Jul 192016

Derek Charlebois on his new website PR-BREAKERS covers the principles he uses for creating an effective training program. Some really great information and Derek offers coaching as well to help you achieve your goals if its something you are interested in.

A training program should be structured with individual workouts that work in conjunction together towards a long-term goal and results. Anyone can design a workout routine to cause fatigue and make you feel tired. Feeling tired does not mean the workout was productive towards your long-term goal unless your goal is to simply burn calories. If you are reading this it is safe to say that is not your goal; your goal is not only to improve your physique and strength but also to optimize your program to achieve those goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. This article will go over the PR-BREAKER training principles.

3 Primary Principles of an Effective Training Program

The three primary principles of an effective training program are (1) specificity, (2) progressive overload, and (3) adherence.


If you want to get better at something then you have to do it; weight training is no different. This is known as the SAID Principle.

SAID Principle = Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands

A training program should be structured to accomplish a specific goal. If your goal is to increase your 1-RM squat strength then you need to include low rep squat training in your program. If you want your shoulders to get bigger then you need to include shoulder exercises in your training program. That may seem pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, but often times ones program is not structured optimally to accomplish their goals.

Progressive Overload

Muscle hypertrophy and increased strength are adaptations to overload beyond what the body is accustomed to with weight training serving as the stimulus. If the training stimulus never increases and you simply do what your body is accustomed to, then there is no reason for your muscles to get bigger or stronger. This is the principle of progressive overload.

Principle of Progressive Overload = lifting heavier weights and/or completing more reps with a given weight over time.

I believe that getting stronger (over time) in all rep ranges is the best way to stimulate long-term progress and should be the focal point of all strength-training programs.


It does not matter how optimal a training program is, if you don’t or can’t follow the program then it will not deliver results. For example, if research showed squatting five times per week at 80% of your 1-RM lead to the greatest strength gains but every time your tried to follow that program you got injured then it is not the ideal/optimal program for you. Or if you can only weight train 3 days per week then a 5-day/week training split will not work for your schedule. Your training program must be structured as something you can adhere to consistently.

I also feel one should ENJOY their training program. If you hate your training program then chances are you are not going to stick to it long term or may not put your full effort into your workouts.

All training programs should be built around these three primary principles. In addition to the above, there are other general principles I feel one should follow to maximize results.

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