Let me tell you, when it comes to putting together an appropriate training regime suited for your individual goals, there can be more than enough room for error. In fact, there are countless training programs out there that may even confuse a seasoned gym member.

Ultimately, your training regimen should be based upon your fitness goals.

If you play a sport such as (American) football where the average play is only a few seconds, it doesn’t make sense to train in repetition ranges above forty per set [as this will take minutes]. Yet, I have seen programs designed by “strength coaches” that do exactly that. Why? I can only guess that it is because these trainers are forgetting that a more dynamic strength-oriented program would be better. Don’t get me wrong, higher repetition sets serve a purpose but sport-specific training should be predominantly tailored to that sport.

I’ve included a chart below that may make it easier to understand. Keep in mind that these are not absolutes but a rough guideline.

Goal Strength Size Endurance
Repetition Range 1-5 6-12 12+
Intensity >80% 60-75% <60%
Sport Examples Football, Weightlifting, Powerlifting Bodybuilding Mixed Martial Arts, Rowing, Cycling
Sample Training Programs 5 x 5 programs, Westside,Russian programs Body part splits,German Volume Training, HIT programs, Bodybuilding programs Military training,MMA training,
Fads [P90X]

Keep in mind that there is a lot of overlap amongst programs as well. Just because you are following “Starting Strength 5 x 5” does not mean that you won’t pack on size. Another example would be Crossfit programs which tend to combine both strength and endurance.

Training programs are meant to be followed to completion. Far too often trainees will start a new program every other week and then wonder why they’ve barely made any progression. Think about it, it is very difficult to measure progress when you continue to change your regimen. If you can’t measure progress then odds are that you aren’t making progress…

One final point that I cannot reinforce enough is that if a program is labeled as “advanced”  then it typically means that it is suited for someone who is in the range of a 400lb squat, 300lb bench and 500lb deadlift. There is nothing wrong with sticking to so called “beginner” programs when they would be better suited. Know your body, capabilities and how/when to test your limitations.

I hope that this points you in the right direction with your training regime. Just remember to tailor your training to your goals, it will not only help shape your results but keep you motivated along the way.


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