Apr 4, 2011

Spring Back Into Fitness

By: Kim Clark, NSCA-CPT

In this four part series we will explore the foundations of program design (periodization), giving you some needed tools to apply the progressive resistance model, and finally providing you with an excellent plan to get back in shape through the Spring into the Summer. Are you ready to work hard so you can be ready for Summer?

Periodization is a tool that is very helpful in achieving your fitness goals.  Its 3 primary functions are to avoid chronic overuse injuries, plateaus and exercise cessation that comes from boredom/monotony.  Whether you want to lose body fat or gain lean muscle mass, periodization has consistently been shown in research to be a superior model of progression.  With the use of periodization, any population (from major athletes to stay at home moms) can realize constant benefits.

Periodization primarily offers its users improvement by progressively overloading the body and gradually increasing stress on the muscle to produce adaptations and decrease the risk for injury.  The model presented here for fitness cycles through three different phases.  Each phase will generally last 4-8 weeks depending on the current level of fitness. Phase one focuses on stabilization endurance training and doing low-intensity high-repetition strength training programs. This phase is very important as it strengthens your joints and core musculature while giving you the opportunity to do strength moves with correct form using lighter loads. Phase two focuses on strength endurance promoting increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy (think definition and increasing lean tissue mass), and strength. This objective is to increase stabilization while increasing prime mover strength. This is accomplished by performing compound sets in your workout. A compound set is a set of two exercises that are performed back-to-back without rest. An example would be a bench press then a push-up. Phase three is strength and power driven. Using increased loads and fewer repetitions will increase intensity and volume. 

Periodization can also be used for your energy system development (ESD).  ESD is a term that is being utilized more frequently in the field to describe what was formerly known as Cardiovascular  or Aerobic Exercise.  There are three important energy systems that you need to know about. The first is Anaerobic/Glycolitic  System: this is what allows your body to push hard for up to three minutes (utilizing Carbohydrates as the primary fuel source). Next we have Phosphagen System and this allows your body to work at high intensity levels for up to 12 seconds (utilizing ATP as the primary fuel source). Lastly is your Aerobic System, which allows to body to work beyond three minutes so it can recover from intense energy bursts (utilizing Fat as the primary fuel source).  The phases or levels for ESD are as follows:

Level one is the aerobic phase- aerobic means your body will be using oxygen so you’ll be at a low steady state of cardio, you should be able to carry on a conversation when you’re at this level. 

Level two you start mixing in moderate interval training with the level one aerobic phase. You should find it difficult to carry on a conversation at this level.

Level three is basically just increasing the intensity of your intervals so your body will be ready for level four.

Level four is the most intense of the intervals where you push as hard as you can for 10-30 seconds. You will initially spend more time at levels one and two and work your way up to the more intense levels, which will improve your overall endurance, strength and power.

Here’s a program that you can do 2-3 times a week.  Do this program for a month and next month I will have the next progression of this workout. Make sure you do a full-body dynamic warm-up before starting the workout. Do each move for the designated amount of reps and go thru each section 2-3 times.

1a. Ab Roller        8-10reps   
  b. Side Bridge    Hold 15-30 secs
  c. Hanging Ab    8-10reps
  d. Quadruped     3x5secs each

2a. Goblet foot Elevated Split Squat   10-15reps
  b.Jungle Gym Rotational Row          10reps each side
  c.Self-Myofascial Release                30 secs

3a. Contra lateral RDL                        10-15reps each leg
  b.Anti Rotation KFT Push-Pull        10-15reps each side
  c.Active Isolated Stretch                   3 times for 5 secs each side

4a. TRX Single Leg Squat-Row 10-12reps each side
  b. TRX Bicep Curls                  10-15reps
  c. TRX Skull Crushers             10-15reps

Energy System Development:
Burpee   5-10 reps

Recover to a HR of 130-140rpm, and then repeat 5 times.
If you can only do 5 burpees the first time through,  each time you do this workout, add one more burpee so by the end of the month you’ll be doing 12 burpees!!
Remember to consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise regimen.  If you experience any dizziness or pain you may need to regress the exercise.

Questions?  Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to offer assistance.  Enjoy!

1.  Clark MA. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Chapter 13. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.
2.  http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/training/energy-system-development.html#header_26
3.  http://www.shapefit.com/periodization-training-cycle-workouts.html

Originally from Lompoc, CA, Kim moved to Santa Barbara in 2007.  After a lifelong involvement in sports and exercise Kim decided to pursue a career in fitness.  Upon graduating from the Personal Training Program as SBBC, Kim earned her Personal Training Certificate and became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Kim joined the PCPC team upon completing the Prevail Conditioning Internship Program.  She enjoys working with clients to help them achieve their general fitness goals and has future ambitions to work with athletes of all ages as well as coaching soccer. You can reach her here: kim@prevailconditioning.com

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