Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Academy of Sports Medicine & The OPT Model

The National Academy of Sports Medicine was first introduced in 1987, and today is one of the top authorities in promoting tools and research for health, fitness, sports performance, and sports medicine. The Academy has helped thousands in their journey to become better athletes and healthier individuals. NASM is also one of the few organizations that will focus on Corrective Exercise Prescription, which focuses on the prevention and re-introduction of past injuries. It is for these reasons that I recommend NASM’s Optimum Performance Training Model, also known as the OPT Model, to any patient after completing physical therapy treatment.

The OPT Model
PHASE 5 Power Training
PHASE 4 Maximal Strength
PHASE 3 Hypertrophy
PHASE 2 Strength Endurance
PHASE 1 Stabilization Endurance

Each phase of the OPT Model contains particular exercises and set/rep schemes that are designed to progress you to the next level of performance. Phase 1 – Stabilization Endurance can often be the first priority when embarking on new fitness goals. Enhancing joint stability, increasing flexibility, improving reaction time, and enhancing control of posture are all to be focused on at this time. Once stabilization of the joint(s) is achieved and the individual can maintain stability, they may begin working on Phase 2 – Strength Endurance. This phase is designed to further improve stabilization, increase strength, improve work endurance and increase lean body tissue. It requires active flexibility and may be accompanied with moderate resistance exercise. The principles of these two phases are the groundwork to any individual’s health and wellness. We would all have a lot less low back pain, headaches, hypertension, and injuries if we focused on stabilization and strength endurance!

Phase 3 – Hypertrophy Training, along with phases 4 and 5, is where personal trainers can bring you closer to your new goals, avoiding the fearful thoughts of re-injury in a safe and controlled environment. This phase, along with Phase 4 – Maximal Strength Training, will help you achieve quicker reaction speeds, increase strength, and improve peak force and muscle use. As trainers, we consider these to be the most important part of post rehabilitation, because the stronger you get, the less likely you are to become reinjured!

Phase 5 – Power Training should be the goal for any healthy individual, as this phase can help not just with your daily lifestyle, but it improves your athletic performance. Phase 5’s purpose is to enhance neuromuscular efficiency, improve prime muscle strength, increase the rate of force power, and enhance speed strength.

Most athletes will cycle through each phase periodically so that the body is consistently adapting to an ever-changing environment, avoiding training plateaus. Whether you’re a weekend warrior training for a 10k run, or a competitive athlete looking for your next edge up on the competition, training the entire spectrum of the OPT Model will benefit your health and wellness, as well as prevent re-injury.

For more information on The National Academy of Sports Medicine, visit or contact Zack Bertges at

No comments:

Post a Comment