There some basic principles to follow while prescribing exercise, you can find them just below. Also, see the booklet with examples on how to address each of these basic principles.
- Program – your overall fitness program is composed of various exercise types such as aerobic training, flexibility training, strength training and balance exercises
- Weight – different weights or other types of resistance, for example a 3 kg hand weight or fixed weight, body weight or rubber band will be used for different exercises during your strength training session
- Exercise – a particular movement, for example a calf-raise, is designed to strengthen a particular muscle or group of muscles
- Repetitions or reps – refers to the number of times you continuously repeat each exercise in a set
- Set – is a group of repetitions performed without resting, for example, two sets of squats by 15 reps would mean you do 15 squats then rest muscles before doing another 15 squats
- Rest – you need to rest between sets. Rest periods vary depending on the intensity of exercise being undertaken
- Variety – switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt and strengthen
- Progressive overload principle – to continue to gain benefits, strength training activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition. The aim is to use an appropriate weight or resistant force that will challenge you, while maintaining good technique. Also, regular adjustments to the training variables, such as frequency, duration, exercises for each muscle group, number of exercises for each muscle group, sets and repetitions, help to make sure you progress and improve
- Recovery – muscle needs time to repair and adapt after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for up to 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.
Hoffman J, R. (2012). National Strength and Conditioning Association. Guide to Program Design. Human Kinetics. Champagne, IL.