Optimum Performance Training

Have you ever been apart of a group fitness class and looked to your right and left and saw other people looking like professionals while you are clearly an amateur sticking out like a sore thumb? After noticing the different fitness pages people are on while in that group class, you instinctively try to become the Lance Armstrong in the spinning class, Beyonce in the Zumba class, or Arnold Schwarzenegger at CrossFit.

Although fitness instructors in these group classes will tell you to "go at your own pace" but how is it possible to do so if you don't know what you're doing when everyone else does and you don't want to look foolish? Then, you push yourself and end up leaving the class becoming more sore than ever and possibly injuring yourself. That's why you should start with an individualized training program designed specifically for you. Therefore, this is the reason for the OPT Model and its significance.

How many of you are aware of the OPT Model, before my studies I can tell you I wasn't.

In fact I never heard of it. From continuing my studies with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) I was introduced to to this model.

Not only is it based on scientific evidence- based research It take the guesswork out of program design and helps produce consistent results when working towards clients goals.

The OPT model was developed to concurrently improve all functional abilities, including flexibility, core stabilization, balance, strength, power, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

The OPT Model, or optimum performance training mode, is the way of describing how someone should progress. This is split into three main stages

  1. Stabilization

The first phase, the stabilization endurance phase, is where most people should and will begin. The main focus of this phase of training is to increase muscle endurance and stability while developing optimal neuromuscular efficiency (coordination). The goals of stabilization endurance training are to improve muscular endurance, enhance joint stability, increase flexibility, enhance control of posture, and improve neuromuscular efficiency. The strategies for achieving these goals are training in unstable, yet controllable environments, and using little to no weight with high repetitions. This phase consists of a lot of balance and stabilization training. What that simply means is getting the movements and form down for workouts that will add weights in the future.

  1. Strength

The second phase is the strength endurance phase. The strength endurance phase is where the client will progress to once the health and fitness professional feels that the client has achieved all that they can in the stabilization endurance phase. This phase will consist of more weight training while still focusing on form and movement rather than an excessive amount of weight. The idea of this is to be able to lift for longer rather than to lift the most amount of weight possible.This is also where we begin adding hypertrophy or “adding muscle” “Building Gains.”This phase will consist of working out all parts of the body using heavier weights and less repetitions. Doing less reps with more weight allows for the muscles to grow and expand as they are pushed to the limit- in this stage we can also look at ways of testing strength such as the 1RM (one rep max) - the most amount of weight that he or she can lift 1 repetition without failure on the way up and down of the lift.

  1. Power

The final phase of the OPT Model is the power phase. The power phase of the OPT Model is the phase in which the client performs an exercise at his or her fastest, most efficient rate. Like the maximal strength and hypertrophy phases, the power phase will not be for all clients. This phase is more for athletes that need power such as baseball players swinging a bat or hockey players swinging their stick. The benefit of the power phase is that it practices that explosiveness. Being explosive is one of the best attributes an athlete can have.

Remember you have to Crawl before you can Walk…..