Resistance Exercise

Study resistance exercise, how to build strenght, the biology of muscles, the exercises for muscle building, and learn at home, at your own pace through open learning.

Course CodeBRE206
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Build Your Muscles

Learn about Resistance Exercise

Resistance exercise is important for building and maintaining muscle strength. Resistance training is when the body resists a force that is placed on it. This can involve using weight machines, free weights, resistance bands, body weight and other exercises.

Appropriate muscle strength training is increasingly important in modern society where many people are increasingly physically inactive, especially at work. Through proper and regular resistance exercise, a person can control spinal problems and many other issues associated with aging. For others, strength training can be an important part of an overall exercise regime.

Who might do this course?

  • Fitness leaders, trainers and coaches
  • Athletes, aspiring weight lifters
  • People with back or muscle problems who need to understand and build their strength

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Types of Resistance Training
    • Principles of Resistance Training
    • Principles of Exercise; frequency, testing, time, type
    • Benefits of Resistance Training
    • Types of Resistance Training; Weights, Body Building, Power Lifting, Tubing
    • Muscle Contraction
    • Isotonic, Concentric, Eccentric, Isokinetic Exercise
    • Terminology
    • Resistance Training Program Components
    • Type of Activity
    • Misconceptions about Training
    • Major Muscle Groups
  2. Equipment and Applications
    • Choosing the Best Training Equipment
    • Resistance Training Systems; free weights, pin loaded machines, isokinetic, resistance bands
    • Design of Fitness Equipment; Exercise Bikes, Rowing Machines, Treadmills, Step Machines, etc.
    • Training Variables; repetitions, sets, duration, workload, intensity, training frequency, work out time, etc.
    • Overload and Over training
    • Stretching
    • Warm Up
    • Recovery and Cool Down
    • Risk Management
    • Posture
    • Gym Maintenance
    • Health and Safety
    • Gym Standards
  3. Understanding Movements
    • Flexibility
    • Exercises
    • Movement and Muscles; how muscles work, Muscle Fibre, Skeletal Muscle Types,
    • Types of Movement; free active, active assisted, active resisted, relaxed passive, forced passive, etc
    • Types of Muscle Work
    • Types of Muscle Contraction
    • Physiological Adaptation
    • Muscle Tone
  4. Selection of Exercises
    • Introduction
    • Body Shapes
    • Exercises for Different Sports; basket ball, football, track and field, etc
    • Problems During Exercise
    • Training Response
    • Tolerance capacity
    • Fatigue
    • Recovery
    • Training effect (i.e. over compensation)
    • Deterioration (i.e. Decay)
    • Injury and Ignorance
  5. Developing Training Methods
    • Training Principles
    • Principles for beginner training; intermediate principles and advanced
    • Resistance Training Tips
    • Training with Your Own Body Weight
    • Use of Resistance Training
  6. Planning a Program
    • Mental State for Training
    • Risky Clients
    • Fitness Goals
    • Length of Training Phases (Cycles)
    • Record Results and Make Changes as You Go

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify different types of resistance training, the purpose of each, and explain the misconceptions that are commonly held about training.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of types of resistance training equipment available, its use, care and maintenance and application to training variables and client program needs.
  • Recognise correct resistance training form in exercises and apply correct techniques where necessary in demonstrating and instructing.
  • Select training methods and programming principles relevant to increasing strength, power, speed, local muscular endurance, cardio vascular endurance and weight loss.
  • Outline the training method relevant to increasing strength, cardio vascular efficiency, muscular endurance, physical rehabilitation and programs for sports people.
  • Plan and describe elementary circuit or resistance training programs for non risk clients.

Resistance training increases muscle strength by pitting the muscles against a weight, such as a dumbbell or barbell. The muscle cells adapt to the extra workload by enlarging (hypertrophy) and recruiting greater numbers of nerve cells to aid contraction. Understanding the principles of muscle contraction can help you reach your fitness goals faster. It is important to pay attention to safety and good form to reduce the risk of injury. If you are overweight, over 40 years, have a pre-existing medical condition or haven’t exercised in a long time it is important to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise program.

The basic principles of resistance training include:

  • Type of lift - you need to tailor your workout to address specific body areas. For example, if you want bigger and stronger arms, you need to use exercises that target those particular muscles.
  • Intensity - the faster the lift, the greater the intensity.
  • Volume - the greater the number of lifts, the more profound the increase in muscle size and strength. You can increase the volume by either training frequently (say, four times per week instead of two) or else training for longer per session (such as one hour instead of 30 minutes).
  • Variety - switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt with increased size and strength.
  • Progressive overload - gradually increasing your weights forces your muscles to grow stronger and larger.
  • Rest - you need to rest between sets. If your goal is muscle size or endurance, rest for two minutes or so. If you want muscle strength, allow up to four minutes between sets.
  • Recovery - muscle needs time to repair and grow after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at least 24 hours to allow sufficient recovery time before working the same muscle groups again.
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Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching
Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council

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Denise Hodges

Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for healt
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
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