The decision to start a weight training program is based on an end
    goal. So training without purpose is like looking for buried treasure without a
    map--your likelihood of success is slim. Since each person has a unique goal
    and since adaptation is specific to the stress, there are several methods of
    constructing a workout program. Each training method has different set, rep,
    and resistance variations. If you follow the overload principle, you must make
    sure that the resistance becomes difficult by the last one or two reps of each
    set. No matter how many reps are required, the resistance should be challenging
    once you are familiar with the exercise. If you use weights that are too light,
    it will take longer to see results. If you use weights that are too heavy, you
    risk burnout, overtraining, and injury.

    Training for Muscular

    To gain muscular endurance, you have two choices. You can either extend the
    set by completing more repetitions or rest for a shorter amount of time between
    sets. Generally, a set of 12 to 20 reps should last at least 30 seconds but not
    more than 90 seconds. A prolonged set will encourage lactic acid buildup. This
    causes that familiar burning sensation and ultimately leads to fatigue.
    Although lactic acid buildup tends to get a bad rap, if you learn to push
    through the burn and tolerate the pain, your body will become more accustomed
    to handling it and further build your muscle's endurance capacity. So the next
    time you feel the burn, go for a few more reps.

    Aim for one to three sets of 15
    to 25 repetitions, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets. Another
    alternative is to perform three to five sets of 10 to 15 reps, resting for 15
    to 30 seconds between sets.

    Training for Muscular

    If strength is your goal, you need to use relatively heavy
    resistance to perform fewer repetitions per set, and you'll need to rest for
    two to three minutes between sets. The goal of this type of training is to
    increase the overall strength of a muscle or group of muscles. Strength training
    usually includes exercises that work the major muscle groups, such as the bench
    press, seated row, and squat. The catalyst for strength gain, however, is not
    the number of reps but how hard you work in the lower rep range. If you can
    easily get 6 to 8 reps and choose to stop, you will not build strength
    effectively. Neither will you help your strength efforts if the weight is too
    light and you do more reps. Your last few reps should stop you dead in your
    tracks and either require a spot to get another rep or force you to stop

    For best results, perform one to
    three sets of 6 to 8 repetitions, resting for two and a half to three minutes
    between sets.

    Training for Muscular Size

    Most people who work out want to improve their overall appearance.
    For men, increasing muscle size is usually the number one goal. Women usually
    want to become leaner or more toned. Whatever your goal, the results you want
    take time, and in all cases, size and muscle density are necessary if you wish
    to have a figure with muscle definition.

    Hypertrophy is the technical term for building size, increasing
    mass, or bodybuilding. Despite popular myth, using very heavy weight as in
    strength training does not promote size increases as rapidly. Hypertrophy
    training falls somewhere between strength and endurance training. Training for
    hypertrophy involves a moderate number of reps with moderate to heavy weight
    and average rest periods. For those of you afraid to build size rapidly,
    especially women, don't worry-a few weeks or even months of hypertrophy
    training will increase muscle size, but getting tree trunk legs and
    boulder-sized biceps takes many years. Instead, if you are working out to see
    some definition, to get a few "cuts" in your arms, or to look good at
    the beach, this is the strategy for you.

    The optimal way to increase size
    is to perform one to three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions (usually 10 to 12),
    resting for 90 seconds between sets.

    Training for Power

    Power training is explosive in nature and requires very quick movements using
    as much weight as possible while still lifting explosively. The advantage of
    explosive training for sport, although still under investigation, appears to be
    substantial in athletes playing sports where explosive contact is a regular
    part of the game. Contact sports such as football have seen some of the best
    improvements. However, because of the inherent risk, the average person who is
    looking to get in shape, tone up, and look good probably need not spend time
    doing explosive lifting. Only skilled lifters and sport-specific athletes
    should engage in power training.

    If you are considering performing explosive movements, use your own body
    weight, and make sure someone keeps an eye on your form. For true power
    development, use light to moderate weight for three to five sets of 3 to 5
    reps, lifted as explosively as possible

    Excerpt from Fundamental
    Weight Training
    (Human Kinetics, 2010). For more information
    on Fundamental Weight
    or other books, visit or
    call 800.747.4457.


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