Optimum Performance Training – OPT Model

I am a big supporter of the Optimum Performance Training. The OPT model was developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I have found this program to serve my athletes and myself very well. It’s a very simple program with progressions that makes a lot of sense in producing a Faster, Quicker, Stronger & Safer athlete.


Stabilization Level

The main focus of this form of training is to increase muscular endurance and stability while developing optimal communications between one’s nervous system and muscular system neuromuscular efficiency. The goal is to increase the athlete’s ability to stabilize their joints and posture. It must be noted that Stabilization training must be done before Strength and Power training. Research has shown that inefficient stabilization can negatively affect the way force is produced by muscles, increase stress at the joints, overload the soft tissues and eventually cause injury.

Goals and Strategies of Stabilization Level Training

Goals

  • Improve muscular endurance
  • Enhance joint stability
  • Increase flexibility
  • Enhance control of posture
  • Improve neuromuscular efficiency (balance, stabilization)

Training Strategies

  • Corrective flexibility
  • Training in unstable, yet controllable environments (proprioceptively enriched)
  • Low Loads, high repetitions


Strength Level

The strength level of training follows the successful completion of stabilization training. The emphasis is to maintain stabilization endurance while increasing prime mover strength. This is also the block of training an athlete will progress to if his of hers goals are hypertrophy (increasing muscle size ) or maximal strength (lifting heavy loads) The Strength Level in the OPT model consists of three phases.

  • Strength Endurance training, the goal is to enhance stabilization endurance while increasing prime mover strength. These two adaptations are accomplished by preforming two exercises in a superset sequence (or back-to-back without rest_ with similar joint dynamics.
  • Hypertrophy training is designed for individuals who have the goal of maximal muscle growth.
  • Maximal training works toward the goal of maximal prime mover strength by lifting heavy loads.

Goals and Strategies of Strength Level Training

Strength Endurance Training Phase

Goals

  • Improve stabilization endurance and increase prime mover strength
  • Improve over all work capacity
  • Enhance joint stabilization
  • Increase lean body mass

Training Strategies

  • Active flexibility
  • Moderate loads and repetitions
  • Superset: one traditional strength exercise and one stabilization exercise per body part in the resistance training portion of the program.
Hypertrophy Training Phase (Optional phase, depending on athlete’s goals)

Goals

  • Achieve optimum levels of muscular hypertrophy

Training Strategies

  • Active flexibility
  • High volume, high loads, moderate or low repetitions
Maximum Strength Training (optional phase, depending on athlete’s goals)

Goals

  • Increase motor unit recruitment
  • Increase frequency of motor unit recruitment
  • Improve peak force

Training Strategies

  • Active flexibility
  • High loads, low repetitions