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Fundamentals of Resistance Training, Part 1

NASM Applied Training
and Ironmaster Workout

There are so many ways to work out and get in shape, how do you know where to start? Well, in this blog we will explain the fundamentals of resistance training to help guide you into a routine that is right for you.

The foundation of our evidence-based programming at NASM is grounded in the Optimal Performance Training model (OPT). This has been refined and expanded over the years to include corrective exercise. There are 3 main levels with 6-7 progressive phases to meet a client’s sports (or fitness) specific goal. Each phase is designed to create a specific adaptation to help you achieve the desired outcome.

Over the years, I have trained hundreds of clients from general fitness to more serious athletes and have been able to successfully apply these strategies to produce results. That includes my own training that ultimately earned me a pro card in the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB), some pro wins, and an invitation to the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia contests!

Before we begin, here are some benefits of incorporating resistance training into your routine:

Source: http://www.thehealthygamer.com/2013/06/06/nasm-chapter-13-re...


Explanation/Definition of NASM OPT Model

Stabilization Level:

Phase 1 – Corrective Exercise. In this phase, the goal is to assess and understand the body’s physical compensations and body mechanics to develop a corrective exercise plan. Before you begin any resistance training program, it is critical to identify any postural or mobility deficiencies to get the most out of each workout and avoid injuries. Typically, a Static Postural, Single-leg Squat, and Overhead Squat Assessment can be used to review kinetic-chain checkpoints. This information determines any corrective exercises that should be included in your training to inhibit or activate specific muscles to improve your mobility and overall performance.

Phase 2 – Stabilization. The main goal in the stabilization phase is to build your foundation to support the more intense training down the road. Just like building a house, having a solid foundation is key to maximizing your results and avoiding injury. In this phase, you want to focus on improving your intrinsic core stabilizers and proprioception through the use of multiplanar and unstable exercises. Some examples might be single-leg exercises, TRX, ball squat, step-up to balance, etc. Acute variables for this phase are generally 1-3 sets, 12-20 reps, 50-70% 1RM intensity, and 0-90 sec rest intervals.

*These first 2 phases are a great place to start for anyone beginning a resistance training program.

Strength Level:

Phase 3 – Strength Endurance. During the Strength Endurance phase, your primary goal is to apply resistance training to create an adaptation that strengthens and conditions your muscles. Common exercises in this phase would include bodyweight exercises such as planks, squats, walking lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. These exercises are paired with a weighted exercise in a super-set fashion. i.e., Dumbbell Chest Press 10 reps (medium pace) x 12 push-ups off stability ball (slow pace).

Acute variables for this phase are generally 2-4 sets, 8-12 reps, 70-80% 1RM intensity, and 0-60 sec rest intervals.

Phase 4 – Hypertrophy (All about the pump baby!). Here is where the magic happens for those of you that love to train hard and build muscle. In the strength hypertrophy phase, the goal is to create an adaptation to build lean muscle by maximizing oxygenated blood flow to specific muscle groups. In the earlier phases, you can expect more total body and functional workouts. Whereas in this phase, you will see more advanced training splits to isolate specific muscle groups. As your training gets more advanced, the need for adequately designed (and timed) nutrition programs becomes more important. Macro and micronutrition will compliment your hard work in the gym to maximize results. We will talk more about the nutrition aspect in subsequent blog posts. Check out some of my favorite performance nutrition supplements here.

Hany Rambod, famous bodybuilding prep coach of several Mr. Olympia champions including Phil Heath (7X Mr. O) and Jeremy Buendia (4X Mr. O Men’s Physique), developed a system that maximizes hypertrophy. That system is called Fascia Stretch Training, or FST-7 training for short. It builds upon these principles by pumping specific muscle groups full of blood in a relatively short period of time, forcing the fascia tissue to stretch and expand like a balloon. This packs nutrient and oxygen-rich blood into and around the muscle cells to promote the repair and growth of muscle tissue. FST-7 would be a good hypertrophy modification for more serious athletes or advanced lifters looking to improve lean muscle mass and overall strength.

A typical training split may target each major muscle group 1-2 times per week, 3-5 different exercises per training session.

Acute variables for this phase are generally 3-7 sets, 6-12 reps, 75-85% 1RM intensity, and 0-60 sec rest intervals. NASM generally recommends 3-5 working sets, but again, for more advanced athletes we push the window to as many as 7 working sets.

Phase 5 – Maximal Strength. As the name implies, this phase is designed to produce a maximal strength adaptation. This happens by increasing the amount of stress on the muscles, reducing the rep volume, and enhancing neuromuscular control under heavy loading. In both the Strength Hypertrophy and Max Strength phases, increasing time-under-tension during the eccentric portion of the lifts will also amplify results. This is a great phase for any serious lifter or athlete to cycle into their training regimen.

Acute variables for this phase are generally 4-6 sets, 1-5 reps, 85-100% 1RM intensity, and 3-5 min rest intervals.

Power Level:

Phase 6/7– Power and Maximal Power. Phase 6 & 7 have been consolidated into “Phase 6 Max Power” in more recent NASM editions. This phase is intended for athletes that require explosive adaptions to improve sport-specific athletic performance. For example, if you are an athlete or are coaching an athlete that plays basketball, the goal would be to design a program that helps them run faster, change directions quickly, and jump higher. This phase is also a great way to challenge and mix up training for non-competitive people looking to maximize caloric burn and have some fun! i.e., Heavy leg press 1-5 reps x Plyo Squat Jumps 8-10 reps (superset).

Acute variables for this phase are generally 3-5 sets, 1-5 strength reps x 8-10 power reps, 85100% 1RM strength x up to 10% BW or 30-35% 1RM power, 1-2 min b/w pairs x 3-5 min b/w circuits.

In part 2 of Resistance Training Fundamentals, we will discuss:

  • Acute variables deep dive
  • Adaptations
  • Progressions
  • Injury Avoidance
  • Common Training Splits

Leveraging the OPT model to build muscle using Ironmaster equipment at home:

By now, you are probably itching to hit the iron and start applying all these awesome resistance training techniques!

To get you started here is one of my favorite hybrid routines that blends the Hypertrophy Phase with unilateral training for bodybuilding, and targeted Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) that you can do at home or in the gym.

PHA is a great technique that rapidly forces blood from one area of the body to another to promote circulation through increased stroke volume of the heart. Some benefits of this hybrid approach are increased caloric expenditure, strength increase, and body fat burn all while delivering a great pump. Using adjustable dumbbells such as the Quick-Lock Adjustable system will save you time in the gym and allow you to quickly adjust and keep the pump going strong!

GOAL: BUILD MUSCLE/BURN FAT
PHASE 2: STRENGTH HYPERTROPHY (PHA)

WARM-UP

Exercise

Sets

Duration

Coaching Tip

SMR Foam Roll: Calves, Erector Spinae, Lats

1

As needed

Static Stretching: Hamstrings, Pecs, Lats

1

As needed

Cardio Warm-up

1

15 mins

Any modality 60-70% MHR

CORE/BALANCE/PLYOMETRIC

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

Coaching Tip

Floor Prone Cobras

1

20

Controlled

0-60 s

Planks

1

60 s

Hold

0-60 s

Single Leg Balance Reach

1

10 ea

Slow

0-60 s

SPEED/AGILITY/QUICKNESS

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

Coaching Tip

N/A






RESISTANCE

Exercise: (Super-Sets)

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

Coaching Tip

Ironmaster Dumbbell Arnold Press Ironmaster Dumbbell Goblet Squats

3

8-12

2/0/2

0-60 s

No rest b/w sets. 0-60 s rest between supersets

Ironmaster Dumbbell Chest Press Ironmaster Dumbbell Walking Lunges

3

8-12

2/0/2

0-60 s

No rest b/w sets. 0-60 s rest between supersets

Ironmaster Dumbbell Iso Single-Arm Rows Bulgarian Split Squats

3

8-12

2/0/2

0-60 s

No rest b/w sets. 0-60 s rest between supersets

Ironmaster Dumbbell Squat to OH Press Push-ups Off Dumbbells

3

8-12

2/0/2

0-60 s

No rest b/w sets. 0-60 s rest between supersets

COOL-DOWN

Exercise

Sets

Duration

Coaching Tip

SMR Foam Roll: repeat from warm-ups

1

30 s

Any other tight areas

Static Stretching: repeat from warm-ups

1

30 s

Any other tight areas

Cardio Cool-down

1

5 mins

Any modality 60-70% MHR

About the author Andre Adams

With over 15 years of experience, Andre Adams is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Master Trainer with credentials in women's fitness specialist (WFS), performance enhancement specialist (PES), mental toughness (MT), weight loss specialist (WLS), Group Personal Training Specialist (PTS), and fitness nutrition specialist (FNS). Additionally, he offers advice to help curb childhood obesity in adolescents.

Andre is also a professional athlete in the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) pro league having competed in the 2015 Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic professional physique divisions.

Instagram @AndreAdams_Official
Health & Performance Supplements www.1stphorm.com/AndreAdams

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