Methods for Regulating and Monitoring Resistance Training

J Hum Kinet. 2020 Aug 31:74:23-42. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2020-0011. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Individualisation can improve resistance training prescription. This is accomplished via monitoring or autoregulating training. Autoregulation adjusts variables at an individualised pace per performance, readiness, or recovery. Many autoregulation and monitoring methods exist; therefore, this review's objective was to examine approaches intended to optimise adaptation. Up to July 2019, PubMed, Medline, SPORTDiscus, Scopus and CINAHL were searched. Only studies on methods of athlete monitoring useful for resistance-training regulation, or autoregulated training methods were included. Eleven monitoring and regulation themes emerged across 90 studies. Some physiological, performance, and perceptual measures correlated strongly (r ≥ 0.68) with resistance training performance. Testosterone, cortisol, catecholamines, cell-free DNA, jump height, throwing distance, barbell velocity, isometric and dynamic peak force, maximal voluntary isometric contractions, and sessional, repetitions in reserve-(RIR) based, and post-set Borg-scale ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were strongly associated with training performance, respectively. Despite strong correlations, many physiological and performance methods are logistically restrictive or limited to lab-settings, such as blood markers, electromyography or kinetic measurements. Some practical performance tests such as jump height or throw distance may be useful, low-risk stand-ins for maximal strength tests. Performance-based individualisation of load progression, flexible training configurations, and intensity and volume modifications based on velocity and RIR-based RPE scores are practical, reliable and show preliminary utility for enhancing performance.

Keywords: autoregulation; rating of perceived exertion (RPE); repetitions in reserve (RIR); strength; velocity.