The NASM OPT™ MODEL
WHY NASM DESIGNED THE OPT MODEL
NASM designed the OPT model (The Optimum Performance Training® Model) as a planned, systematic, and periodized training program. The OPT model simultaneously improves all physical abilities, such as flexibility, muscular and aerobic endurance, core stabilization, balance, muscular strength, coordination, and power.
The OPT model is also 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. It is an evidence-based model, meaning it has been tested and validated both in a laboratory setting and with real-life clients and athletes (DiStefano et al., 2013).
The OPT includes three levels, stabilization, strength, and power, and is further subdivided into five phases (figure 1). Each phase has specific protocols, exercise guidelines, and acute variables (i.e., sets, repetitions, rest periods, etc.). These phases include:
• Phase 1 Stabilization Endurance Training.
• Phase 2 Strength Endurance Training.
• Phase 3 Hypertrophy Training*.
• Phase 4 Maximal Strength Training.
• Phase 5 Power Training.
*The name of Phase 3 is changing from Hypertrophy Training to Muscular Development Training. The name change is a better reflection of the goals of this phase. Hypertrophy, by definition, means to grow or enlarge. In the context of fitness, hypertrophy is usually referring to the enlargement of muscles. However, since hypertrophy can occur to many tissues of the body (e.g., heart, brain), NASM has decided to change the name of Phase 3 to reflect its goals better.
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