Resistance training is an effective method for developing musculoskeletal strength and is often prescribed for fitness, health, and the prevention and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries. The physiologic adaptations most often associated with resistance training include increases in muscle mass, bone mass, and connective tissue thickness and associated increases in muscle strength and endurance. Studies suggest that resistance training, as part of a comprehensive fitness program, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and certain types of cancer. It has also been shown to improve function and reduce the probability of falls in the elderly. These benefits can safely be obtained when exercise program variables (frequency, volume of training, and mode of training) are manipulated to meet the needs of the individual. When prescribing a resistance training program, the clinician must decide what constitutes an optimal balance of these factors. The clinician must also consider the patient's health, fitness, and personal goals.
The maximum number of repetitions performed before fatigue prohibits the completion of an additional repetition is referred to as repetition maximum (RM). RM generally reflects the intensity of the exercise. Click here to determine your RM. Routines with resistance of 60-70% 1RM are traditionally classified as "moderate intensity." Moderate-intensity programs are usually recommended for most of the adult non-athletic population, including programs designed for adult fitness, health maintenance, and for orthopedic rehabilitation. For safety and time allotment, most strength training programs should incorporate 8 to 10 strengthening exercises that condition all major muscle groups 2-3 days per week. Intensity should progress slowly, allowing time for adaptation. To develop or maintain range of motion, flexibility exercises should also be included. The goal is to be able to complete 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions to volitional fatigue for healthy persons under 50 years of age. For the more elderly or fragile populations, 1 set of 10 to 15 repetitions at a light resistance of (40-50% 1RM) is recommended. For more details about resistance training guidelines click here
Their is enough existing evidence to conclude that strength training, particularly when incorporated into a comprehensive fitness program (i.e. 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity/week), can offer substantial health benefits that can be obtained by persons of all ages. These benefits translate into an improved quality of life. Consequently, clinicians who understand the benefits of strength training and incorporate exercise prescription as part of their patient management further increase their effectiveness as prevention-oriented healthcare providers.
1. Fletcher GF, Balady G, Froelicher VF, et al: Exercise standards: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation 1995;91(2):580-615
2. Pollock ML, Graves JE, Swart DL, et al: Exercise training and prescription for the elderly. South Med J 1994;87(5):S88-S95
3. American College of Sports Medicine. (2015). Quanity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespirotory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from American College of Sports Medicine: http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2011/08/01/acsm-issues-new-recommendations-on-quantity-and-quality-of-exercise
Don Stover PT
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Thanks for visiting my blog page. My name is Don Stover. I am a seasoned physical therapist in Oklahoma City OK. with over 20 years in the biz. I have a lot of knowledge and training in orthopedic PT and spine care. I will be sharing my thoughts on physical therapy for orthopedic problems such as spinal pain, extremity joint pain, sports injuries, health/fitness, and life in general. I hope you enjoy reading!
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