The 4 Criteria Of Highly Effective Resistance Training

Does anyone else constantly change their resistance training routine? I use to all the time thinking there was always a better way of doing things.

A different combination of exercises, a different number of sets, more frequent workouts, less frequent workouts, higher rep totals, lower rep totals and the list goes on.

Now, I’m not so sure.

Assuming resistance workouts meet four basic criteria I think most paths will eventually converge on genetic potential (and it certainly makes for a more chilled approach to exercise.)

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So what are the four criteria of highly effective resistance training?


Most importantly your resistance training program needs to be safe. If you get injured you can’t train and you can’t make progress. Joint-friendly exercises, good technique, sensible loads, slower rep speeds, sufficient recovery and balanced training of muscle groups all play a part in making resistance training safer.


When it comes to getting in shape, nothing trumps consistency. Don’t rely on motivation to inspire your training efforts. Create a schedule and stick with it (even when you don't particularly want to!) If the schedule is too hard to sustain, create a more realistic one.


You need to work hard enough to trigger a positive adaptation in your muscles. No intensity, no trigger, no change. This means getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable and pushing your muscles (safely) to their limits.


"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."  - Albert Einstein. As the weeks and months go by try increasing time-under-load and/or the resistance being lifted. Along with intensity, these small and steady improvements hold the key to making significant changes in your bodies appearance and capabilities.

Safety, consistency, intensity and progression. Before getting bogged down in minutiae check to see whether your resistance training program meets these four basic criteria.

If it does, keep at it.. you probably don't need to change a thing!