Study the NASM PES Chapter 12: The Science of Periodization and the OPT Model 5

If you have not yet signed up for the NASM PES certification, receive a big discount here.

Get your copy of the NASM PES exam cheat sheet. It helps immensely for studying for the exam.

Make sure to check out Trainer Academy for premium NASM PES study materials. They will reduce study time by 50% and have an exam pass guarantee. Read my full review on them here. You can save $100 on their MVP study system with the code: PTPSUB

Chapter Goals:

  • Find the acute variables of training in the OPT model.
  • Describe the phases we have in the OPT model.
  • Be able to discuss the application of the OPT model in the many modes of periodization. 

Introduction

To achieve consistent levels of success, sports professionals must be able to make a program designed with purpose and integrated training for the alteration of stress. It must progressively challenge the neuromuscular system and allow for regeneration and recovery to be sufficient. 

Periodized training programs will be the best way to achieve the proper superior results over time. 

Introduction to Program Design

Program design is a purposeful system or plan that is made to help people achieve specific goals. 

Well-made programs will give a good path for athletes to reach their individual goals. 

For this, we require understanding many key concepts like the variables and reliance on proven systems. 

The OPT model designed by NASM is a planned, systematic, and periodized training program for concurrent improvements in functional abilities like flexibility, balance, stabilization, strength, power, and more. 

The OPT program has already successfully trained professional and Olympic athletes to achieve the best results with consistency. 

Acute Variables and the OPT Model

Acute variables are the important parts that will specify how every exercise will be done. 

For power, we have a rep range of 1 – 10 reps; we do these in 3 – 6 sets; the intensity is 30 – 45% of your one rep max or < 10% of body weight, and the rest period between sets will be 3 – 5 minutes. 

For strength training, we will use a rep scheme of 1 – 12 reps for 3 – 6 sets at an intensity of around 70 – 100% with a rest period of around 45 seconds – 5 minutes. 

For stabilization, we will use a rep scheme of 12 – 25 reps for 2 – 3 sets at an intensity of around 50 – 70% with a rest period of 0 – 1.5 minutes. 

These set variables remove the guesswork for fitness professionals, allowing us to plug somewhat and play with numbers more accurately and easily. 

The acute variables will be the reps, sets, training intensity, rep tempo, training volume, training frequency, training duration, selection of exercise, and rest interval. 

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

Repetitions and the OPT model

A rep is one complete movement of a certain exercise. Most reps will involve some order of the three muscle movements of concentric, eccentric, and isometric contractions. 

Suppose we were to look at the bicep curl. In that case, we see the single rep including the raising of the dumbbell against the resistance (concentric), pausing for some held time at the top (isometric), and then lowering the dumbbell in the direction of the resistance to the start position for the next rep (eccentric).

Reps may also mean the time the muscles are under tension. 

Each phase has its own set of standard repetitions that they follow. 

  • Stabilization has a rep range of 12 – 25.
  • Hypertrophy is seen as 8 – 12.
  • Max strength is seen as 1 – 5 reps. 
  • And power is between 1 – 10. 

How these reps are done will be changed depending on the training, which will be expanded later. 

These rep ranges are responsible for the physiological changes that occur in the body, and we need to consider them when designing programs for that reason. 

Sets and the OPT Model

A set is going to be a group of consecutive repetitions.

We get the training volume when we assemble the sets and the reps. 

Volume and intensity have an inverse relationship whereby the other must go down when one goes up. When higher reps are done, there should be fewer sets and vice versa.

The different training styles will have their own recommendations for sets to be done. 

  • For stabilization, we see sets of 1 -3 
  • For hypertrophy, we see sets of 3 – 4 
  • For max strength, we see sets of 3 – 6
  • For power, we will use sets of 3 – 6. 

You can see how these correspond to the rep ranges they had recommended in the previous section.

Training intensity and the OPT model

Training intensity is the level of effort that the individual puts in as it is compared to their max effort levels, and we usually show this as a percentage. 

The training phase the athlete is in will be used for determining the number of sets and reps, and then the intensity is found based on that. 

Another common use is as a percentage of someone’s one rep max. This is used for the main lifts more often. 

The phases of training have their own percentages to follow:

  • Stabilization is between 50 and 70% 
  • Hypertrophy is between 75 – 85% 
  • Max strength is from 85 – 100%
  • Power training is 30 – 45% or less than or equal to body weight.

Repetition Tempo

This will be the speed at that we perform each of the reps. 

We will potentially have speeds for all three contractions throughout the movement. 

Here are the tempo continuums for the reps in the various training phases. They follow eccentric, then isometric, and then concentric.

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You
  • Stabilization is slow at a 4/2/1 tempo.
  • Hypertrophy is moderate at a 2/0/2 tempo.
  • Max strength is moderate at the same 2/0/2 tempo.
  • And power training is fast and explosive tempo. 

Rest Interval

This is the time taken for recovery between the sets, exercises, or both. It may have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the training programs. 

The rest intervals for the various types of training are:

  • Stabilization is a rest range of 30 – 60 seconds
  • Hypertrophy is a rest range of 45 – 90 seconds
  • Max strength is a rest range of 2 – 3 minutes
  • Power is a rest range of 3 – 5 minutes

These will relate to the amount of effort put into the sets. Near max efforts require the most rest.

When we look at the recovery time and how much energy is actually received back, we find that:

  • At 20 – 30 seconds, we have allowed half of our ATP and creatine phosphate to recover.
  • At 40 seconds, we see this rise to 75%
  • At 60 seconds, we see this rise to 85 – 90%
  • And at 3 minutes, we reach back to 100%.

Factors seen to affect the rest interval programming are:

  • Training experience
  • Training intensity
  • Tolerance for shorter rest periods
  • Muscle mass levels
  • The general level of fitness
  • Goals for training
  • Status of nutrition level
  • The ability for you to recover

Training Volume

This will be the total amount of work you have done in a specified period. We must control this so we do not over train.

The factors that affect programming the training volume:

  • The phase of training 
  • Goals set
  • Age of the athlete
  • Work capacity
  • Recoverability
  • Nutrition status
  • History of injuries
  • Fitness level

Volume has this inverse relationship with intensity; when the intensity increases, the volume must go down to compensate. You can’t work as hard as possible or as much as you want. 

We receive different adaptations depending on whether we are training with high volume and low intensity or low volume and high intensity.

Training Frequency

This is the number of training sessions that one would get in a week or some specified time period. 

Typically, we see improvements in strength when we do 2 – 3 sessions per week. 

Sessions may reach 5 – 7 if they do not repeatedly stress the same body parts.

Training Duration

This is going to have two main meanings.

The first meaning is the timeframe from the start of the workout all the way to the end of the workout. It does not include any warmup or cool down. 

The second definition is the time we spend in one training phase before switching.

Exercise Density

This combines the volume, rest times, and length of the training sessions. 

It is the total work done during the training phases.

Exercise Selection

This is the process of choosing the right exercises for a program for the client. 

The human movement system is known for being very adaptable and ready to adjust to the demands of training that we place on it. 

We can break down the exercises into three different types based on the number of joints we use; the movements performed, and the adaptation we desire.

  • Single joint focuses on isolating one major muscle group or joint.
  • Multiple joint exercises will require the use of two or three joints.
  • The total body moves require multiple joints, such as squats, cleans, lunges with bicep curls, and shoulder presses. 

Periodization and the OPT Model Implementing the Planned Performance Training

Periodization has been evaluated highly in the scientific literature, with continued research examining variations in training and the bearings of the variations on physiological development. 

Periodization is a vital part of planning and programming in sports training, shown in the training division into cycles or segments. This enables the targeting of specific adaptations during every cycle. 

The benefits of periodization include the promotion of optimization of the time needed for training, the development of multiple sports skills, preventing burnout, and matching training phases to the demands we find in the competition. 

The Training Plan

To accomplish goals, the training program of the athlete should involve both short and long term planning. 

A training plan is a specific plan that we design to meet the training and performance goals. 

A macrocycle is a generalized plan of training that spans one year to show the progress to be made in between phases.

A mesocycle is a generalized training plan that spans the time of around 1 – 3 months and shows what phases will be needed each day of the week.

Microcycles are training plans that specify the workouts span one week and show the exercises we need each day of the week. 

Applying the OPT Model

The OPT model is quite proven and easy to implement for periodization and should be used to create athletic programs. 

Understanding the concepts is key, but the ability to apply information in many situations to many different clients is even more important. 

Linear Periodization and the OPT Model

This is shown in the initial high volume and low intensity forms of training with decreasing the volume and increasing the intensity gradually, and usually over periods of months. If the professional progresses the athlete through the OPT model through the 6 phases in that order with no changes, then this is linear periodization. If doing a minimum of 4 weeks per training cycle, this would take a total of 6 months to complete.

Undulating Periodization and the OPT Model

This has been described as a more often level of changes in volume and intensity, often daily or weekly in the basis. This can be applied in many ways. It is a pretty random assortment of numbers when you look at it, but there may be some underlying pattern followed. 

Block Periodization and the OPT Model

This is shown as a focus on one training adaptation for a certain time period, usually done in month blocks. Then we follow by changing the acute variables to focus on differing goals.

The Art of Periodization

Thoughtful and planned variation in training is the most important part of preparing someone for their sport. 

This requires a lot of understanding of the athlete and their sports schedule. 

We must consider the schedules, the timing of seasons, and many factors when working with athletes. 

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


All Posts

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity


All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

Ask me a question and I will reply ASAP

40 NASM PES Practice Q's

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Exam

18749

NASM PES exam cheat sheet

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The CSCS Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACSM Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM PES Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Nutritionist Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NCSF CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CNC Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM PES Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CES Exam

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the NASM CPT

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NSCA CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACE Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM Exam

18749