Weight training is a type of (resistance) training to increase the strength and size of skeletal muscles primarily using bars, dumbbells and/or other equipment. Weight training is necessary for sports like bodybuilding, weightlifting and powerlifting where strength, power, and/or muscle mass are necessary. It is used in many other sports, such as football, wrestling, and rowing, in order to increase the performance of athletes and reduce the frequency and severity of injuries (Shaw et al. 2016).

Weight training has many benefits for non-athletes as well, since it can reduce the signs and symptoms of many diseases and chronic conditions including (Fiuza-Luces et al. 2013 or see references in Phillips and Winett 2010, Ciccolo et al. 2011, Fisher et al. 2011, Westcott 2012):

Increased strength also improves the capacity to perform everyday tasks more easily. Weight training is further associated with reductions in anxiety symptoms, improvements in sleep quality and improvements in self-esteem (O’Connor et al. 2010).

However, despite all the information available today (websites, social media, magazines, books) finding the right information and combining it into an efficient and practical program can be a challenging task. In extreme cases, the information can even be misleading and/or unsafe.

The objective of this book is to present a practical and efficient approach to weight training in a concise manner. The information is primarily based on scientific literature, such as books and peer-reviewed journal papers but also on practical experience with weight training. Thus, this book bridges the gap between theory and application. It is assumed that, apart from health, the main objective is to increase the muscle size (muscle hypertrophy) and consequently the strength, since other goals (increase of bone density, decrease of cholesterol, etc.) require medical tests. In these cases, one should consult medical professionals and follow their advice.

The structure of the book is as follows: