The National Academy of Sports Medicine’s evidence-based personal training programs work for every fitness level and every type of fitness, including those who want to train for a specific sport or those who can barely walk.
In the past, most training programs have been based almost entirely on the experiences and goals of bodybuilders, coaches, and athletes. Scientifically unsupported training programs are not designed to meet the needs of the increasingly de-conditioned and injury-prone society
As stated in my previous post I use flexibility, cardio respiratory, core, balance, reactive, speed, agility, quickness, and strength modalities to help my clients reach higher levels of fitness without injury.
The Optimum Performance Training method is a system for exercise selection based on the client’s needs, abilities, and goals. The endless choices of exercises and the unique progressions keep it fun, dynamic and, most importantly, successful.
After a thorough Kinetic Chain assessment, I choose which level of the OPT model my client fits best. Approximately every 6 weeks my clients are ready to move up to the next level and so on.
Level 1: Stabilization Endurance Training
This level is for beginner-level clients and athletes who possess muscle imbalances, lack postural control and stability and focuses on
- Increasing stability
- Muscular endurance
- Improving Flexibility
- Increasing neuromuscular efficiency of the core
- Improving inter-muscular and intramuscular coordination
Before progressing to the next level, I make sure my clients have excellent proprioception (or controlled stability) in every exercise.
Level 2: Strength Endurance Training
This level uses both superset techniques and stabilization exercises with similar biomechanical motions. For example, I would have my client do a bench press immediately followed by a standing cable chest press. Same motions, though the second exercise causes the exerciser to hold themselves in perfect posture while using an unstable device (cables). This is a hybrid form of training that promotes increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy (muscle growth), and strength.
Level 3: Hypertrophy Training
This level focuses on the adaptations for maximal muscle growth. High levels of volume (sets, reps, weights) and minimal rest force cellular changes that result in an overall increase of muscle. Ladies, don’t let this scare you…you will not bulk up.
Level 4: Maximal Strength Training
This level focuses on increasing the load placed upon the tissues of the body. Increasing maximal intesity improves recruitment of more motor units, rate of force production and motor unit synchronization. Maximal Strength Training has also been shown to help increase the benefits of forms of power training used in Phase 5.
Level 5: Power Training
This level focuses on both high force and velocity to increase power. Clients will do this by doing a superset strength exercise with power exercise for each body part (such as performing a barbell bench press superset with a medicine ball chest pass).
And finally Level 6 for athletes or those who want to train like one!
Level 6: Maximal Power Training
In this level the athlete increases speed strength and creates neuromuscular adaptations through an entire range of motion.
However, this is a very specialized form of training and should be implemented only for those athletes that require maximum speed strength and who have developed optimum levels of stabilization and strength prior to this phase of training.
Next time, I’ll discuss more thoroughly Kinetic Chain Dysfunction.
**Please note: This blog is adapted from the NASM.org website OPT Model page.