Strength fitness training programs can target both general fitness goals and sports training goals. Building strength increases muscle size and shape, improves posture, prevents injuries, and enhances sport performance.
Toning workout programs firm up and shape your body. Your starting point depends upon what shape you’re in. If you have assessed your fitness level, you will have some idea of where to start.
Priority exercises and alternatives offer many exercise options during each phase of training. For descriptions of weight training exercises.
The strength fitness program described here is geared toward general fitness rather than sports.
Your strength fitness program has three primary phases: (a) the Starter Phase, (b) the Strength Intensive Phase, and (c) the Maintenance Phase.
The Starter Program
The purpose of this phase is introduce your body to strength training.
The starter phase lasts for 1-4 weeks. It begins after you learn the strength training exercises for one or two sessions.
During this phase, lift 2 times per week using 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise.
The two sample programs below can be adjusted to fit your goals and starting point. For an extensive collection of strengthening exercises that target specific goals, go to Women’ Workouts.
The Strength Intensive Phase
The purpose of this phase is to progressively increase your strength level. During this phase you will realize increases in strength and muscle tone. This phase lasts at for least four weeks and continues until you achieve your goals.
Lift 2-3 times per week. Perform each exercise using 3 sets of 4-8 repetitions. Increase the weight load when you can successfully perform 6 repetitions of an exercise using good form. Core strength exercises can be performed using higher numbers of repetitions.
After 6 weeks, adjust your program based upon your progress. A Fitness Evaluation will help you decide how to make any revisions. Also, vary protocols within next cycle of this phase using moderate, heavy, and lighter workouts (using number of exercises, intensity, repetitions, sets) within the guidelines of the phase.
If you choose, you can test single maximum repetitions on the squat and bench press and use 60-85% for training on those exercises during the next cycle of the phase.
The Maintenance Phase
The purpose of this phase, as the name indicates, is to keep you at the level of strength fitness that you have achieved during the Strength Intensive Phase.
You can maintain strength levels by lifting 1-2 times per week using 3 sets of 4-8 repetitions. In time, you may return to the previous phases to rebuild your base of conditioning and strength. Your fitness evaluations will give you direction.
Be sure to warm up with cardio and stretching before each workout. Always perform exercises using proper lifting technique through the full range of motion.
Continue to use the Principles of Training and the 6 Training Steps to guide your total Exercise Training Program.
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