Principle-Based Program Design—A Practical, Step-By-Step Guide

by Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT
Personal Training Quarterly April 2015
Vol 3, Issue 2


Although most resources on program design review the foundational scientific principles of training, they often fail to provide practical strategies that strength and conditioning professionals need in order to apply these principles successfully. To help bridge the gap between science and application, this article provides a simple and practical, step-by-step system for applying the scientific principles of training into the program design process.

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This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »



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3. Folland, JP, and Williams, AG. The adaptations to strength training: Morphological and neurological contributions to increased strength. Sports Medicine 37(2): 145-168, 2007.
4. Haff, GH. Resistance training program design. In: Coburn, JW, and Malek, MH (Eds.), NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training. (2nd ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 347-388, 2012.
5. Seynnes, OR, de Boer, M, and Narici, MV. Early skeletal muscle hypertrophy and architectural changes in response to highintensity resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology 102(1): 368-373, 2007.
6. Sheppard, JM, and Triplett, NT. Program design for resistance training. In: Haff, GG, and Triplett, NT (Eds.), NSCA’s Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. (4th ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 439-469, 2016.
7. Tumminello, N. Resistance exercise programming: A mixed-training approach. Personal Training Quarterly 2(3): 8-11, 2015

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Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT

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Nick Tumminello has become known as the Trainer of Trainers for his ability to provide simple, honest, and immediately applicable solutions to common ...

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