Before You Start


Cardiovascular activity
Use the workout card to document in detail the cardiovascular activity you choose to do each day. Utilize the weekly card to keep a short record of your weekly activity.

Resistance training activity
Use the workout card to develop a resistance training plan for the next 4 weeks. Keep the daily workout card with you during resistance training sessions to note any modifications you need to make to your plan.

After 4-8 weeks
Reevaluate your plan to address training effects (noticeable benefits from exercise) that have occurred.

Remember that as you progress, a certain level of intensity is required in order for benefits to continue to occur.


Keep the following in mind when developing and revising your resistance training plan:

  • The major muscle groups of your body consist of the biceps, triceps, chest, back, shoulders, legs, and core.
  • A repetition is the number of times an exercise is performed (ex. 20 bicep curls). A set is a group of consecutive repetitions (ex. 2 sets of 20 bicep curls). Generally, one to three sets of 8-25 repetitions are sufficient for each individual exercise. Beginners may want to start with one set for the first month and then increase to two sets the second month.
  • Perform exercises at a slow and controlled pace through a full range of motion.
  • Utilize the chart to the right to help you choose the number of sets and repetitions to meet your goals.
  • For each type of resistance training, the weight increases. That is why the repetitions decrease and the rest time increases.
  • Remember that it is okay to add intensity (weight) before adding sets or repetitions.


Choosing the number of sets and repetitions

Endurance Muscle Building Strength
Sets 2-3 3-6 2-6
Reps >12 6-12 <6
Rest <30 sec 30-1.5 min 2-5 min

Next step

Read our Resistance Training Tips before performing exercises and using equipment.