Prescription of resistance training for health and disease. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 38-45, 1999. When prescribed appropriately, resistance training is effective for developing fitness, health, and for the prevention and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries. Because resistance training is an integral component in the comprehensive health program promoted by the major health organizations (e.g., American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, American Association of Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Surgeon General's Office), population-specific guidelines have recently been published. The current research indicates that, for healthy persons of all ages and many patients with chronic diseases, single set programs of up to 15 repetitions performed a minimum of 2 d·wk−1 are recommended. Each workout session should consist of 8-10 different exercises that train the major muscle groups. Single set programs are less time consuming and more cost efficient, which generally translates into improved program compliance. Further, single set programs are recommended for the above-mentioned populations because they produce most of the health and fitness benefits of multiple set programs. The goal of this type of program is to develop and maintain a significant amount of muscle mass, endurance, and strength to contribute to overall fitness and health. Patients with chronic diseases (e.g., arthritis) may have to limit range of motion for some exercises and use lighter weights with more repetitions.
Submitted for publication June 1997.
Accepted for publication February 1998.
Address for correspondence: Matthew S. Feigenbaum, Ph.D., Department of Health and Exercise Science, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613
Department of Health and Exercise Science, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, and Center for Exercise Science, Departments of Medicine and Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL