Resistance Training & Program Design part 2

Posted by on Feb 17, 2013 in Program Design, Review Topics | 0 comments

(see Step1A & Step1B)

Step 2: Exercise Selection

Choosing the correct exercise is critical in designing an effective resistance training routine.  This is due to the specificity concept, also called the specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID) principle both concepts that essentially state that the more similar a training activity is to the actual sport movement, the greater the likelihood that there will be a positive effect on the sport.  Refer to table 15.3 in the NSCA book to get an idea which movements transfer to which sport specific activities.

Core and Assistance Exercises
Exercises are prioritized as either “core” or “assistance”.  Core exercises recruit one or more large muscle areas (chest, shoulder, back, hip, or thigh), involve two or more primary joints, and should receive priority over all assistance exercises because they are more applicable to the sport.  Rarely do sport movements involve a single joint movement and the recruitment of a single muscle, so this makes sense.  Assistance exercises can be very useful for the specific injury and rehabilitation of sport-specific injuries, so keep that in mind.

Structural and Power Exercises
Within core exercises (see above), you can further define exercises as “structural” and even further as “power” exercises.  Thus a power exercise is both structural, and core.  A structural exercise is a core exercise, but not necessarily a power exercise…and a core exercise is not necessarily a structural or power exercise.

Core-Structural-Power Exercises

To further beat a dead horse, here is a Venn-Diagram

Muscle Balance
Muscular balance is important for injury prevention, so do not design a program that focuses too much on a single muscle.  Don’t be a curl monkey, and don’t train athletes to be curl monkeys.  If you train a muscle, train the antagonist muscle as well.  Quads/hamstrings, biceps/triceps are two common examples.

Technique, Equipment, and Time
These concepts are covered in the book but are fairly common sense and can be condensed into a list…or even three words.  Supervise, Improvise, and Prioritize.

  • Make sure your athlete executes an exercise correctly, even if it’s the most simple movement ever.  In a word, supervise.
  • If you don’t have the correct equipment or loads, substitute in similar exercises that have similar muscle group activation or require less load.  In a word, improvise.
  • Some exercises take longer than others, and some athletes have less time available than others.  Take note, and prioritize.


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