Resistance Training Guidelines

Many people perform resistance training for a variety of health and fitness goals including strength, power, muscle mass and muscle endurance. But how should you vary your resistance training program to make it specific to these goals? This article will help you be more specific with your resistance training when you are at the gym no matter what your health and fitness goals are.


Training for pure strength gains requires performing exercises with close to maximal resistance for low amount of repetitions. This form of training requires very good exercise technique and control and should allow longer rest periods between sets to ensure this is maintained.


Power training involves performing exercises with fast explosive movements, often with low to moderate resistances to allow for this high speed of movement. Power training should only be performed by people with a sound strength training background as it requires a sound level of base strength and excellent technique to be performed safely.

Muscle mass

When the goal of training is to increase muscle mass or muscle hypertrophy (increasing size), a moderate amount of repetitions should be performed using moderate to high loads. As you progress with this type of training, rest between sets should be reduced and the frequency of training should be increased whilst still allowing for one days recovery between training sessions.

Muscle Endurance

To train a muscle for endurance, low to moderate loads should be used but the amount of repetitions should be high to cause muscle fatigue. The amount of rest between sets should also be limited to promote faster recovery and increase muscle endurance.

Summary Table - Resistance Training

Written by Jack Hickey
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health

Author: Michael Dermansky

Michael has now been working in physiotherapy for over 20 years, since graduating from Melbourne University in 1998 and is even more passionate about getting the best outcomes for clients than he was then. Michael is always studying and looking for new and innovative ways to improve the service at MD Health, including and not limited to the ideas from the fitness industry and great customer service companies. In his spare moments, he loves spending time with his two children, Sebastian and Alexander and hopefully taking them skiing more and more often.

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