Designing a Exercise Program: The Basic Principles and Recommendations


When it comes to exercise, one can take many different approaches to achieve their goals. However, it's important to remember the basic principles of strength training when designing an exercise program. These principles include individuality, specificity, and overload, and they should be considered when selecting the appropriate number of exercises and training frequency.

Individuality refers to the fact that everyone has unique needs and goals, so the program should be tailored to their specific needs. This means that when designing an exercise program, it's essential to consider the trainee's level and goals and individual factors such as training background, age, genetics, sleep habits, stress factors, nutrition, and gender. For most individuals, performing 10-20 sets per muscle group per week is recommended, closer to 10 sets for beginners and more if needed for more experienced exercisers.

Specificity refers to the idea that the program should be designed to achieve specific goals. This means that selecting muscle group-specific exercises is essential, and several exercises that work the muscles from different angles are advisable for individual muscle groups. It's also important to vary the distribution of exercises to introduce stimulus variation into training.

Progressive overload refers to the idea that the program should be challenging enough to stimulate muscle growth. The appropriate number of exercises and training frequency depends mainly on the trainee's level and goals, available time, and schedule. Generally, 2-3 sessions per week are recommended for beginners and 3-6 sessions per week for more experienced exercisers. The intensity should be approximately 70%1RM of sets in the repetition range 6-12 and the remaining sets in the repetition range ≤ 5 and + 12. The frequency should be 2+ exercises per muscle group per week.

Remembering the length of an individual workout is essential, as this can influence the number of exercises per week. If not many days are available for training, slightly longer sessions may be possible.

In conclusion, designing an exercise program involves considering the basic principles of strength training, selecting the appropriate number of exercises and training frequency, and selecting the proper volume and intensity. By keeping these principles in mind and tailoring the program to the individual's needs and goals, one can design an effective exercise program to help them achieve their fitness goals.

All these have been considered in the IFBB Academy Training Guides. So, you don't have to start thinking and learning about how to make the best possible training program when your goal is the physics of a particular division in fitness sports.


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