The Optimum Performance Training Model - NASM (2022)

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The Optimum Performance Training Model - NASM (2)

What is The OPT™ Model?

Utilized for over 20 years with the world's top athletes, the NASM OPT™ Model, or Optimum Performance Training® Model, is a fitness training system developed by Dr. Mike Clark. Based on scientific evidence and principles, the model is highly adaptable and versatile in its application, progressing individuals through five distinct yet complementary training phases. As an NASM-CPT, the OPT™ Model is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal.

  • Phase 1: Stabilization Endurance
  • Phase 2: Strength Endurance
  • Phase 3: Muscular Development/Hypertrophy
  • Phase 4: Maximal Strength
  • Phase 5: Power

The Optimum Performance Training Model - NASM (3)

Level 1 (Phase 1)

Phase 1: Stabilization & Endurance

Stabilization Endurance is the foundation of the entire OPT™ Model. During this first phase, clients will perform 12-20 repetitions per set, their movement speeds will slow down, and the intensity/weight used for exercises reduced to promote muscular endurance and ensure correct form and technique.

Reinforcing correct movements in this phase can lead to strength gains — yes, even with lighter weights — because of enhanced joint and postural control, and coordination. When progressing client programs in this phase, a primary focus is on increasing proprioceptive demand (controlled instability) of the exercises, rather than just increasing the amount of weight the client uses.

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Phase 1 is a great starting point for new training clients and is an opportune time to do questionnaires and fitness assessments to determine goals, establish baselines for training, and identify any movement compensations, respectively. And, for more experienced clients, Stabilization Endurance is a great phase to include in their program to add different stresses and challenges to the body and will also become a critical phase to cycle back through between training periods in the other phases.

To learn more about the ins and outs of Phase 1, check out the below video featuring Master Instructors Prentiss Rhodes, Wendy Batts, and Marty Miller for a live interactive roundtable all about stabilization and endurance.

Free Webinar:
Phase 1: Stabilization and Endurance

Phase 1 is the foundation of the entire OPT™ Model, and in this webinar, you'll learn how to best implement it with your clients.

(Video) The NASM Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model - Explained

Level 2 (Phases 2-4)

Phase 2: Strength Endurance

NASM Master Instructor Ken Miller calls Phase 2 the “gateway phase” because it gives clients the chance to acclimate to heavier weights and higher training intensities. Workouts in the Strength Endurance Phase use superset techniques—in which a client will follow a more traditional strength exercise (such as a bench press) with an exercise that has similar biomechanical motions but requires more stabilization to perform (like a stability ball push-up).

This phase is the logical next step from Phase 1 for increasing the intensity of clients’ workouts. Sets increase to 2-4, repetitions will stay high (8-12 per exercise / 16-24 per superset). The supersets combined with decreased rest periods will elevate the challenge considerably—leading not only to noticeable improvements in strength and endurance but more significant calorie expenditure for clients too.

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Phase 3: Muscular Development/Hypertrophy

Phase 3 of the OPT™ Model is all about building strength and developing muscle. Muscular Development/Hypertrophy training is ideal for the adaptation of maximal muscle growth, by focusing on higher volumes of work at moderate-to-high intensity levels and with minimal rest periods between exercise sets. These training variables contribute to cellular changes that result in an overall increase in muscle size.

If caloric intake is appropriate, the increased intensities and training volumes, and decreased rest periods experienced in this phase also make it great for clients who aspire to change their body composition through fat/weight loss.

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Typically, workouts in this phase involve performing 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps per resistance exercise at intensities ranging from 75-85% of a client’s one-rep max.

To calculate one-rep maxes, check out this one-rep-max calculator.

Free Webinar:
Phases 2-4: Strength

In this exclusive webinar, find out how to best implement these phases into your training programs and the benefits they can provide your clients.

(Video) NASM Optimum Performance Training Model

Phase 4: Maximal Strength

Phase 4 is geared towards enhancing clients’ abilities to produce maximal muscular force. Accomplishing this requires maximal efforts and lifting near-max/maximal loads during resistance training—ranging anywhere from 85-100% of a client’s one-rep max—for 1-5 repetitions.

While similar to Muscular Development training in scope, developing maximal strength largely depends on neuromuscular adaptations resulting from consistently and progressively overloading muscles with higher intensities (loads). Because clients will be lifting so heavy in this phase, longer rest periods between exercise sets and higher volumes of training are usually required to optimize strength gains.

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To Help Clients Achieve Maximal Strength

  • Intensity of the Movements: Focus on adequate overload to maximize recruitment and synchronization of muscle fibers, and rate of force production.
  • Number of Repetitions: Reps will stay low while clients are in this phase.
  • Amount of Sets: Volume should increase, so the number of sets will rise in total to at least 4-6 per exercise.
  • Length of Rest Period: Because intensity is higher, rest periods may need to increase in both frequency and duration.
  • Types of Movements: Typically, exercises in this phase will consist of compound multi-joint movements, although applications and exercises can vary depending on activity-specific requirements and goals.

Level 3 (Phase 5)

Phase 5: Power

The 5th phase of the OPT™ Model focuses on using high force and high velocity exercises to increase power. One method to improve power is to perform supersets with contrasting loads. Like the supersets outlined and used in Phase 2 of the OPT™ Model, supersets in this phase will consist of two biomechanically similar exercises performed back-to-back—the first exercise should challenge near-max/maximal strength for 1-5 reps, and the second exercise should involve and challenge moving relatively low loads as fast and explosively as possible for 8-10 reps.

The rationale for this sequence is to activate and tap into as many muscle fibers as possible with the maximal lift, while utilizing explosive exercises directly after to improve how quickly and efficiently those muscle fibers contract. Keeping with the upper body exercise theme used previously, an example Phase 5 superset is performing a bench press followed by a medicine ball chest pass.

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It is important to note, though, the benefits of power training extend beyond those seeking to improve athletic performance and is appropriate for the traditional client and non-athlete too. Phase 5 can be easily modified for any client. And when strategically used, the power phase can not only yield great results and challenging experiences for clients, but also be a differentiator for fitness, Strength and Conditioning, and Sports Medicine professionals—as well as Sport Coaches—looking to incorporate fun, innovative, and proven methods to get the most out of the individuals they work with.

Note: Originally, there was a 6th phase of the OPT™ Model - Maximal Power - but the experts at NASM developed that into the Performance Enhancement Specialization. Follow the link for more information on Maximal Power.

To learn more about the ins and outs of Phase 5, check out the below video featuring Master Instructors Prentiss Rhodes, Wendy Batts, and Marty Miller for a live trainer roundtable all about power.

(Video) #NASM 7th Edition Chapter 21-The Optimum Performance Training Model

Free Webinar:
Phase 5: Power

This 1-hour webinar explains the benefits of power training for clients of all abilities and athletic capabilities, as well as various modifications for their needs.

Related Articles & Resources

An Explanation of the New Changes to the OPT™ Model

BRIAN SUTTON

How to Tweak the OPT™ Model for Clients Returning to the Gym

KINSEY MAHAFFEY

How to Use The OPT™ Model for Weight Loss

RICK RICHEY

(Video) What is the NASM Optimum Performance Training™ Model (OPT Model™)?

Using the NASM OPT™ Model for Home Workouts

PETE MCCALL

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

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(Video) Discussing the Updated Optimum Performance Training® (OPT™) Model

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FAQs

What is the optimum performance training model? ›

NASM's Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model is a three level system of five phases that starts with stabilization endurance training. No matter a client's ability, this initial phase can be manipulated to challenge even the most seasoned athlete or regressed to accommodate a novice exerciser.

How many sets per exercise should be performed for resistance training in the power phase of the OPT model? ›

Typically, workouts in this phase involve performing 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps per resistance exercise at intensities ranging from 75-85% of a client's one-rep max.

What are the 3 levels of training in the OPT model? ›

The OPT includes three levels, stabilization, strength, and power, and is further subdivided into five phases (figure 1).

What is the recommended number of sets of exercise to perform for the training adaptation of power? ›

The goal for each exercise regarding strength training is to complete 6 or less repetitions and 2-6 sets. The training intensity for each set should be 85% or higher to promote the best results. To focus more on power, aim to complete 1-2 repetitions with 3-5 working sets at 85% to 95% of 1RM.

What is the primary goal s of the strength level of the Optimum Performance training opt model? ›

According to the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model, the focus of the strength period of a training is to: increase motor unit recruitment.

What is the focus of the power phase of the Optimum Performance training opt model? ›

The focus of the power training phase of the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model is to: increase the rate of force production.

What is the NASM opt model? ›

The OPT Model, or Optimum Performance Training Model, is a fitness training system developed by NASM. The OPT Model is based on scientific evidence and principles that progresses an individual through five training phases: stabilization endurance, strength endurance, hypertrophy, maximal strength and power.

How long should a strength phase last? ›

Set Your Strength Goals

A typical strength cycle lasts 12-16 weeks. Gaining 5-10 percent on your maxes during a cycle is typical for a beginner, so if your best bench press is currently 225 pounds, we're looking to move the bar to 235-245. However, gains don't continue at this rate indefinitely.

In which of the following phases of the OPT model is suspended bodyweight training considered ideal? ›

In which of the following phases of the OPT model is suspended bodyweight training considered ideal? Phases 1 and 2; Suspended bodyweight exercises have become a powerful way to teach proper movement patterns, enhance stability and core strength, and gain metabolic benefits.

What are the 5 phases of training? ›

Training can be viewed as a process comprised of five related stages or activities: assessment, motivation, design, delivery, and evaluation.

What are the three levels of the OPT model quizlet? ›

3 levels of training- Stabilization, Strength, and power.

What are the two main components of power training? ›

As can be observed in the above mathematical equations, power has two main components, work and time. Translated into exercise terms, this would be comparable to strength and speed, respectively.

Is 3 sets per session enough? ›

The number of reps you perform per session depends on your fitness goals. If you are using very heavy weight, doing just 3 to 5 reps at a time may be enough to be effective. You can perform up to 3 sets, resting a few minutes between sets. Number of sets is also dependent on goals.

Is 2 sets enough for hypertrophy? ›

If you're taking long rests between sets, roughly 6 sets per muscle group per training session is a good target for most individuals looking to maximize hypertrophy.

How many sets should you do? ›

No matter how many reps you're completing per set, most fitness experts recommend performing between two and six sets for each exercise. Anything below two sets may not challenge you enough; anything over six sets could lead to overworked muscles.

Is the OPT model effective? ›

The OPT model is extremely successful in helping clients and athletes from diverse populations reduce their body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and improve athletic performance and overall health.

Which of the following is a strategy used in maximal strength training? ›

120 Cards in this Set
Which of the following is a strategy used in maximal strength training?Longer rest periods
What defines the speed at which each muscle action is performed?Repetition tempo
What is the focus of stabilization endurance training?Increasing neuromuscular efficiency of the core musculature
117 more rows

Which is a primary adaptation of the strength endurance training phase Nasm? ›

How long will a client generally stay in the Strength Endurance Training Phase? It is designed for the adaptation of maximal muscle growth, focusing on high levels of volume with minimal rest periods to force cellular changes that result in an overall increase in muscle size.

In which phase of the OPT model would suspended bodyweight training be the most desirable for optimal outcomes? ›

In which phase of the OPT model would suspended bodyweight training be the most desirable for optimal outcomes? Suspended bodyweight training is ideal for Phases 1 and 2, in which development of balance and muscle endurance are the focus.

Which of the following modalities will provide the most benefits to Phases 1/4 and 5 of the OPT model? ›

Which of the following modalities will provide the most benefits to Phases 1, 4 and 5 of the OPT model? Sandbags; Because of the range of bag weights available, the constant shifting of the sand, and the ability of the bags to be thrown or carried, sandbags are a viable choice for almost every phase of the OPT model.

What phase of the OPT model aims to increase growth of muscles to maximal levels NASM? ›

What phase of the OPT model aims to increase maximal strength and rate of force production? Power Training must use a combination of maximal strength and then a fast rate of force development, or conduction of nerves to stimulate muscles, to get an athlete or exerciser to move in an explosive manner.

Which phase of the OPT model introduces lifting near or at maximal intensity? ›

Maximal strength, which is the 4th phase of the OPT™ Mode, is similar to hypertrophy in programming, but it focuses on higher intensity with lower reps per set.

How long should a training cycle last? ›

As a general rule, most phases will last 3-4 weeks. This is an important phase as it prepares athletes for strength work to come in the later phases of training.

How long should a training plan last? ›

In summary, keep your training goal the same for at least three months. If you're an athlete, this duration will be dictated by the length of your season/offseason. Keep your training variables the same for at least one month.

How long should a training cycle be lifting? ›

For a beginner, the simple act of loading another few kilos on the bar and squatting with that weight instead will cause enough variation with which to progress. So essentially a beginner lifter's training cycle is about 2 days long.

What does optimal performance mean? ›

Optimal performance refers to a mental state in which people feel totally immersed in the performance of the task.

What is the OPT model? ›

The OPT Model, or Optimum Performance Training Model, is a fitness training system developed by NASM. The OPT Model is based on scientific evidence and principles that progresses an individual through five training phases: stabilization endurance, strength endurance, hypertrophy, maximal strength and power.

What are the three levels of the OPT model quizlet? ›

3 levels of training- Stabilization, Strength, and power.

What year was the OPT model launched? ›

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) was founded in 1987 by Robert Goldman and then brought into the eyes of personal training world by well known physical therapist Michael Clark (Badass PT for the Pheonix Suns who created the OPT Model (Optimal Performance Training) in 2000 (more on this at the end.)

Videos

1. NASM's Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) Phase 1 - Core Circuit
(National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM))
2. OPTimum Performance Training Workshop
(Premier Global NASM)
3. NASM's Optimal Performance Training Model Overview
(Tip Top Fitness)
4. How to bench press w/ proper form: Optimum Performance Training Model NASM Phase 2 | Show Up Fitness
(Show Up Fitness)
5. NASM's Optimum Performance Training™ Model
(Spirit Strong)
6. Chapter 14 - Integrated Program Design and the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model
(Dr. Jeff Williams)

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