General Exercise Course

Welcome to my general exercise course! Here I will attempt to collate the scientific literature with my own real-world experiences mixed in to provide a general blueprint for exercising for general health. I am not perfect and I do not claim this course is perfect, but it truly is my best attempt to bring forward useful and accurate information that will also be practical. When there is ambiguity in the literature I will try to make this clear, and when there is outright controversy I will try to present all sides fairly.

  • Lesson 1: Movement Physiology and Strength Training Adaptations
    • overview of movement
    • strength training adaptations
  • Lesson 2: Physiology of Energy Production and Aerobic Training Adaptations
    • overview of enegy production
    • aerobic training adaptations
  • Lesson 3: Exercise Guidelines and Health Benefits
    • 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
    • 2020 World Health Organization guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior
    • other health benefits of exercise indicated by the literature
    • potential health concerns of excessive exercise
    • use caution with certain health conditions and undesirable symptoms
  • Lesson 4: Resistance Training Terminology and Concepts
    • individual repetitions
    • individual sets
    • rest periods
    • program structure
    • progression
    • list of all terms
  • Lesson 5: An Evidence-Based Approach to Resistance Training
    • effective rep ranges for hypertrophy and strength adaptations
    • sets needed per muscle group per week for continued progress
    • optimal tempo for each repetition
    • full vs partial range of motion
    • how close to failure one should train
    • effective rest periods between sets
    • training frequency throughout the week
    • summary infographic
  • Lesson 6: Autoregulation and Periodization for Resistance Training Progression
    • linear progression – good for complete beginners
    • autoregulated approaches
    • periodization approaches
  • Lesson 7: Aerobic Training Terminology and Concepts
    • physiologic determinants of endurance performance
    • how to gauge aerobic exercise intensity
    • types of training sessions
    • training distribution
  • Lesson 8: An Evidence-Based Approach to Aerobic Training, Concurrent Training, and Exercise Safety
    • aerobic exercise structure: interval and continuous training
    • concurrent training and the interference effect
    • safety considerations when starting exercise programs
  • Lesson 9: Exercise Technique – Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
    • basic structure-function relationship of the key muscles
    • compound exercises
    • isolation exercises
  • Lesson 10: Exercise Technique – Back and Biceps
    • basic structure-function relationship of the key muscles
    • compound exercises
    • isolation exercises
  • Lesson 11: Exercise Technique – Glutes and Thighs
    • basic structure-function relationship of the key uscles
    • compound exercises
    • isolation exercises
  • Lesson 12: Exercise Technique – Abdominals, Forearms, Hands, and Lower Legs
    • basic structure-function relationship of the key muscles
    • specific exercises
  • Lesson 13: Home-Based Workout Programs and Alternate Progression/Set/Rep Schemes
    • home-based exercise programs
    • progression schemes and alternative sets and reps considerations
    • choosing progression schemes for the home-based exercise programs
  • Lesson 14: Gym-Based Workout Programs and How to Adjust When Progress Stalls
    • simple full body routines
    • more complex full body routines
    • split routines
    • how to change your workout program when progress stalls
  • Lesson 15: Miscellaneous Topics
    • how to maintain progress if you have to cut back on training time
    • what to do if you are injured
    • special considerations for pediatric, elderly, and pregnant populations
    • nutrition and hydration when exercising regularly
    • warming-up and cooling-down
    • athletic/mobility/conditioning exercises
    • individual variability in responses to exercise programs

The course will work best if you go through the lessons in order, though that is not critical. However, I do encourage you to at least look through the list of terms at the bottom of Lesson 4 prior to reading further about resistance training aspects; the terms are presented in the order they appear in the lesson. Additionally, please read the top portion of Lesson 9 (through the “please read this” section) prior to reading the remainder of Lesson 9, 10, 11, and 12.

This course is written for all ages. Of note, in Lesson 15 I specifically discuss guidelines pertaining to children as well as elderly adults, but much of the information presented prior to this pertains to everyone. I do encourage you to read the relevant sections in Lesson 15 prior to applying the rest of the information to children and elderly adults.

Much of the information in this course applies to adults with a variety of different medical conditions and while on multiple medications, and I try to make it clear when it is most important to consult your healthcare provider. However, I cannot account for every possible scenario, and thus if you have any baseline health conditions or are on any chronic medications and you are not confident it is safe to start exercising, I do encourage you to contact your healthcare provider to be sure.

If after going through the course anything is unclear, if you feel I have left out any pertinent topics, if you believe there is any relevant literature that I did not include, or if you think I’m simply wrong about anything, please contact me and if indicated I will edit the course.

With all of that said, please enjoy! You can click to whichever lesson you wish to begin below. Additionally, you will probably find your viewing experience to be improved if you go through this on a computer as opposed to a phone as there may be issues with resizing of the images on a smaller screen. That said, you will still be able to read all of the content on a phone, it will just be a little less visually appealing.

Scroll to Top