1/23/2007

The NASM OPT Model: Periodized Training and Progression

Until now, most training programs have been based mainly on the experiences and goals of body builders, coaches and athletes. There's aproliferation of scientifically unsupported trainingprograms that are not designed to meet the needs of an increasingly deconditioned and injury-prone society. NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) method is a comprehensive training program based on scientific research that provides results specific to individual needs and goals.

Assessment At the center of the OPT method is the assessment. This fitness and performance evaluation assesses an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of posture, movement, strength, flexibility and athletic performance. Before embarking on a training program, it is essential to address any existing imbalances to ensure success.

Optimum Performance Training: Individualized Program Design The OPT method provides a system for exercise selection based on the client’s needs, abilities and goals. The endless choices of exercises and the unique progressions keep every program fun, dynamic and, most importantly, successful. The Pyramid of Success represents the various stages of the revolutionary OPT method. Clients will progress through the phases of training at regular intervals, with the specific phases and progression depending on goals and progress and conditioning. Most clients will cycle between 2-4 of the 7 phases, which include the following:

Corrective Exercise Training (CET) correctsmuscle imbalances, reconditions injuries, preparesbody for training, prevents training overload,enhances adaptation, improves the body’s work capacity and improves stabilization strength. In this phase, we work with fairly low intensities, repetitions can range from 15-25.
Integrated Stabilization Training (IST) improves neuromuscular efficiency, functional strength, core strength, dynamic stabilization and functional flexibility. Exercises increasing challenge the core and balance and we work with moderate intensities, repetitions can range from 12-20.
Stabilization Equivalent Training (SET) enhances stabilization strength and endurance during functional movement while increasing muscle mass, enhancing metabolism and improving stabilization strength. SET combines a stable exercise with one done in a less stable environment, such as a machine chest press and a pushup or stability ball press, intensities increase and reps range from 8-12 or 15.
Muscular Development Training (MDT) increases muscle mass for athletes such as football players and bodybuilders. We work at higher intensities with minimal rest, and reps range from 6-12.


Maximal Strength Training (MST) improves motor-unit recruitment, motor-unit synchronization and peak force. This is the highest intensity phase, reps range from only 1-5, rest period is 3-5 minutes.
Elastic Equivalent Training (EET) enhances neuromuscular efficiency and power production, especially for athletes who need to express force quickly. Similar to SET, this phase combines a strength and maximum power exercise, ranging from 5 adn 10 reps each to 3 and 8 reps each.
Maximal Power Training (MPT) increases speed strength and creates neuromuscular adaptations through an entire range of motion. Exercises use low weight, about 5-8% of body weight, but are done at very fast speed.

Click here to read more at the website of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Optimum Performance Training and OPT are trademarks of the National Academy of Sports Medicine