Table 1

Principles of resistance training (RT) progression

RT principleDefinition for application
Progressive overloadProgressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise training. Systematically increasing the demands placed on the body is necessary for further improvement and may be accomplished through altering one or more key training variables (eg, exercise intensity, total repetitions, repetition speed, rest periods or training volume).
SpecificitySpecificity is the physiological adaptation to the type of stimulus applied. The adaptations are determined by various factors (muscle groups trained, muscle actions used and energy systems involved).
Variation)Variation (or periodisation) entails the systematic process of altering one or more programme variable(s) over time to allow for the training stimulus to remain challenging and effective.
 ClassicalCharacterized by high initial training volume and low intensity, and as training progress, volume decreases and intensity gradually increases.
 ReverseThe inverse where intensity is initially at its highest and volume at its lowest, in which, over an extended time, intensity decreases and volume increases with each phase.
 Undulating (nonlinear)Enables variation in intensity and volume within a cycle by rotating different protocols to train various components of neuromuscular performance.