Guide to Resistance Training
This is a guide on how to determine the correct amount of sets, repetitions and load of an exercise, based on your specific needs. Always consult with your physician before beginning a new exercise routine, as well as a qualified exercise professional, such as a physical therapist or a certified personal trainer, to decide which exercise prescription is right for you.
1 Repetition Maximum (or 1RM) = The maximum amount of weight you can lift with failure
after 1 repetition.
%1RM (or load)= Percentage of weight you can lift related to your 1RM. Ex. If your 1RM bicep curl = 10lbs, your 80% 1RM= 8lbs.
Sets: How many cycles of the exercise is performed
Repetitions: How many times you perform that exercise in each cycle Rest: How long you should rest between each set
Goal: Improve strength
Sets: 2-6 Repetitions: 2-5 Rest: 2-5 min Load: >85% 1RM
Goal: Improve muscle bulk
Sets: 3-6 Repetitions: 6-12 Rest: 45 s – 1 min Load: 67-85% 1RM
Goal: Improve muscle endurance
Sets: 2-3 Repetitions: 12-20 Rest between sets: 30 s Load: <67% 1RM
Frequency of resistance training
Beginner: 2-3 days per week Intermediate: 3-4 days per week Advanced: 4-7 days per week
Haff, G., & Triplett, N. T. (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.