Exercise Programming

This page is designed to support students that are working on their ability to produce effective exercise programmes for either sports performance or health reasons.

There are a number of templates and examples that can be used depending on the needs of the client and the phase of the planning process that's being addressed.

[credit to Ben Anniss (@marjonlab), for his dropdown box wizardry & insightful conversations on this resource]


Template No.1: 4 wk Basic Training Programme Overview

Template No.2: 52 wk Annual Training Programme Overview

Template No.3: 4 wk, x3/wk, Resistance Training Template (with dropdowns)

Template No.4: 4 wk, x3/wk, Resistance Training Template (with graphics)

Template No.5: Four Week Session Template (basic)

Template No.6: Single Session Template (advanced)

Template No.7: Single Session Basic Gym Programme Card

Gym Programme Card.docx

Key Reading (Textbooks)

Hoffman, J. (Ed) (2012) NSCAs Guide to program design. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Jeffreys, I., & Moody, J. (Eds.). (2016). Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance. Routledge.

Joyce, D., & Lewindon, D. (Eds.). (2014). High-Performance Training for Sports. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Turner, A. (Ed.). (2018). Routledge Handbook of Strength and Conditioning: Sport-specific Programming for High Performance. Routledge.

Relevant Learning Resources & Literature on this website

Back to the Main "Training for Performance" page

Back to the Main "Physical Activity for Health" page

Physical Activity Guidelines - This page contains evidence and links that underpin health related physical activity guidelines.

Needs Analysis in Sports Performance - Information on how to evaluate a sport or assess an athlete prior to writing an exercise programme for them

Resistance Training Programme Design & Periodisation - Information on manipulation of the key training variables in a single session and then how this can be effectively progressed over time

Mechanisms of Hypertrophy - An understanding of the way in which muscles adapt with exercise will help underpin any resistance based programme.

Neuromuscular Adaptions - A partner page to the Hypertrophy one above.

Chronic exercise-induced cardiovascular adaptations - An explanation of how the body makes changes in the central and peripheral cardiovascular system as a result of increased levels of activity.

Training the core - For health, performance or rehab an understanding of how to train the core musculature is often needed

Strength & Conditioning - Many more pages of different aspects of S&C

Fitness Instruction Textbook List - Does what it says in the title

Recommended Online Resources

ExRx.net - A directory of exercises with videos and coaching points

6 Simple Steps to Building Beginner Workout Programs

British Rowing Sample Training Plans

Swim England Training Plans and Workouts for Swimming

Run Britain Training Plans

British Cycling Off-Season Base Builder

British Cycling Intermediate Level programme

British Cycling Pre-Season Plan

NSCA Resources

Jim Stoppani's Periodization for Greater Muscle Size and Strength

Set Volume for Muscle Size: The Ultimate Evidence Based Bible - an article from https://weightology.net/

Mladen Jovanovic on Exercise Prescription

Suggested Reading (Journal Articles)

Brearley, S., & Bishop, C. (2019). Transfer of Training: How Specific Should We Be?. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 41(3), 97-109. doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000450

DeWeese, B. H., Hornsby, G., Stone, M., & Stone, M. H. (2015). The training process: Planning for strength–power training in track and field. Part 1: Theoretical aspects. Journal of sport and health science, 4(4), 308-317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2015.07.003

DeWeese, B. H., Hornsby, G., Stone, M., & Stone, M. H. (2015). The training process: Planning for strength–power training in track and field. Part 2: Practical and applied aspects. Journal of sport and health science, 4(4), 318-324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2015.07.002

Garber, C. E., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M. R., Franklin, B. A., Lamonte, M. J., Lee, I. M., ... & Swain, D. P. (2011). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(7), 1334-1359. [full text]

Haff, G. G. (2010). Quantifying workloads in resistance training: a brief review. Strength and Cond, 10, 31-40.[researchgate]

Mujika, I., & Padilla, S. (2003). Scientific bases for precompetition tapering strategies. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(7), 1182-1187.[full text]

Scott, B. R., Duthie, G. M., Thornton, H. R., & Dascombe, B. J. (2016). Training monitoring for resistance exercise: theory and applications. Sports Medicine, 46(5), 687-698. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0454-0

Wackerhage, H. and Schoenfeld, B.J. (2021) Personalized, Evidence-Informed Training Plans and Exercise Prescriptions for Performance, Fitness and Health. Sports Medicine https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01495-w

Walker, G. J., & Hawkins, R. (2018). Structuring a program in elite professional soccer. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 40(3), 72-82. doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000345