NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT Model
NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT Model 5

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Chapter Goals:

  • Make a summary for integrated training principles and their importance for maximizing function.
  • Find the types of exercise in the integrated training model.
  • List and know the five phases of NASM’s OPT model.
  • Discuss the benefits of using the NASM OPT model for training clients.

Integrated Training Principles

Exercise programs can tailor their exercises and included variables based on the individual and accommodate them based on issues they may have or simply things they would prefer to work on.

There are many options for programming to maximize the exercise program’s effectiveness and to suit the client’s desires.

Integrated training puts all of the forms of exercising together to one system. These are flexibility, cardiorespiratory, balance, core, plyometrics, speed, agility, quickness, and resistance training. 

Putting these training styles together works to create an approach considered to be all-inclusive and it will improve the overall health, wellness, and athletic performance of the individuals.

Some of the benefits that result from custom programming are:

Psychological benefits, such as stress relief, improved mood, and improved sleep

  • Physiological benefits, such as improved cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine (hormone) functionality
  • Body composition benefits, such as fat loss and increased lean muscle mass
  • Performance benefits, such as increased flexibility, endurance, strength, and power

There are additional parts to think about as far as integrated training principles like systematic and progressive training, the use of fundamental movement patterns, optimal posture work, range of motion, planes of motion, and many variations in the acute variables. 

Training in a Systematic and Progressive Fashion

The body needs to build a solid foundation of fitness prior to starting to intensity the training programs. 

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It is not logical to simply place clients in the most intense situations and workouts off the bat. This can cause self-efficacy problems with the clients.

Progressive overload must be utilized. This is where the body adapts to the demands over time and becomes stronger and even more resilient. It is a progressive approach to training.

Training Fundamental Movement Patterns

These are movement patterns that all of the trainers need to demonstrate and teach the clients. They should ensure mastery of the movements to minimize risk and increase the overall effectiveness.

Some can be combined to a single move. The basic moves are:

  • Squatting
  • Hip hinge
  • Pulling motions
  • Pushing motions
  • Vertical pressing

Isolated resistance training can have its benefits but training these fundamental movement patterns is very beneficial for overall coordination and athleticism. 

Training with Optimal Posture

Posture is the general disposition of the body and its parts with relating to the physical position of standing, laying down, or sitting. 

Fitness has the goal of creating progressive, systematic programs of exercise that aim to maintain or correct posture to help with the risk for injury that exists. 

Training for Optimal Range of Motion

Range of motion means that the muscles and joints allow for movements to go through the entire degrees of motion.

It is important to train clients to work in this range of motions for the proper health of the musculature and joints.

Training in All Planes of Motion

Programs of exercise should be done in ways that require movement through all three of the planes of motion: sagittal, transverse, and frontal.

Acute Variables of Training

These are the exercise training variables, and proper programming will have these changing quite a bit as the client is progressing and changing.

Training Based on Assessment Results

The programming efforts done by the fitness professional before the initial working out should allow the trainer to make a baseline value for the important exercises, and then make the program off of these values.

Introduction to Integrated Training Concepts

Flexibility Training

This style of training has the aim to increase the range of motion for the joints and, in essence, improve the extensibility of the tissues, which would then allow for the body to move in a freer manner and not be hindered in any way.

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There is also the ability to reduce the risk for injury and reduce soreness that may exist in the muscles. 

Cardiorespiratory Training

This training aims to increase the capacity of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems so that the muscles have the ability to provide more oxygen and energy during sustained activity. 

Some major benefits of this well-known form of training are:

  • Decreased resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased stroke volume and cardiac output
  • Improved gas exchange, decreased airway resistance, and improved oxygen uptake
  • Decreased blood flow resistance and increased blood volume
  • Improved blood lipid profile/chemistry
  • Improved blood flow back to the heart via veins

Core Training

The core is the muscles of the trunk and pelvis, and they work to stabilize the spine and pelvis, and the entire body through movements. 

There is a lot going on in these muscles constantly, like generating and transferring energy from the core and then to the extremities. 

Some of the benefits of this style of training are:

  • Enhanced posture and spinal health
  • Better bodily function for activities of daily living and on-the-job movements
  • Increased balance, stabilization, and coordination of the kinetic chain
  • Minimized or resolved low-back pain conditions or symptoms
  • Improved skill-related movements and power

Balance Training

Balance is the ability for people to keep, achieve, or restore their state of being without falling over or failing.

Training this allows for better movement patterns for all clients and the reduction in falls for elderly people.

The benefits of this training style are:

  • Reduced risk of falls
  • Reduced risk of ankle sprains
  • Improvements in landing mechanics 
  • Improvements in lower-extremity muscular strength
  • Improvements in proprioception and body awareness
  • Improvements in agility-based outcomes in athletes
  • Stronger hip musculature and lower extremities

Plyometric (Reactive) Training

This is reactive or jump training. It is only really appropriate for athletes, but when desired by others, it can be beneficial and safe and effective for them to do.

It utilizes the stretch-shortening cycle, which allows for the client to move more explosively. 

The benefits of this training style are:

  • Increased bone mineral density and decreased risk of bone/joint injuries
  • Improved soft tissue strength and decreased risk of injury
  • Increased metabolic expenditure for improved weight management and/or weight loss
  • Increased strength and power for athletes and general population
  • Improved muscle contractions and nervous system synchronization
  • Improved performance or gameplay for athletes of all levels

Speed, Agility, and Quickness training

This is often shortened to SAQ training, and it looks to mainly work on athletic needs. 

The benefits of this training style are:

  • Improved performance for top speed, change of direction, and rate of acceleration/deceleration
  • Improved health-related physical fitness
  • Enhanced response time to a stimulus or better reaction time
  • Improved technical skills in sprinting and change of direction mechanics

Resistance Training

This is able to promote marked increases in the muscle strength and hypertrophy of people. It is a well-known style of training and cannot be spoken better of. it is essential in programming for exercise. 

The benefits for resistance training are:

  • Increased endurance, strength, and power
  • Increased muscular hypertrophy
  • Improved weight management and enhanced weight-loss efforts
  • Improved resting metabolic rate, resting heart rate, and blood pressure
  • Improved coordination and athleticism
  • Decreased risk of injury due to strength of all soft tissues

The Optimum Performance Training Model

This is the NASM’s version of an evidence-based training system. It is divided up into three levels of training.

Stabilization

This is the first level of the OPT model and it focuses on the two adaptations of improving the patterns of movement and also enhancing the stabilization of the body.

Phase 1 is the phase of stabilization endurance training where clients will become familiar with the many modes of exercise and the optimal movement patterns.

Strength

This is the second level of the OPT model and it has the goal of working on stabilization endurance and increasing the strength of the prime movers.

Phase 2 is the phase of strength endurance training.

Phase 3 is the phase of muscular development training phase.

Phase 4 is the maximal strength training phase.

Power

This is the third and final level of the OPT model and the goal is to advance the power and strength of the well-trained and advanced level clients.

Phase 5 is the power training phase.

How to Use the OPT Model

Each of the following chapter within this domain will work on how to apply the model to each aspect of training.

NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT Model 6
NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT Model 7
NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT Model 8

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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