In training, we follow a system of training phases. Each phase has a purpose to produce specific outcomes. Depending on a persons fitness level and goals, some phases may be longer than others and some may be completely omitted. The five phases are Stabilization, Endurance, Hypertrophy, Strength, and Power. Each phase will follow progressive overload. Stabilization The stabilization phase is generally what someone starts with if they are new to fitness, have a significant training gap, or are potentially coming back from an injury. This phase provides the ground work for developing the stabilizing muscles in the body, as well as proprioception (awareness of the body). Reps: 12-20 Sets: 1-3 Rest: 0-90 seconds Tempo: 4/2/1 Intensity: RPE 5-7 Endurance The endurance phase isn't just for those with endurance goals. Endurance introduces higher intensities of training with the combination of higher effort, supersets, and lower rest times. Reps: 8-15 Sets: 2-4 Rest: 30-90 seconds Tempo: 3/0/1 Intensity: RPE 7-8 Hypertrophy The hypertrophy phase is for building muscle. This phase can be omitted, although I do recommend including it for new trainees or anyone who wants to build muscle. Hypertrophy requires an increase of volume, intensity, and effort to increase muscle mass. Reps: 8-12 Sets: 3-6 Rest: 30-60 seconds Tempo: 3/1/2 Intensity: RPE 7-9 Strength The strength phase is used to develop maximal, or near maximal, force. Not everyone needs to max out every year, but pushing relatively heavy weight for low reps will help increase strength over time. Reps: 1-5 Sets: 2-6 Rest: 2-5 minutes Tempo: 3/1/1 Intensity: RPE 8-10 Power The power phase encourages speed and velocity, although this doesn't mean that you need to be doing a bunch of jumping exercises to consider it "power". Power just means you're using the strength you've built in the previous phase to now move the weight more quickly (with control, of course). Reps: 2-6 Sets: 3-5 Rest: 2-5 minutes Tempo: 2/0/2 Intensity: RPE 7-9 General suggestions: For new trainees, I recommend completing all five phases to get started on your fitness journey. For those who have trained before, have more experience with training, and/or have general wellness goals, starting with the endurance is absolutely doable. For those who have experience with training and have endurance goals, it's possible to skip stabilization and hypertrophy. The amount of time spent with a specific phase will be identified based on goals. For example, if you have endurance goals, you're likely going to be spending more time in the endurance phase than someone who has strength goals. Phases can last anywhere from 4-20 weeks. These five phases are structured to be followed annually. Remember, fitness is for life.
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