Saturday, June 18, 2011

How To Design a Strength Training Program

Effective strength training programs start with assessments. After a posture, range of motion, baseline strength/ endurance and dynamic movement assessment, a Needs Analysis must be completed!  The needs is composed of four simple questions that will give the strength training program direction:

1. What major muscle groups needs to be trained?
2. What type of training should be used?
3. What energy system should be stressed?
4. What are the primary sites of concern for injury prevention?
NEEDS ANALYSIS EXAMPLE: Applied to me, sport = cycling
  1. Cycling dominant muscle groups: Gluteus maximus, medius, quadriceps, hip fexors, hamstrings, ab-/adductors.
  1. Cycling specific training: Plyometrics, flexibility, power, upper body strength.
  1. Aerobic system (endurance)- 30-80% 1RM, 10-25 reps, 3+ reps, moderate speed of movement. 2x/week.
  1. Anaerobic system (strength, power)- ~1RM, 1-12 reps, 3+ sets, slow eccentric/ concentric, 1x/week
  1. Clavicle fractures are common cycling injuries. Strengthening muscles that support this bony structure is important to prevent injury.
After you answer these questions, you need to calculate your one rep max for each exercise and use that value to calculate the weight you need to lift to achieve greater strength, hypertrophy, power and endurance.
  • Strength: 60-70% 1RM, 1-3 sets, 8-12 reps, 2-3 min rest (core) or 1-2 min other muscle groups
  • Hypertrophy (increase muscle size): 60-70% 1RM, 1-3 sets, 8-12 reps, 1-2 min rest
  • Power: >80% 1RM, same as strength, 2-3 min rest (core)/ 1-2 min other muscle groups
  • Endurance: 50-70% 1RM, 1-3 sets, 10-15 reps, 1-2 min rest for high rep sets
These are the guidelines for non athletes determined by the American College of Sports Medicine.  Consult a physician before starting any exercise program to identify any health related problems that exercise could induce.

American College of Sports Medicine: Position stand on progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 34(2):364-380 (2002).