The Joint Ventures' Blog

Resistance Training Basics

Thursday, September 26, 2019

When we think of resistance or weight training, it probably means somewhat different things to each of us.Resistance training encompasses a wide range of specific effects to our neuromuscular system.You may be interested in developing explosive power, building muscle mass or strength, more endurance, or just trying to stay strong for the demands of your daily activities. Depending on what your fitness goals are, you will benefit from a specific program targeted at meeting those goals.And whether you are new to resistance training or have been doing it for a while, there are some basic principles to follow that can be helpful in maximizing the results from your training.

There are numerous factors and variables to consider with resistance training.These include an individual’s level of experience and history with resistance training, the amount of weight lifted, the speed of the movement, the number of sets and repetitions performed, the duration of the rest period between sets, and the frequency of lifting sessions.There many ways to manipulate these variables to have an impact on the training effect.The purpose of this blog post is to go over some of the basics of resistance training with an emphasis of proper weight/load and repetition selection.

One of the most important principles of resistance training is proper load selection.The number of repetitions that can be performed is inversely related to the load lifted.This means that the heavier the weight, the fewer the number of times it can be lifted.Manipulating the load is a very important consideration in resistance training and by doing this, you are able to target a specific training effect.The specific muscle adaptations to target with resistance training are muscle endurance, hypertrophy/muscle mass, strength, and power.

Whatever your desired training goal is, you want to find the load that allows to work in the targeted repetition range.This is important to fully maximize potential results from training.Since everyone is different, the proper weight selection will take some trial and error.If your goal is to build muscle endurance, you want to target a load that you can perform for 2-3 sets of 12-15+ repetitions with 30-45 seconds of rest in between.If you want to increase muscle hypertrophy or size, you should perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions with 60-90 seconds of rest in between.If the goal is to build muscle strength, 3-5 sets of 4-8 repetitions with 2-3 minutes of rest in between is recommended.Muscle power exercises are more technical and require a lot of skill and coordination. The load will be lighter due to the emphasis on the explosiveness and speed of the movement. You would perform 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions with 2-4 minutes of rest between sets.These are general principles and there is plenty of room for variability.

Training Goal   # of Repetitions # of Sets Rest Period
Muscle Endurance 12-15+ 2-3 30-45 seconds
Muscle Hypertrophy 8-12 3-5 60-90 seconds
Muscle Strength 4-8 3-5 2-3 minutes
Muscle Power 3-5 3-5 2-4 minutes

Once you find the proper load to lift and begin training towards your goals, it is important to know how to progress the resistance as you are able.Whatever the training goal is, the effort level should be moderate to high and you need to consistently assess ability to meet the targeted repetition range.The neuromuscular system responds to progressive loading and without an appropriate training stimulus continued muscular adaptation will be minimized.

So, how do you know when you should increase the weight you are lifting to keep progressing towards your training goals? A good general rule to follow is that if you are able to perform 2-3 sets of an exercise at your desired repetition range for your training goal and at the end of the last set you feel that you can perform an additional few repetitions without compromising technique, you can increase the resistance and continue along with that approach.

The world of resistance training has many facets and there are many variables to manipulate to maximize the potential to meet your goals.There is a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming.The purpose of this blog was to provide some general information and by no means does it address all potentially relevant aspects of resistance training but hopefully it gives some helpful information and guidance that will be useful to your fitness goals.If you would like to learn more, please to stop by the Downtown Office or email Dave Carleton at


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