Designing and Monitoring a Strength Training Program
1. Set goals. List goals for your strength training program. Your goals can be specific or general, short or long term. In the first section, include
specific, measurable goals that you can use to track the progress of your fitness program for example, raising your upper-body muscular strength rating from fair to good or being able to complete 10 repetitions of a lat pull with 125 pounds of resistance. In the second section, include longterm and more qualitative goals, such as improving self-confidence and reducing your risk for back pain.
Designing and Monitoring a Strength Training Program Photo Gallery
Specific Goals: Current Status
2. Choose exercises. Based on your goals, choose 8-10 exercises to perform during each weight training session. If your goal is general training for wellness, use the sample program in Figure 4.3 on p. 107. List your exercises and the muscles they develop in your program plan.
3. Frequency: Choose the number of training sessions per week. Work out at least two nonconsecutive days per week. Indicate the days you will train in your program plan; be sure to include days of rest to allow your body to recover.
4. Intensity: Choose starting weights. Experiment with different amounts of weight until you settle on a good starting weight, one that you can lift easily for 10-12 repetitions. As you progress in your program, add more weight. Fill in the starting weight for each exercise in your program plan.
5. Time: Choose a starting number of sets and repetitions. Include at least one set of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. (When you add weight, you may have to decrease the number of repetitions slightly until your muscles adapt to the heavier load.) If your program is focusing on strength alone, your sets can contain fewer repetitions using a heavier load. If you are over approximately age 50-60, your sets should contain more repetitions (10-15) using a lighter load. Fill in the starting number of sets and repetitions of each exercise in your program plan.
6. Monitor your progress. Use the workout card on the next page to monitor your progress and keep track of exercises, weights, sets, and repetitions.
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