peaks approximately 24 h after exercise
and remains elevated from 23 h after exercise up
through 3648 h after exercise (81,162,202). It is unclear
whether resistance training increases synthesis of all cel-
lular proteins or only the myofibrillar proteins (201,264).
The types of protein synthesized may have direct impact
on various designs of resistance training programs (e.g.,
body building vs strength training) (264).
PROGRESSION MODELS IN RESISTANCE TRAINING Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
369
Several other factors have been identified that contribute
to the magnitude of muscle hypertrophy. Fast-twitch muscle
fibers typically hypertrophy to a greater extent than slow-
twitch fibers (6,115,170). Muscle lengthening has been
shown to reduce protein catabolism and increase protein
synthesis in animal models (85). Mechanical damage result-
ing from loaded eccentric muscle actions is a stimulus for
hypertrophy (16,80,161,173) that is somewhat attenuated by
chronic resistance training (80). Nevertheless, it has not
been shown that muscle damage is a requirement for hy-
pertrophy. This tissue remodeling process has been shown
to be significantly affected by the concentrations of testos-
terone, growth hormones, cortisol, insulin, and insulin-like
growth factor-1, which have been shown to increase during
and following an acute bout of resistance exercise
(1,145,146,150,152,171,211,232).
The time course of muscle hypertrophy has been exam-
ined during short-term training periods in previously un-
trained individuals. The nervous system plays a significant
role in the strength increases observed in the early stages of
adaptation to training (186). However, by 67 wk of train-
ing, muscle hypertrophy becomes evident (201), although
changes in the quality of proteins (232), fiber types (232),
and protein synthetic rates (201) take place much earlier.
From this point onward, there appears to be an interplay
between neural adaptations and hypertrophy in the expres-
sion of strength (217). Less muscle mass is recruited during
resistance training with a given intensity once adaptation
has taken place (204). These findings indicate that progres-
sive overloading is necessary for maximal muscle fiber
recruitment and, consequently, muscle fiber hypertrophy.
Advanced weightlifters have shown strength improvements
over a 2-yr period with little or no muscle hypertrophy
(112), indicating an important role for neural adaptations at
this high level of training for these competitive lifts. It
appears that this interplay is highly reflective of the training
stimulus involved and suggests that alterations in program
design targeting both neural and hypertrophic factors may be
most beneficial for maximizing strength and hypertrophy.
Program Design Recommendations for
Increasing Muscle Hypertrophy
Muscle action. Similar to training for strength, it is
recommended that both concentric and eccentric muscle
actions be included for novice, intermediate, and advanced
resistance training.
Loading and volume. Numerous types of resistance
training programs have been shown to stimulate muscle
hypertrophy in men and women (43,233). Resistance train-
ing programs targeting muscle hypertrophy utilize moderate
to very heavy loads and are typically high in volume (146).
These programs have been shown to initiate a greater acute
increase in testosterone and growth hormone than high-load,
low-volume programs with long (3-min) rest periods
(150,152). Total work, in addition to the forces developed,
has been implicated for gains in muscular hypertrophy
(189,226,230). This has been supported, in part, by greater
hypertrophy associated with high-volume, multiple-set pro-
grams compared with low-volume, single-set programs in
resistance-trained individuals (147,154,165). Traditional
strength training (high load, low repetition, long rest peri-
ods) has produced significant hypertrophy (96,247); how-
ever, it has been suggested that the total work involved with
traditional strength training may not maximize hypertrophy
(264). For novice and intermediate individuals, it is recom-
mended that moderate loading be used (7085% of 1 RM)
for 812 repetitions per set for one to three sets per exer-
cise. For advanced training, it is recommended that a load-
ing range of 70100% of 1 RM be used for 112 repetitions
per set for three to six sets per exercise in periodized
manner such that the majority of training is devoted to 612
RM and less training devoted to 16 RM loading.
Exercise selection and order. Both single- and mul-
tiple-joint exercises have been shown to be effective for in-
creasing muscular hypertrophy (39,147). The complexity of
the exercises chosen has been shown to affect the time course
of muscle hypertrophy such that multiple-joint exercises re-
quire a longer neural adaptive phase than single-joint exercises
(35). Less is understood concerning the effect of exercise order
on muscle hypertrophy. However, it appears that the recom-
mended exercise sequencing guidelines for strength training
may also apply for increasing muscle hypertrophy. It is rec-
ommended that both single- and multiple-joint exercises be
included in a resistance training program in novice, interme-
diate, and advanced individuals, with the order similar to that
recommended in training for strength.
Rest periods. Rest period length has been shown to
significantly affect muscular strength, but less is known
concerning hypertrophy. One study reported no significant
difference between 30, 90, and 180 s in muscle girth, skin-
folds, or body mass in recreationally trained men over 5 wk
(214). Short rest periods (12 min) coupled with moderate
to high intensity and volume have elicited the greatest acute
anabolic hormone response to resistance exercise in com-
parison with programs utilizing very heavy loads with long
rest periods (150,152). Although not a direct assessment of
muscle hypertrophy, the acute hormonal responses have
been regarded potentially more important for hypertrophy
than chronic changes (171). It is recommended that 1- to
2-min rest periods be used in novice and intermediate train-
ing programs. For advanced training, rest period length
should correspond to the goals of each exercise or the
training phase such that 2- to 3-min rest periods may be
used with heavy loading for core exercises and 1- to 2-min
rest periods may be used for all other exercises of moderate
to moderately high intensity.
Repetition velocity. Less is known concerning the effect
of repetition velocity on muscle hypertrophy. It has been sug-
gested that higher velocities of movement pose less of a stim-
ulus for hypertrophy than slow and moderate velocities (247).
It does appear that the use of different velocities of contraction
is warranted for long-term improvements in muscle hypertro-
phy for advanced training. It is recommended that slow to
moderate velocities be used by novice- and intermediate-
trained individuals. For advanced training, it is recommended
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that slow, moderate, and fast repetition velocities be used
depending on the load, repetition number, and goals of the
particular exercise.
Frequency. The frequency of training depends on the
number of muscle groups trained per workout. Frequencies
of 23d·wk
1
have been effective in novice and interme-
diate men and women (43,119,232). Higher frequency of
training has been suggested for advanced hypertrophy train-
ing. However, only certain muscle groups are trained per
workout with a high frequency. It is recommended that
frequencies similar to strength training be used when train-
ing for hypertrophy during novice, intermediate, and ad-
vanced training.
MUSCULAR POWER
The expression and development of power is important
from both a sports performance and a lifestyle perspective.
By definition, more power is produced when the same
amount of work is completed in a shorter period of time, or
when a greater amount of work is performed during the
same period of time. Neuromuscular contributions to max-
imal muscle power include 1) maximal rate of force devel-
opment (RFD) (105), 2) muscular strength at slow and fast
contraction velocities (134), 3) stretch-shortening cycle
(SSC) performance (25), and 4) coordination of movement
pattern and skill (223,263). Several studies have shown
improved power performance following a traditional resis-
tance training program (3,18,37,260,261). Yet, the effec-
tiveness of traditional resistance training methods for devel-
oping maximal power has been questioned because this type
of training tends to only increase maximal strength at slow
movement velocities rather than improving the other com-
ponents contributing to maximal power production (93).
Thus, alternative resistance training programs may prove to
be more effective. A program consisting of movements with
high power output using relatively light loads has been
shown to be more effective for improving vertical jump
ability than traditional strength training (105,106). It ap-
pears that heavy resistance training with slow velocities of
movement leads primarily to improvements in maximal
strength, whereas power training (utilizing light to moderate
loads at high velocities) increases force output at higher
velocities and RFD (106). However, it is important to si-
multaneously train for strength over time to provide the
basis for optimal power development (13).
Heavy resistance training may actually decrease power
output unless accompanied by explosive movements (22).
The inherent problem with traditional weight training is that
the load is decelerated for a considerable proportion (24
40%) of the concentric movement (54,198). This percentage
increases to 52% when performing the lift with a lower
percentage (81%) of 1 RM lifted (54) or when attempting to
move the bar rapidly in an effort to train more specifically
near the movement speed of the target activity (198). Bal-
listic resistance exercise (explosive movements that enable
acceleration throughout the full range of motion) has been
shown to limit this problem (196,197,261). One such bal-
listic resistance exercise is the loaded jump squat. Loaded
jump squats with 30% of 1 RM (134,187,189) have been
shown to increase vertical jump performance more than
traditional back squats and plyometrics (261). These results
indicate the importance of minimizing the deceleration
phase when maximal power is the training goal.
Exercise selection and order. Multiple-joint exer-
cises have been used extensively for power training. The
inclusion of total-body exercises (e.g., power clean, push
press) is recommended, as these exercises have been shown
to require rapid force production (77). These exercises do
require additional time for learning, and it is strongly rec-
ommended that proper technique be stressed for novice and
intermediate training. Critical to performance of these ex-
ercises is the quality of effort per repetition (maximal ve-
locity). The use of predominately multiple-joint exercises
performed with sequencing guidelines similar to strength
training is recommended for novice, intermediate, and ad-
vanced power training.
Loading/volume/repetition velocity. Considering that
resistance training program design has been effective for im-
proving muscular strength and power in novice- and interme-
diate-trained individuals, it is recommended that a power com-
ponent consisting of one to three sets per exercise using light
to moderate loading (3060% of 1 RM) for three to six
repetitions performed not to failure be integrated into the
intermediate strength training program. Progression for power
enhancement uses various loading strategies in a periodized
manner. Heavy loading (85100% of 1 RM) is necessary for
increasing the force component of the power equation and light
to moderate loading (3060% of 1 RM) performed at an
explosive velocity is necessary for increasing fast force pro-
duction. A multiple-set (three to six sets) power program inte-
grated into a strength training program consisting of one to six
repetitions in periodized manner is recommended for advanced
power training.
Rest periods and frequency. The recommendations
for rest period length and training frequency for power
training are similar to those for novice, intermediate, and
advanced strength training.
LOCAL MUSCULAR ENDURANCE
Local muscular endurance has been shown to improve
during resistance training (11,124,164,165,175,242).
More specifically, submaximal local muscular and high-
intensity endurance (also called strength endurance) have
been investigated. Traditional resistance training has
been shown to increase absolute muscular endurance (the
maximal number of repetitions performed with a specific
pretraining load) (11,124,147), but limited effects are
observed in relative local muscular endurance (endurance
assessed at a specific relative intensity, or percentage of
1 RM) (169). Moderate- to low-resistance training with
high repetitions has been shown to be most effective for
improving absolute and relative local muscular endurance
(11,124). A relationship exists between increases in
strength and local muscle endurance such that strength
PROGRESSION MODELS IN RESISTANCE TRAINING Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
371
training alone may improve local muscular endurance to
a certain extent. However, specificity of training pro-
duces the greatest improvements (11,243). Training to
increase local muscular endurance implies the individual
1) performs high repetitions (long-duration sets) and/or
2) minimizes recovery between sets (11).
Exercise selection and order. Exercises stressing
multiple or large muscle groups have elicited the greatest
acute metabolic responses during resistance exercise
(14,220,246). Metabolic demand is an important stimulus
concerning the adaptations within skeletal muscle necessary
to improve local muscular endurance (increased mitochon-
drial and capillary number, fiber type transitions, buffering
capacity). The sequencing of exercises may not be as im-
portant in comparison with strength training, as fatigue is a
necessary component of endurance training. It is recom-
mended that both multiple- and single-joint exercises be
included in a program targeting improved local muscular
endurance using various sequencing combinations for nov-
ice, intermediate, and advanced training.
Loading and volume. Light loads coupled with high
repetitions (1520 or more) have been shown to be most
effective for increasing local muscular endurance (11,243).
However, moderate to heavy loading (coupled with short rest
periods) is also effective for increasing high-intensity and ab-
solute local muscular endurance (11,175). High-volume pro-
grams have been shown to be superior for endurance enhance-
ment (119,147,165,243), especially when multiple sets per
exercise are performed (147,165,175). For novice and inter-
mediate training, it is recommended that relatively light loads
be used (1015 repetitions) with moderate to high volume. For
advanced training, it is recommended that various loading
strategies be used for multiple sets per exercise (1025 repe-
titions or more) in periodized manner.
Rest periods. The duration of rest intervals during
resistance exercise appears to affect muscular endurance.
It has been shown that bodybuilders (who typically train
with high volume and short rest periods) demonstrate a
significantly lower fatigue rate in comparison with power
lifters (who typically train with low to moderate volume
and longer rest periods) (153). These data demonstrate
the benefits of high-volume, short-rest-period workouts
for improving local muscular endurance. It is recom-
mended that short rest periods be used for endurance
training (i.e., 12 min for high-repetition sets (1520
repetitions or more), and less than 1 min for moderate
(1015 repetitions) sets.
Frequency. The recommended frequency for local mus-
cular endurance training is similar to that for hypertrophy
training.
Repetition velocity. Studies examining isokinetic exer-
cise have shown that a fast training velocity (i.e., 180°·s
1
)is
more effective than a slow training velocity (i.e., 30°·s
1
) for
improving local muscular endurance (4,182). Thus, fast con-
traction velocities are recommended for isokinetic training.
However, it appears that both fast and slow velocities are
effective for improving local muscular endurance during dy-
namic constant external resistance training. Two effective strat-
egies used to prolong set duration are 1) moderate repetition
number using an intentionally slow velocity, and 2) high rep-
etition number using moderate to fast velocities. Intentionally
slow velocity training with light loads (5 s concentric, 5 s
eccentric and slower) places continued tension on the muscles
for an extended period and is more metabolically demanding
than moderate and fast velocities (14). However, it is difficult
to perform a large number of repetitions using intentionally
slow velocities. It is recommended that intentionally slow ve-
locities be used when a moderate number of repetitions (10
15) are used. If performing a large number of repetitions
(1525 or more) is the goal, then moderate to faster velocities
are recommended.
MOTOR PERFORMANCE
The effect of resistance training on various motor perfor-
mance skills has been investigated (3,45,121,237). The impor-
tance of improved motor performance resulting from resistance
training has implications not only for the training of specific
athletic movements but also the performance of activities of
daily living (i.e., balance, stair climbing). The principle of
specificity is important for improving motor performance, as
the greatest improvements are observed when resistance train-
ing programs are prescribed that are specific to the task or
activity. The recommendations for improving motor perfor-
mance are similar to those for strength and power training
(discussed in previous sections).
Vertical jump. Force production has correlated positively
to vertical jump height (27,168,205,255). This relationship
between jumping ability and muscular strength/power in ex-
ercises with high speeds of movement is consistent with
the angular velocity of the knee joint during the vertical
jump (53). Several studies have reported significant im-
provements in vertical jump following resistance training
(3,13,238). Multiple-joint exercises such as the Olympic
style lifts have been suggested to improve jumping ability
(77,262). The high velocity and joint involvement of
these exercises, and their ability to integrate strength,
power, and neuromuscular coordination, demonstrate a
direct carryover to improving jump performance. Some
studies (105,261) have reported significant improvements
in jump height using light loads ( 60% of 1 RM), which
supports the theory of high-velocity, ballistic training.
Other reports suggest that increases in vertical jump
height can be achieved while using higher intensities (
80% of 1 RM) of training (3,262). Multiple-set resistance
training programs have been shown to be superior for
improving vertical jump performance in comparison with
single-set training programs (147). Resistance training
programs of 56d·wk
1
elicit greater vertical jump im-
provements (2.34.3%) than programs of 34d·wk
1
(01.2%) in resistance-trained Division 1AA college
football players (121). The inclusion of plyometric train-
ing (explosive form of exercise involving various jumps)
in combination with resistance training has been shown to
be most effective for improving jumping ability (3). It is
recommended that multiple-joint exercises be performed
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using a combination of both heavy and light to moderate
loading (using fast repetition velocity) with moderate to
high volume in periodized fashion 46d·wk
1
for max-
imal progression in vertical jumping ability.
Sprint speed. Force production is related to sprint per-
formance (5,10,229) and appears to be a better indicator of
speed when strength testing is performed at isokinetic veloci-
ties greater than 180°·s
1
(200). Absolute strength increases
can improve the force component of the power equation. How-
ever, increasing maximal strength does not appear to be highly
related to reducing sprint time (12). Strength training has only
produced small, nonsignificant reductions ( 1%) in sprint
times (44,76,121). When strength and sprint training are com-
bined, significant improvements in sprinting speed are ob-
served (45). The inclusion of high-velocity movements is par-
amount for improving sprintspeed (45).It isrecommended that
the combination of traditional heavy resistance and ballistic
resistance exercise (along with other training modalities such
as sprints and plyometrics) be included for progression in
sprinting ability.
Sport-specific activities. The importance of resis-
tance training for other sport-specific activities has been
demonstrated (36,154). The importance of strength and bal-
listic resistance training for the kicking limb of soccer
players (210), throwing velocity (70,120,157,174,199), shot
put performance (36), and tennis service velocity (154) has
been demonstrated.
GENERAL-TO-SPECIFIC MODEL
OF PROGRESSION
There have been a limited number of studies that examined
different modelsof progression over long-term resistance train-
ing. Most resistance training studies are short term (624 wk)
and have used predominantly untrained individuals. Little is
known about longer training periods. Resistance-trained indi-
viduals have shown a slower rate of progression
(83,107,112,221). Advanced lifters have demonstrated a com-
plex cyclical pattern of training variation to optimize perfor-
mance (107,112).It appears that resistance training progression
occurs in an orderly manner, from a basic program design
initially to a more specific design with higher levels of training
when the rate of improvement becomes slower. For example,
a general program used by a novice individual will most likely
increase muscle hypertrophy, strength, power, and local mus-
cular endurance simultaneously. However, this same program
will not have the same effect in a trained individual (strength,
hypertrophy, local muscular endurance, or power would have
to be trained specifically). Therefore, it is recommended that
program design progress from simple to complex during the
progression from novice, intermediate, and advanced training.
PROGRESSION MODELS FOR RESISTANCE
EXERCISE IN HEALTHY, OLDER ADULTS
Long-term progression in resistance training in healthy,
older adults is brought about by chronically manipulating
the acute program variables. However, caution must be
taken with the elderly population as to the rate of progres-
sion. Furthermore, each individual will respond differently
to a given resistance training program on the basis of his
or her current training status, past training experience,
and the individual response to the training stress (94).
The design of a quality resistance training program for
the older adult should attempt to improve the quality of
life by enhancing several components of muscular fitness
(56). Programs that include variation, gradual progressive
overload, specificity, and careful attention to recovery are
recommended (2).
Muscular strength and hypertrophy are crucial compo-
nents of quality of life. As life expectancy increases, the
decline in muscle strength associated with aging becomes
a matter of increasing importance. Optimizing strength to
meet and exceed performance goals is important to a
growing number of older adults who wish to live a fit,
active, independent lifestyle. Resistance training to im-
prove muscle hypertrophy is instrumental in limiting
sarcopenia. Numerous studies have investigated the ef-
fects of resistance training on muscular strength and size
in older adults and have shown that both increase as long
as basic requirements of intensity and volume are met
(2,29,34,56,65,74,75,99,101,103,108,151). The basic
health/fitness resistance training program recommended
by the ACSM for the healthy adult (8) has been an
effective starting point in the elderly population (63).
When the older adults long-term resistance training
goal is progression towards higher levels of muscular
strength and hypertrophy, evidence supports the use of
variation in the resistance training program
(94,101,103,151). Nevertheless, variation may take place
with any of the previously mentioned variables (e.g.,
exercise selection, order, intensity, volume, rest periods,
frequency). Studies have shown significant improvements
in muscular strength regardless of age (2,56,65,74,75,185).
It is important that progression be introduced into this pop-
ulation at a very gradual pace, as the potential for strength
adaptation appears high (2). Recommendations for improv-
ing muscular strength and hypertrophy in older adults sup-
port the use of both multiple- and single-joint exercises
(perhaps machines initially with progression to free weights
with training experience) with slow to moderate lifting ve-
locity, for one to three sets per exercise with 6080% of 1
RM for 812 repetitions with 12 min of rest in between
sets.
The ability to develop muscular power diminishes with
age (64,101). An increase in power enables the older
adult to improve performance in tasks that require a rapid
rate of force development (17), including a reduced risk
of accidental falls. There is support for the inclusion of
resistance training specific for power development for the
healthy older adult (99,101,103,151). Muscle atrophy,
especially in fast fibers, is most likely attributable to a combi-
nation of aging and very low physical activity levels
(57,61,160) and is associated with considerable decreases in
muscle strength and power (74,98,99,103). The decreases in
maximal power have been shown to exceed those of maximal
PROGRESSION MODELS IN RESISTANCE TRAINING Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
373
muscle strength (26,98,99,103,179,228). Power development
programs for the elderly may help optimize functional abilities
as well as have secondary effects on other physiological sys-
tems (e.g., connective tissue) (17). On the basis of available
evidence, it appears prudent to include high-velocity (nonbal-
listic), low-intensity movements to maintain structure and
function of the neuromuscular system. The recommendations
for increasing power in healthy older adults include 1) training
to improve muscular strength as previously discussed, and 2)
the performance of both single- and multiple-joint exercises
(machine-based initially progressing to free weights) for one to
three sets per exercise using light to moderate loading (40
60% of 1 RM) for 610 repetitions with high repetition
velocity.
Improvements in local muscular endurance in the older
adult may lead to an enhanced ability to perform submaxi-
mal work and recreational activities. Studies examining the
development of local muscular endurance in the older adult
are limited. It has been shown that local muscular endurance
may be enhanced by circuit weight training (78), strength
training (124), and high-repetition, moderate-load programs
(11,243) in younger populations. Considering that local
muscular endurance improvements are attained with low to
moderate loading, it appears that similar recommendations
may apply to the aged as well (e.g., low to moderate loads
performed for moderate to high repetitions (1015 or more)
with short rest intervals).
CONCLUSION
Progression of a resistance training program is dependent
on the development of appropriate and specific training
goals. An overview can be seen in Table 1. It requires the
prioritization of training systems to be used during a specific
training cycle to achieve desired results. Resistance training
progression should be an individualized process of exer-
cise prescription using the appropriate equipment, program
design, and exercise techniques needed for the safe and
effective implementation of a program. Trained and com-
petent strength and conditioning specialists should be in-
volved with this process in order to optimize the safety and
design of a training program. Whereas examples and guide-
lines can be presented, ultimately the good judgment, ex-
perience, and educational training of the exercise profes-
sionals involved with this process will dictate the amount of
training success. Nevertheless, many exercise prescription
options are available in the progression of resistance train-
ing to attain goals related to health, fitness, and physical
performance.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This pronouncement was reviewed for the American Col-
lege of Sports Medicine by members-at-large; the Pro-
nouncements Committee; Gregg Haff, BS, BA, BPE;
Michael Deschenes, Ph.D., FACSM; and Stephen Alway,
Ph.D., FACSM.
TABLE 1. Summary of resistance training recommendations: an overview of different program variables needed for progression with different fitness levels.
Muscle
Action Selection Order Loading Volume Rest Intervals Velocity Frequency
Strength For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv:
Nov. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. Large small 60–70% of 1RM 1–3 sets, 8–12 reps 2–3 min. for core S, M 2–3/week
Int. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. MJ SJ 70–80% of 1RM Mult. Sets, 6–12 reps 1–2 min. for others M 2–4/week
Adv. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. emphasis: MJ HI LI 1RM PER. Mult. Sets, 1–12 reps PER. US-F 4–6/week
Hypertrophy For Nov, Int, Adv:
Nov. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. Large small 60–70% of 1RM 1–3 sets, 8–12 reps 1–2 min. S, M 2–3/week
Int. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. MJ SJ 70–80% of 1RM Mult. Sets, 6–12 reps 1–2 min. S, M 2–4/week
Adv. ECC & CON SJ & MJ HI LI 70–100% of 1RM with emphasis on
70–85% PER
Mult. Sets, 1–12 reps with emphasis
on 6–12 reps PER
2–3 min. VH; 1–2 min.
L-MH
S, M, F 4–6/week
Power For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv:
Nov. ECC & CON Mostly MJ Large small Heavy loads (80%) strength;
Light (30–60%) velocity PER
Train for strength 2–3 min. for core M 2–3/week
Int. ECC & CON Most complex least complex 1–3 sets, 3–6 reps 1–2 min. for others F 2–4/week
Adv. ECC & CON HI LI 3–6 sets, 1–6 reps PER F 4–6/week
Endurance For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv: For Nov, Int, Adv:
Nov. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. Variety in sequencing is
recommended
50–70% of 1RM 1–3 sets, 10–15 reps 1–2 min for high rep sets S MR 2–3/week
Int. ECC & CON SJ & MJ ex. 50–70% of 1RM Mult. Sets, 10–15 reps or more 1 min for 10–15 reps M HR 2–4/week
Adv. ECC & CON SJ & MJ 30–80% of 1RM PER Mult. Sets, 10–25 reps or more PER 4–6/week
ECC, eccentric; CON, concentric; Nov., novice; Int., intermediate; Adv., advanced; SJ, single-joint; MJ, multiple-joint; ex., exercises; HI, high intensity; LI, low intensity; 1RM, 1-repetition maximum; PER., periodized; VH, very heavy; L-MH,
light-to-moderately-heavy; S, slow; M, moderate; US, unintentionally slow; F, fast; MR, moderate repetitions; HR, high repetitions.
374
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Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm-msse.org
... The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has listed several factors associated with the specificity of strength training, which may be of use when designing strengthtraining programmes. These include the following: muscle actions involved, speed of movement, range of motion, the muscle groups to be trained, energy systems involved, intensity and training volume [16]. To improve walking in populations with neurology, a theoretical framework (based on the ACSM guidelines on the specificity and biomechanics of walking) has been proposed, targeting hip and ankle plantar flexors in strength exercises [17]. ...
... Williams et al. [17] published a theoretical framework for improving walking function in a population with neurological disorders, discussing the general principles for strength training described in the ACSM [16] (guidelines developed for typically developing) for use when designing exercise interventions. Ballistic strength training maximizes the acceleration phase, minimizes the deceleration phase and intentionally increases the forcecurve slope. ...
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Background Persons with cerebral palsy (CP) walk with reduced ankle plantar flexor power compared to typically developing. In this study, we investigated whether a ballistic strength-training programme targeting ankle plantar flexors could improve muscle strength, muscle architecture and walking function in adults with CP. Methods Eight adults (mildly affected CP) underwent eight weeks of ballistic strength training, with two sessions per week. Before and after the intervention preferred walking speed, ankle plantar flexion rate of force development (RFD), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), muscle thickness, pennation angle and fascicle length were measured. Data are presented for individuals, as well as for groups. Group changes were analysed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results Data were analysed for eight participants (five women, mean age 37.9 years; six GMFCS I and two GMFCS II). Two participants increased their walking speed, but there were no significant group changes. In terms of muscle strength, there were significant group changes for RFD at 100 ms and MVC. In the case of muscle architecture, there were no group changes. Conclusion In this study, we found that eight weeks of ballistic strength training improved ankle plantar flexor muscle strength but walking function and muscle architecture were unchanged. Larger studies will be needed to obtain conclusive evidence of the efficacy of this training method.
... The top five institutions in the publication quantity were the University of Sao Paulo, Yonsei University of Korea, University of Montreal, University of Aalborg and Shanghai Jiaotong University ( Table 2). The University of Sao Paulo in Brazil has published the most significant number of studies (36), followed by the Yonsei University of Korea (28) and the University of Montreal in Canada (20). Therefore, based on the publications, we found that the institutions from Brazil, Korea, Canada and China paid more concerned with the research of the rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG currently. ...
... The top 5 authors were Andersen LL, Zhang X, Zhou P, Chen X and Hu XL (Table 3). 29,[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39] They are active and professional authors in this field. The most prolific author was Andersen LL, from the Mayo Clinic in the United States, with 28 articles. ...
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Objective: Surface electromyography (sEMG) has been widely applied to rehabilitation medicine. However, the bibliometric analysis of the rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG is vastly unknown. Therefore, this research aimed to investigate the current trends of the rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG in the recent 12 years by using CiteSpace (5.8). Methods: Literature relating to rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG from 2010 to 2021 was retrieved from the Web of Science. CiteSpace analyzed country, institution, cited journals, authors, cited references and keywords. An analysis of counts and centrality was used to reveal publication outputs, countries, institutions, core journals, active authors, foundation references, hot topics and frontiers. Results: A total of 1949 publications were retrieved from 2010 to 2021. The total number of publications continually increased over the past 12 years, and the most active countries, institutions, journals and authors in rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG were identified. The most productive country and institution in this field were America (484) and the University of Sao Paulo (36). Andersen LL (28) was the most prolific author, and Dario Farina ranked first among the cited authors. Besides, there were three main frontiers in keywords for sEMG research, including "activation", "exercise", and "strength". Conclusion: The findings from this bibliometric study provide the current status and trends in clinical research of rehabilitation medicine use of sEMG over the past ten years, which may help researchers identify hot topics and explore new directions for future research in this field.
... However, no consensus exists regarding the most effective exercise load (i.e., % of one-repetition maximum [1RM]) to increase power 3 . A previous position stand 6 has recommended using a combination of light (<60% of 1RM) and heavy loads (85%-100% of 1RM) to affect both the force and velocity aspect of power, while other recommendations 7 prescribe loads between 20-50% of 1RM to increase power in healthy adults. The inconsistency concerning recommendations for training intensities is proposed to be, amongst other reasons, a result of individual differences in force-velocity characteristics 1,8,9 . ...
... Additionally, limited knowledge exists regarding mechanisms and adaptations after low-load high-velocity type training 17 . Consequently, there is limited consensus regarding power training recommendations for older adults 3,6 . ...
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The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an individualized power training program based on force‐velocity (FV) profiling on physical function, muscle morphology, and neuromuscular adaptations in older men. Forty‐nine healthy men (68±5yrs) completed a 10‐week training period to enhance muscular power. They were randomized to either a generic power training group (GPT) or an individualized power training group (IPT). Unlike generic training, individualized training was based on low‐ or high‐resistance exercises, from an initial force‐velocity profile. Lower‐limb FV‐profile was measured in a pneumatic leg‐press, and physical function was assessed as timed up and go time (TUG), sit‐to‐stand power, grip strength, and stair climbing time (loaded [20kg] and unloaded). Vastus lateralis morphology was measured with ultrasonography. Rate of force development (RFD) and rate of myoelectric activity (RMA) were measured during an isometric knee extension. The GPT group improved loaded stair climbing time (6.3±3.8 vs. 2.3±7.3%, p=0.04) more than IPT. Both groups improved stair climbing time, sit to stand, and leg press power, grip strength, muscle thickness, pennation angle, fascicle length, and RMA from baseline (p<0.05). Only GPT increased loaded stair climbing time and RFD (p<0.05). An individualized power training program based on FV‐profiling did not improve physical function to a greater degree than generic power training. A generic power training approach combining both heavy and low loads might be advantageous through eliciting both force and velocity related neuromuscular adaptions with a concomitant increase in muscular power and physical function in older men.
... Each session lasted 15 min. Based on the principles of muscle training with progressive resistance [52], each exercise cycle started with a pretensioned rubber band, increased progressively following the principle of periodisation and progressive overload. The loads were applied by rubber bands measuring 20 cm wide by 2 m long with colour-coded graduations (TheraBand ® , Akron, OH, USA) [53]. ...
... In general, the exercise programme showed positive effects, as the perception of quality of life tended to increase in the IG, which is in agreement with the literature [24,25,27,43,52,58]. ...