Do you practice weight training? Do you create your own workouts? Maybe you find your programs on Instagram? Or perhaps you have a trainer?
In the program you follow, is there guidance for when to increase the amount of weight you lift? Or instruction on how quickly to perform each rep? Is the number of reps prescribed ideal for the fitness goals you are trying to achieve? What about the number of sets? When do you increase the number of sets you perform each workout? A good fitness program, or a good trainer will know the answers to all these questions. Ultimately the answers are determined according to a set of principles known as the hierarchy of training.
The hierarchy of training is all about keeping you safe while ensuring you make progress toward your own individual fitness goals. (There are totally different approaches for differing goals - weight loss programs should look different than strict fat loss programs, etc.).
Every time you perform an exercise, there are essential variables that ought to be considered. The order is also significant. For example: form and technique should be flawless before you can add load (go up in weight).
The hierarchy of training:
1. Form and technique - You must perform the exercise perfectly with full range of motion and perfect joint alignment.
2. Number of reps - You must perform a specific number of repetitions and perform each one for a directed length of time to attain a desired outcome.
3. Number of sets - You must do the ideal number of sets to get the results you are working for.
4. Amount of rest - Often overlooked, rest is a very important variable when it comes to producing the fitness response you are looking for!
5. Load - The amount of weight you move in each exercise is important for results, too.
All of these variables work together to produce the desired result and move you toward the fitness goal you're after. Each one must be considered each and every workout, exercise and set.
Sound like something you don't want to worry about? This is why having a trainer is so advantageous - you don't have to think about any of this because they do it for you! Make sure you find a trainer who knows these principles. You will be more likely to achieve your goals that way.