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6 Essential Variables in Weight Training

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4. Exercise Order
Involves the sequencing of exercises during a training session. Decisions should be based upon how the athlete responds to specific exercises and how the exercises performed first will affect exercises performed later. Typically, exercises that require the most refined technique and recruit the larger prime movers are performed first, followed by assistance exercises. For example, a single-leg balance squat should be performed before a one-leg calf extension. Another method that allows for adequate recovery involves alternating between upper and lower body exercises.

5. Training Load and Repetitions
Refers to the amount lifted and the number of times the weight is lifted. Typically, there is an inverse relationship between load and repetition. This means if the load lifted is high, the number of repetitions is low and vice versa. The load lifted is usually dependent on the goals of the training program. For example, a resistance program geared for gains in muscular strength require lifting heavier loads and fewer repetitions. Conversely, a program geared towards muscular endurance or "toning" requires lower loads and higher repetitions.

6. Rest Intervals
Refers to the amount of time between exercises. Generally, rest intervals are based on exercise experience and goals of training. Typically, an athlete with limited weight training experience will need more time for muscle recovery between sets. The other variable when considering rest interval is goal of training. When training for strength or power gains, the rest interval is between 2-5 minutes. Conversely, if hypertrophy or muscular endurance is the goal, rest intervals should be between 30-90 seconds.

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About The Author

Lonnie Soloff Lonnie Soloff
Lonnie has a master's degree in physical therapy and is the head physical therapist for the Cleveland Indians.

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