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Strength Training - General

The following is a selection of exercise that could be included in an athlete's general strength training program.

  • Shoulder Press
  • Chest Press
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Lower Back Extensions
  • Triceps Press
  • Calf Raise
  • Biceps Curls
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Press
  • Sit Ups


Identify a series of training sessions using 3 or 4 exercises from each of the above groups. Conduct 2 or 3 weight sessions per week with a 48-hour recovery between each session. Allow 3 to 5 minutes recovery between each set and exercise.

Example 15-week program

  • 3 weeks of 3 sets of 14 to 20 repetitions max (RM)
  • 1 week of 2 sets of 11 to 14RM
  • 3 weeks of 3 sets of 11 to 14RM
  • 1 week of 2 sets of 6 to 11RM
  • 3 weeks of 3 sets of 6 to 11RM
  • 1 week of 1 set of 3 to 6RM
  • 3 weeks of 2 sets of 3 to 6RM

Before You Start

Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so. Any application of this training program is at the athlete's own discretion and risk.

Alternative Programs

Select the links for examples of a free weights and machines program and a program using dumbbells.

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • HOFF, J. et al. (2002) Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 12 (5), p. 288-295
  • ZATSIORSKY, V. M. and KRAEMER, W. J. (2006) Science and practice of strength training. Human Kinetics
  • TIDOW, G. (1990) Aspects of strength training in athletics. New Studies in Athletics, 1, P. 93-110

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1997) Strength Training - General [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: