The Exercise Prescription – Part 11 – Resistance Training Considerations

Resistance Training Considerations

The order of the exercises chosen can determine maximum gains.

Younger, more powerful athletes often start with the most difficult and complex exercises first which is not ideal for the older athlete or for the athlete looking to prevent injury. Consider instead doing these exercises later in the workout near the end – muscles will be more fatigued so the amount of power one can achieve will be diminished – but this will help prevent injuries. In general, bodyweight exercises that can improve balance should be considered first, and exercises with less balance required as the workout progresses. Save the heavier compound lifts for the last set or second to last set.

How about the warm-up? A light warm up is okay, but it should not be so intense it depletes muscle glycogen stores or causes fatigue. Some suggest no more than 60% of maximum heart rate (more on calculating this later).

There are a few varying techniques to resistance training design. Circuit training is used commonly for beginners and usually with machines that isolate movements to help prevent injury. Circuit training is a great place to start if completely new.  Exercises are done one after the other sequentially with short rests in between. Doing this mixes resistance training with HIIT training if done correctly.

Exhaustion tactic. Muscles are exercised on the same day that perform similar functions, upper body push, upper body pull, and legs for three different workouts on different days is a very classic split among bodybuilders and those looking to increase strength. These are slow workouts that are less demanding of the cardiovascular system. But potentially good at preventing injury and providing adequate rest. However, to have a complete exercise prescription containing all of the foundations, cross-training on off days with either HIIT or aerobics will be necessary. This will also be more time consuming.

There is also the tactic of using supersets. Where a pushing exercise like bench press is complemented in the same workout by a pull exercise, such as rows in the same plane roughly. This tactic increases cardiovascular demand as it eliminates longer rest breaks. This is another tactic to combine resistance training with HIIT.

Did you know workouts can be done relatively quickly? Careful not to over train or cause injury using this method.