Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Prescription of Resistance Training for Healthy Populations

Abstract

Although there are well documented protective health benefits conferred by regular physical activity, most individuals of all ages are not physically active at a level for sufficient maintenance of health. Consequently, a major public health goal is to improve the collective health and fitness levels of all individuals. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and other international organisations have established guidelines for comprehensive exercise programmes composed of aerobic, flexibility and resistance-exercise training. Resistance training is the most effective method available for maintaining and increasing lean body mass and improving muscular strength and endurance.

Furthermore, there is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that resistance training may significantly improve many health factors associated with the prevention of chronic diseases. These health benefits can be safely obtained by most segments of the population when prescribed appropriate resistance-exercise programmes. Resistance-training programmes should be tailored to meet the needs and goals of the individual and should incorporate a variety of exercises performed at a sufficient intensity to enhance the development and maintenance of muscular strength and endurance, and lean body mass. A minimum of 1 set of 8 to 10 exercises (multi-joint and single joint) that involve the major muscle groups should be performed 2 to 3 times a week for healthy participants of all ages. More technical and advanced training including periodised multiple set regimens and/or advanced exercises may be more appropriate for individuals whose goals include maximum gains in strength and lean body mass. However, the existing literature supports the guidelines as outlined in this paper for children and adults of all ages seeking the health and fitness benefits associated with resistance training.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Table I
Table II

References

  1. 1.

    Pollock ML, Vincent KR. Resistance training for health. Presidents Counc Phys Fitness Sports Res Dig 1996 Dec; Series 2 (8): 1–9

  2. 2.

    US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1996

  3. 3.

    Rupnow A. Upper body strength-helping kids with the battle. J Phys Education Recreation Dance 1985; 56: 60–3

  4. 4.

    Folsom-Meek SL, Herauf J, Adams NA. Relationships among selected attributes and three measures of upper body strength and endurance in elementary school children. Percept Mot Skills 1992 Dec; 75 (3 Pt 2): 1115–23

  5. 5.

    Hurley BF, Roth SM. Strength training in the elderly: effects on risk factors for age-related diseases. Sports Med 2000; 30 (4): 249–68

  6. 6.

    American College of Sports Medicine. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and flexibility in healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998; 30: 975–91

  7. 7.

    American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 6th ed. Baltimore (MD): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000

  8. 8.

    Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair SN, et al. Physical activity and public health: a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. JAMA 1995; 273: 402–7

  9. 9.

    Pollock ML, Graves JE, Swart DL, et al. Exercise training and prescription for the elderly. South Med J 1994; 87 (5): S88–95

  10. 10.

    Fletcher GF, Balady G, Froelicher VF, et al. Exercise standards: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation 1995; 91: 580–615

  11. 11.

    American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Guidelines for cardiac rehabilitation programs. 3rd ed. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics Publishers, 1999

  12. 12.

    Evans WJ. Exercise training guidelines for the elderly. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 12–7

  13. 13.

    Fleck SJ, Kraemer WJ. Designing resistance training programs. 2nd ed. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics Books, 1997

  14. 14.

    Pearson D, Faigenbaum A, Conley M, et al. The National Strength and Conditioning Association’s basic guidelines for resistance training of athletes. Strength Cond 2000; 22: 14–27

  15. 15.

    McCartney N, McKelvie RS, Martin J, et al. Weight-training induced attenuation of the circulatory response of older males to weight lifting. J Appl Physiol 1993; 74: 1056–60

  16. 16.

    Wharburton DER, Gledhill N, Quinney A. Musculoskeletal fitness and health. Can J Appl Physiol 2001; 26 (2): 217–37

  17. 17.

    Feigenbaum MS, Gentry RK. Prescription of resistance training for clinical populations. Am J Med Sports 2001; 3: 146–58

  18. 18.

    Pollock ML, Franklin BA, Balady GJ, et al. Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease: benefits, rationale, safety, and prescription. Circulation 2000; 101: 828–33

  19. 19.

    Sale DG. Influence of exercise and training on motor unit activation. In: Pandolf KB, editor. Exercise and sport sciences reviews. New York (NY): MacMillan, 1987: 95–152

  20. 20.

    McDonagh MN, Davies CM. Adaptive response of mammalian skeletal muscle to exercise with high loads. Eur J Appl Physiol 1984; 52: 139–55

  21. 21.

    Anderson T, Kearney JT. Effects of three resistance training programs on muscular strength and absolute and relative endurance. Res Q 1982; 53: 1–7

  22. 22.

    Gettman LR, Ayres JJ, Pollock ML, et al. The effect of circuit training on strength, cardiorespiratory function and body composition of adult men. Med Sci Sports 1978; 10: 171–6

  23. 23.

    Hakkinen K, Komi PV, Kauhanen H. EMG, muscle fibre and force production characteristics during a 1 year training period in elite weight lifters. Eur J Appl Physiol 1987; 56 (4): 419–27

  24. 24.

    Hakkinen K, Pakarinen A, Alen M, et al. Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations in athletes to strength training in two years. J Appl Physiol 1988; 65: 2406–12

  25. 25.

    Feigenbaum MS, Pollock ML. Strength training, rational for current guidelines for adult fitness programs. Physician Sports Med 1997; 25 (2): 44–64

  26. 26.

    Tesch PA, Komi PV, Hakkinen K. Enzymatic adaptations consequent to long term strength training. Int J Sports Med 1987; 8 Suppl.: 66–9

  27. 27.

    Willoughby DS, Chilek DR, Schiller DA, et al. The metabolic effects of three different free weight parallel squat intensities. J Hum Mov Stud 1991; 21: 53–67

  28. 28.

    Kraemer WJ, Fleck SJ, Dziados JE, et al. Changes in hormonal concentrations after different heavy-resistance exercise protocols in women. J Appl Physiol 1993; 75: 594–604

  29. 29.

    Kraemer WJ, Patton JF, Gordon SE, et al. Compatibility of high intensity strength and endurance training on hormonal and skeletal muscle adaptations. J Appl Physiol 1995; 78: 976–89

  30. 30.

    Hather BM, Tesch PA, Buchanan P, et al. Influence of eccentric actions on skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance training. Acta Physiol Scand 1991; 143: 177–85

  31. 31.

    Knapik JJ, Mawdsley RH, Ramos MU. Angular specificity and test mode specificity of isometric and isokinetic strength training. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1983; 5: 58–65

  32. 32.

    Kraemer WJ, Noble BJ, Clark MJ, et al. Physiologic responses to heavy-resistance exercise with very short rest periods. Int J Sports Med 1987; 8: 247–52

  33. 33.

    Robergs RA, Pearson DR, Costill DL, et al. Muscle glycogenolysis during different intensities of weight-resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol 1991; 70: 1700–6

  34. 34.

    Kraemer WJ. A series of studies-the physiological basis for strength training in American football: fact over philosophy. J Strength Cond Res 1997; 11: 131–42

  35. 35.

    Feigenbaum MS, Pollock ML. Prescription of resistance training for health and disease. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 38–45

  36. 36.

    Pollock ML. Prescribing exercise for fitness and adherence. In: Dishman RK, editor. Exercise adherence: its impact on public health. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics Books, 1988; 259–82

  37. 37.

    Hass CJ, Garzarella L, De Hoyos DV, et al. Single versus multiple sets and long-term recreational weightlifters. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000; 32 (1): 235–42

  38. 38.

    Demichele PD, Pollock ML, Graves JE, et al. Effect of training frequency on the development of isometric torso rotation strength. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1997; 27: 64–9

  39. 39.

    Moorehouse C. Development and maintenance of isometric strength of subjects with diverse initial strengths. ResQ 1966; 38: 449–56

  40. 40.

    Graves J, Pollock M, Foster D, et al. Effect of training frequency and specificity on isometric lumbar extension strength. Spine 1990; 15: 504–9

  41. 41.

    Foran B. Advantages and disadvantages of isokinetics, variable resistance and free weights. NSCA J 1985; 7: 24–5

  42. 42.

    Kovaleski JE, Heitman RH, Trundle TL, et al. Isotonic preload versus isokinetic knee extension resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 895–9

  43. 43.

    Colliander EB, Tesch PA. Effects of eccentric and concentric muscle actions in resistance training. Acta Physiol Scand 1990; 140: 31–9

  44. 44.

    O’Hagan FT, Sale DG, MacDougal JD, et al. Comparative effectiveness of accommodating and weight resistance training modes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 1210–9

  45. 45.

    MacDougall JD, Tuxen D, Sale DG, et al. Arterial blood pressure response to heavy resistance training. J Appl Physiol 1985; 58: 785–90

  46. 46.

    McCartney N. Acute responses to resistance training and safety. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 31–7

  47. 47.

    Borg GAV. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1982; 14: 377–81

  48. 48.

    Starkey DB, Pollock ML, Ishida Y, et al. Effect of resistance training volume on strength and muscle thickness. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996; 28: 1311–20

  49. 49.

    Sale DG. Neural adaptations to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1988; 20 (5 Suppl.): S135–45

  50. 50.

    McCartney N, Hicks AL, Martin J, et al. A longitudinal trial of weight training in the elderly: continued improvements in year 2. J Gerontol Biol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1996; 51 (6): B425–33

  51. 51.

    Ostrowski KJ, Wilson GJ, Weatherby R, et al. The effect of weight training volume on hormonal output and muscular size and function. J Strength and Cond Res 1997; 11 (1): 148–54

  52. 52.

    Faigenbaum A, Westcott W, Loud R, et al. The effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance development in children. Pediatrics 1999; 104 (1): e5

  53. 53.

    Faigenbaum AD, Kraemer WJ, Cahill B, et al. Youth resistance training: position statement paper and literature review. J Strength Cond Res 1996 Dec; 18 (6): 62–75

  54. 54.

    Faigenbaum AD. Strength training: a guide for teachers and coaches. Natl Strength Cond J 1993; 15 (5): 20–9

  55. 55.

    Rians C, Weltman A, Cahill B, et al. Strength training in prepubescent males: is it safe? Am J Sports Med 1987; 15 (5): 483–9

  56. 56.

    Westcott W. A new look at youth fitness. Am Fitness Q 1992; 11 (1): 16–9

  57. 57.

    American Academy of Pediatrics. Strength training, weight and power lifting, and bodybuilding by children and adolescents. Pediatrics 1990; 86: 801–3

  58. 58.

    Lindle R, Metter EJ, Lynch N, et al. Age and gender comparisons of muscle strength in 654 women and men aged 20–93. J Appl Physiol 1997; 83: 1581–7

  59. 59.

    Metter EJ, Conwit R, Tobin J, et al. Age-associated loss of power and strength in the upper extremities in women and men. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1997; 52: B267–76

  60. 60.

    Bell R, Hoshizaki T. Relationships of age and sex with joint range of motion of seventeen joint actions in humans. Can J Appl Sport Sci 1981; 6: 202–6

  61. 61.

    Campbell A, Borrie M, Spears G. Risk factors for falls in community based prospective study of people 70 years and older. J Gerontol 1989; 44 (4): M112–7

  62. 62.

    Aniansson A, Zetterberg C, Hagberg M, et al. Impaired muscle function with aging: a background factor in the incidence of fractures of the proximal end of the femur. Clin Orthop 1984; 191: 193–200

  63. 63.

    Grisso JA, Kelsey JL, Strom BL, et al. Risk factors for falls as a cause of hip fractures in women. N Engl Med J 1991; 324 (19): 1326–31

  64. 64.

    Parkarri J. Kannus P, Palvanen M, et al. Majority of hip fractures occur as a result of a fall and impact on the greater trochanter of the femur: a prospective controlled hip fracture study with 206 consecutive patients. Calcif Tissue Int 1999; 65 (3): 183–7

  65. 65.

    Torgerson DJ, Dolan P. The cost of treating osteoporotic fractures in the United Kingdom female population. Osteoporos Int 2000; 11: 551–2

  66. 66.

    Khan K, McKay H, Kannus P, et al. Physical activity and bone health. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics Publishers, 2001

  67. 67.

    Fiatarone MA, O’Neil EF, Ryan ND, et al. Exercise training and nutritional supplementation for physical frailty in very elderly people. N Engl J Med 1994; 330: 1769–75

  68. 68.

    Franklin BA. Pumping iron: rationale, benefits, safety, and prescription. ACSM Health Fitness J 1998; 2: 12–5

  69. 69.

    Parker N, Hunter G, Treuth M. Effects of strength training on cardiovascular responses during a submaximal walk and a weight-loaded walking test in older females. J Cardiopulm Rehabil 1996; 16 (1): 56–62

  70. 70.

    Cononie CC, Graves JE, Pollock ML. Effect of exercise training on blood pressure in 70- to 79-yr-old men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1991; 23: 505–11

  71. 71.

    Miller J, Pratley R, Goldberg A, et al. Strength training increases insulin action in healthy 50–65 year old men. J Appl Physiol 1994; 77: 1122–7

  72. 72.

    Treuth M, Ryan A, Pratley R, et al. Effects of strength training on total and regional body composition in older men. J Appl Physiol 1994; 77: 614–20

  73. 73.

    Pratley R, Nicklas B, Rubin M, et al. Strength training increases resting metabolic rate and norepinephrine levels in healthy 50- to 65-yr-old men. J Appl Physiol 1994; 76: 133–7

  74. 74.

    Nelson M, Fiatarone M, Morganti C, et al. Effects of high intensity strength training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1994; 272: 1909–14

  75. 75.

    Notelovitz M, Martin D, Probart C. Estrogen therapy and variable-resistance weight training increase bone mineral in surgically menopausal women. J Bone Miner Res 1991; 6: 583–90

  76. 76.

    Schilke JM, Johnson GO, Housh TJ, et al. Effects of muscle strength training on the functional status of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Nurs Res 1996; 45: 68–72

  77. 77.

    Carpenter D, Nelson B. Low back strengthening for health, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 18–24

  78. 78.

    Vincent KR, Vincent HK, Braith R, et al. Effects of 6 months of resistance exercise on lipid peroxidation in older adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000; 32 (5) S105

  79. 79.

    Vincent HK, Powers SK, Demirel HA, et al. Exercise training protects against contraction-induced lipid peroxidation in the diaphragm. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1999 Feb; 79 (3): 268–73

  80. 80.

    Ji LL, Fu RG, Waldrop TG, et al. Myocardial response to regional ischemia and reperfusion in vivo in rat heart. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1993 Oct-Nov; 71 (10–11): 811–7

  81. 81.

    Rantanen T, Avela J. Leg extension power and walking speed in very old people living independently. J Gerontol ABiol Sci Med Sci 1997; 52 (4) M225–31

  82. 82.

    Bassey EJ, Fiatorone MA, O’Neill EE, et al. Leg extensor power and functional performance in very old men and women. Clin Sci (Lond) 1992; 82 (3): 321–7

  83. 83.

    Hakkinen K, Hakkinen A. Neuromuscular adaptations during intensive strength training in middle-aged and elderly males and females. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 1995; 34: 137–47

  84. 84.

    Hakkinen K, Kallinen M, Izquierdo M, et al. Changes in agonist-antagonist EMG, muscle CSA, and force during strength training in middle-aged and older people. J Appl Physiol 1998; 84: 1341–49

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Christopher J. Hass.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hass, C.J., Feigenbaum, M.S. & Franklin, B.A. Prescription of Resistance Training for Healthy Populations. Sports Med 31, 953–964 (2001). https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200131140-00001

Download citation

Keywords

  • Resistance Training
  • Lean Body Mass
  • Muscular Strength
  • Musculoskeletal Fitness
  • Initial Training Period