9th December, 2022

Usage of strength training templates

Templates can be used as provided, or with modifications. I recommend using them as provided for a few weeks and then assess what needs to be changed. Each individual has different needs, it is impossible to create an ultimate program, perfect for everybody without requiring modifications: modifications are almost always necessary for efficient results.

I hope my blog and the books I recommend contain enough information for readers to be able to modify the program according to their own individual needs, but it is also possible and recommended to hire a professional like me for help.


Intensity is prescribed as a number on the RBF scale. It is assumed that the RBF target is anywhere between 0 and 4, unless instructed otherwise.

I believe it is best to teach trainees about autoregulation from the beginning of their career. Despite one of the drawbacks of the RBF scale being that novices find it difficult to use it, my experience tells me that it can nonetheless be used successfully with novices. The advantage of learning autoregulation early is that the transition to intermediate and advanced programming is smoother. Here are some considerations:

  • It is important for novices to know that estimating the RBF wrong is normal and expected. This is a skill that has to be practised to get right.
  • The way novice trainees reach and experience failure is an individual trait, some trainees reach failure without expecting it, some cease exercising far from failure in fear.
  • Purposely reach failure on every muscle group to allow the novice trainee to understand how his body reacts in proximity to failure and at failure.

Autoregulated double progression

Because the RBF scale is used to prescribe intensity, the progression strategy to use for these templates is the autoregulated double progression. For this to work, a program must be used for extended periods of time. It is not possible to track progress, diagnose the trainee's situation and adjust the overload if the program keeps changing.

  • A program can be used as long as the trainee progresses with it.
  • Some exercises, such as isolation exercises targeting a small muscle mass, require longer to show results in the form of extra repetitions or extra weight lifted.
  • When one exercise shows slowed-down progress, it is plausible to switch exercise to another to introduce variation. It is not a good idea however to switch the entire program.

Sets and repetitions

All of the sets are assumed to be straight sets unless instructed otherwise.

Rest time

It is recommended to track rest time and keep it fixed across sessions.