1. Determine the Training Goal: The most important step in establishing a periodized strength training regimen is to determine the goal of the training program. In this step, the coach and athlete determine the points during the competitive season at which the athlete needs to give her best performance.
2. Determine the Phases of Training: Like any other periodized training plan, a strength training program has preparatory, competitive, and transition phases of training. Each phase is essential to maximize training outcomes. This concept can be considered phase potentiation (86, 151), which suggests that activities of the general preparatory phase facilitate the athlete’s development in the specific preparatory phase (86) and the competition phase. Thus, the coach must structure the phases of training so the athlete develops the appropriate biomotor abilities.
3. Determine the Athlete’s Needs: The coach needs to perform a needs analysis in which she determines the types of strength needed by the sport, the types of movement patterns, prime movers associated with the sport, bioenergetic demands of the sport, and any deficit or area of concern (50). The coach must understand the physiological demands of the sporting activity to establish a reference point from which to design the strength training plan.
4. Consider the Characteristics of All Components of the Training Plan: A resistance training plan must not be implemented randomly. For the resistance training plan to be effective, all training factors must be integrated (187). Therefore, in team sports, for example, the coach must consider the strength training regimen, the conditioning program, the agility component, and the tactical training activities as an overall unit of training. If these factors are not considered as a whole, the potential for overtraining is substantially increased and the optimization of performance is left up to chance.
5. Select the Exercises to Be Used in the Training Plan: The training exercises selected must be related to the requirements of the sport. When examining a sport during the needs analysis, the coach can determine the muscles that act as prime movers and match exercises to these activities. For example, watching a 100 m sprinter shows that lower-body strength is essential for optimal performance outcomes. Thus, the coach may select exercises such as back squats and power cleans in an attempt to target the prime movers of this activity. Support for this idea can be seen in several studies suggesting that maximal strength capacity in the back squat and power clean is significantly related to running performance (18, 26, 37).