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 (@Benanniss), for his dropdown box wizardry & insightful conversations on this resource]


Template No.1: 4 wk Basic Training Programme Overview

Blank 4 week programme template basic.docx

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)

Session template simple.xlsx

Template No.6: Single Session Template (advanced)

Session template.xlsx

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

DareBee -https://darebee.com/ 

6 Simple Steps to Building Beginner Workout Programs

Victor Hedman's Ice Hockey Training Programme

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