Making Group Programming Individualized

Six Sigma Fitness
Barbell

This mini-course will give you a clear and simple framework from which to screen and onboard clients into a health and fitness program while offering specific scientifically valid methodologies to apply in the field to develop and progress clients. This method honed on professional and amatuer athletes as well as general weight loss and lifestyle clients, will get them the results that insure both their success and the success of the Coach/Trainer required to be successful in this industry. 

The entire fitness industry is full of theoretical models based on scientific research on how best to train someone for health and or sports performance. Many of the programs are well researched and developed for coaching certifications but they rarely teach a well thought-out implementation framework from which to apply the theory. The point at which science and theory meet real life training in the gym, usually falls apart because the science is hard to implement and tedious to track. Additionally, there is often no system in place to properly classify and progress an individual through the various phases of their needs or their goals and objectives. No assessments, no periodization, just random starting points and no clear path.

The implementation of any program can fall apart if you don't have a framework to assess, test and progress individuals through the various life cycles of their path to health, fitness and human performance. Six Sigma Fitness™ fills this gap from multiple perspectives offering a Framework of Methodologies and a set of technological and scientific Tools to implement the collection and analysis of the data, organize the research, apply the diagnostics and propose the protocols that will best meet the Athlete's or Client's goals and objectives.  Frameworks, Methodologies and Tools have very specific and defined meanings within the cotext of the Six Sigma FItness™ program. We will only touch on some of them briefly here but we will cover them in more depth in later training.

The most underutilized core concept taught in the health and fitness field is the scientifically valid method of progressing individuals through "periodized programming".

Periodization is a preplanned method of programming over weeks, months and even years that uses both intelligent incremental progression and regular variation by manipulating variables such as sets, reps, rest and loads to allow an individual to progress and adapt further and faster than with constant GPP (General Physical Preparedness) type workouts.  GPP is used as general training that improves your specific training by limiting your weaknesses, improving your quality of movement, and enhancing your body's ability to handle greater workloads.  In addition, Periodization helps to prevent plateaus and overtraining.

Periodization

“long-term cyclic structuring of training and practice to maximize performance to coincide with important competitions.

Verkhoshansky, Y., & Siff, M. (2009). Supertraining. Sixth Edition. Verkhoshanky: Rome.

Periodization comes in many forms including Traditional or Linear, Block, Conjugate and Undulating.

Linear (Traditional) Periodization (LP): Volume and intensity are systematically manipulated. Training cycle begins with a high-volume, low-intensity profile then progresses to low volume, high intensity over time.

Block Periodization (BP): Focuses on specific training periods of 2-4 weeks. Each block contains three different stages: General (accumulation - 50-75% intensity), Specific (transmutation - 75-90% intensity), and Competitive (realization - 90%> intensity). Block periodization starts with a block focused on strength endurance, followed by a block focused on hypertrophy, followed by a block focused on maximal strength, followed by a block focused on power and velocity, followed by a competitive block if you have an athletic event. (Issurin, Vladimir. (2008). Block periodization versus traditional training theory: A review. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness. 48. 65-75.)

Undulating Periodization (UP) : Training volume and intensity increase and decrease on a regular basis but they do not follow the traditional pattern of increasing intensity and decreasing volume as the mesocycle progresses (Fleck & Kraemer, 1997).

Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP): Training volume and intensity increase and decrease on a daily basis (Rhea et al., 2002).

In a Classic Periodization program, training is broken down into training cycles:
Training unit - Refers to the actual "daily" workout or WOD
Microcycle - Training program lasting 1-4 weeks
Mesocycle - Training program of several weeks or months typically 4-7 weeks
Macrocycle - The largest unit of time lasting anywhere from 6 months to 4 years (Olympic cycle)

The problem with Classic Periodization is that it doesn't fit the new model of training in a group environment in person or online.  It does not work well with class formats and is geared towards individual self training or one-on-one coaching due to its highly structured nature and inflexible progression requirements.

Group training has been established as the new dynamic in how we get our workouts in today.  Replacing its more expensive cousin, personal training, group training adds an element of social belonging and community that keeps people motivated and connected to their programs.

In addition group training has allowed the fitness industry to reduce costs and increase profits by splitting sessions among many individuals rather than one. Most Group training has patterned itself after a category of Program Training model called General Physical Preparedness (GPP) normally used to start a new physical regimen preparing for progression to higher level of efforts not to progress a physical regimen. 

  • General-Physical Preparedness (OPP)

When GPP is used as a progression for group training it can become a very generalized one size fits all type of training due to its simplicity making it suitable to large group classes. Typically, in the GPP phase, athletes work on general conditioning to improve strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, structure and skill.  GPP can be a good starting place for deconditioned individuals or clients who are new to fitness.  It is less about specific adaptation and more about getting the client moving again and working on basics and foundational skills.  When used for group training, it becomes a continuous loop of constant variation of whole body workouts that can be easily scaled up or down to meet the needs of each individual. The weakness of using GPP as a primary training program is that it lacks progression required for higher performance levels. Normally the goal of the GPP phase should be to prepare the individual for the next phase of a more Specific programming type which can include

  • Objective-Specific Physical Preparedness (OPP)
  • Sports-Specific Physical Preparedness (SPP)
  • Performance-Specific Physical Preparedness (PPP) 

GPP


Specific Physical Preparedness (SPP)


GPP

In the general lifestyle population, Objective-specific Physical Preparedness (OPP) normally precedes, Sport-specific Physical Preparedness (SPP). General Population clients or "Gen-pop" objectives normally include weight-loss and health and wellness. In other words they may want to look good and or feel good as their "Specific" goal. As they achieve those goals they often desire to move on to sport or performance goals and objectives in which Sport-specific Physical Preparedness or performance based programming becomes important such as training for a marathon, CrossFit® competition, power lifting...

GPP Constant Variation

Until a client is ready for this next phase, GPP is a likely starting point for all individuals who are deconditioned and or have not been training for some time.  One type of GPP that has become popular recently is Constant Variation or randomized workouts. Rather than periodized progressive movement programming, Constant Variation changes the workout and exercise patterns each and every session.  This type of programming challenges the body to attempt to optimize adaptational responses to neuromuscular signaling as well as energy production and storage as  the body is constantly kept off-guard and therefore promotes a fast track to general conditioning for the general population starting a new program.  It has been shown to be less effective in more advanced or experienced individuals who have optimized generalized movement and need to be more specific in their goal objective programming.  That being said, it has shown to stave off the boredom that many individuals say they experience when performing the same movements over and over.

Popular forms of Constant Variation training would be CrossFit®, Insanity®, P90X®, and Orange Theory® and F45.

GPP is particularly good at producing optimal initial efficiency of the two systems of improvement that account  for what most people consider conditioning or strength gains when they first begin working out; 

  1. neuromuscular signaling
  2. energy production.

Once these two systems become optimized, any strength and endurance gains begin to slow significantly as stress adaptation becomes much more difficult to solicit. This is where a Progressive Periodized Training Program can begin to make more gains. 


Neuromuscular Signaling

Scientific Explanation:  A neuromuscular junction (or myoneural junction) is a chemical synapse formed by the contact between a motor neuron and a muscle fiber.  It is at the neuromuscular junction that a motor neuron is able to transmit a signal to the muscle fiber, causing muscle contraction.

Layman's Terms:  The first physiological system of neuromuscular signaling allows the individual to become efficient at performing movements recruiting more muscle tissue at first and then less as the body learns to do more with less effort.  These learned movements are called engrams.  Engrams are a means by which memory traces are stored as biophysical or biochemical changes in the brain (and other neural tissue) in response to external stimuli. This is also something we lose as we age due to a lack of sufficient stimuli. As you get better and more efficient at a movement, you experience less adaptive stress so the same amount of exercise gives you less and less benefit. In essence the training becomes easier in what is commonly experienced as "getting in better shape".  To progress, one must take the learned response of being able to recruit more muscle fibers and force the body to do so through increasing loads and more difficult techniques. Stress must be increased to force higher levels of physical adaptation. This pronounced and rapid response to stress accounts for a major portion of a new athlete's improvement in the first 4-6 weeks of a training program and can last for up to 12 weeks depending on training frequency and genetic athletic predisposition. From thereon, physical adaptation may begin to slow but steady gains can continue to be made under progressive overloads.


Energy Production

Scientific Explanation:  ATP is the primary source of energy in the muscle fibers and is responsible for causing the muscle contraction signaled by the motor neuron and it can be synthesized in 3 different ways:

  1. Phosphagen (immediate source) 
  2. Anaerobic (somewhat slow, uses carbohydrates)
  3. Aerobic (slow, uses either carbohydrate or fat)

Glycogen is a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a storage form of carbohydrates. It is similar to what we call "starch" in plants.. Technically, it is a polysaccharide that forms glucose on hydrolysis. 

Layman's Terms: The second physiological system that is optimized early on is energy production.  Given any steady state level of activity, the body begins to optimize the energy usage and storage to fuel that activity until it peaks and is no longer being stressed and starts to plateau.  This is normally experienced in a de-conditioned individual in the very first weeks of a training program as their glycogen storage systems optimize to match the level of work needed to fuel their physical output and their mitochondria begin producing ATP to match the demands. The initial lack of energy storage is often responsible for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that may happen in the early days of a client's training program.

Typically, GPP precedes a more formal program of periodized training. It allows the athlete to begin getting used to physical stress and lays the foundation for cardiovascular conditioning. It signals the body to become more efficient at contracting muscle tissue to perform physical activity and storing more energy to match their new physical program thus optimizing neuromuscular signaling and energy production.

General Physical Preparedness (GPP) is well suited to be used as an introductory program for a deconditioned individual and prepare them for the rigors of more advanced Objective Specific Physical Preparedness (OSP) (weight-loss and fitness).  Upon achieving a targeted level of "Fitness" they may then begin Sport Specific Physical Preparedness (SPP) (athletic training) that may be implemented to prepare someone for a contest, sport or event.  At the highest level an athlete may then move to Performance Specific Physical Preparedness (PPP) allowing them to optimize at their specific sport or specific movements required to excel at their position.

Athletes or Clients are categorized by Level within the Six Sigma Fitness Programming models as follows:

GPP and OSP* - Level 0
SPP - Level 1
PPP - Local Competitive Athlete - Level 2
PPP - National Level Competitive Athlete - Level 3
PPP - Elite International Competitive Athlete - Level 4 
* Graduation from OSP signifies a client that is now able to train for "Fitness" or athletic endeavor.

Client/Athlete Coaching Levels

0

GPP and OSP - Level 0

Client is deconditioned and or overweight. They must return to consistent patterns of movement, begin health lifestyle changes, and achieve a healthy level of body fat composition and BMI to move into a path to become Athletically Fit. This Level includes General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and Objective Specific Physical Preparedness (OSP) (weight-loss and fitness).

1

SPP - Athlete in Training

Level 1

The client has reached a level of specified "Fitness" meaning they are now fit to take on higher levels of achievement to be classified as an "Athlete" This Level includes Sport Specific Physical Preparedness (SPP)

2

PPP - Local Competitive Athlete - Level 2

Athlete is beginning to achieve qualifying stats in their Athletic sport of choice to allow them to compete in their local regions. This Level includes Performance Specific Physical Preparedness (PPP)

3

National Level Competitive Athlete - Level 3

Athlete has placed or qualified in Regional competitions to enter National Competitive Events. This Level includes Performance Specific Physical Preparedness (PPP)

4

Elite International Competitive Athlete - Level 4 

Athlete has placed or qualified in National competitions to enter International Competitive Events. This Level includes Performance Specific Physical Preparedness (PPP)

Most individuals would benefit from participating in a GPP program for at least 30-90 days until they can pass specific GPP assessments qualifying them to advance to the next level of training such as OPP or SPP.  GPP need not be randomized in perpetuity like many of the popular programs. It can and should progress intelligently using a series of training cycles.

Once an individual qualifies for a more advanced level of programming they may exit GPP and enter a formal Periodization program.  Periodization can come in many forms including Traditional or Linear, Block, Conjugate and Undulating depending on the objectives of the client/athlete. Periodization programming should be designed around the client/athlete's objective (weight loss, strength, health, competition...), sport or event specific training they intend to progress towards.

For example, a competitive athlete would eventually move to a SPP (Sport-specific Physical Preparedness) program matching their specific requirements. Depending on the sport, and the experience of the athlete and their goals, the coach may choose any of the above periodization templates to program the athlete's workouts. In reality Modern Periodization often includes some elements of all types of periodization. 

In many cases the next step in the General Population's  journey after GPP is likely the pursuit of Health and Fitness. They are likely not ready to compete in an athletic event but rather need to lose weight and become toned and trim (OPP). One of the main methodologies and programming for Objective-specific Physical Preparedness is the Six Sigma Fitness™ Regional Adipose Tissue Deposit Profile (RATDP).  The RATDP is a proprietary assessment that analyzes the body fat deposition patterns and uses algorithms and artificial intelligence using evidence based scientific research to recommend lifestyle, nutrition, supplementation and movement which includes 3 primary training programs (MRT, DBT, LAT) or 1 periodized maintenance program (HESEA) that would best achieve the client's objectives and optimize potential for success. These programs will be explained later in this mini-course.  

An entirely random approach to training…is a mistake. Being prepared for any random task is not the same thing as preparing randomly for any task. The importance of this point cannot be overstated.”

Greg Everett, Catalyst Athletics, www.cathletics.com

Once an individual progresses through the phases of OPP and reaches an objective specific health and fitness goal, they will require progression on one of two paths;

  1. Maintenance
  2. Performance

The client will either wish to maintain and make incremental improvements as part of an overall healthy lifestyle or they will want to move on to a performance based program to compete or prepare for an event such as a figure competition, a tough mudder, CrossFit® competition or marathon. The majority of individuals will want an incremental maintenance program and even if they decide to train for an event will need to return back and forth between events into a maintenance mode. This is where group training sees some of it largest base of clients, the long-term regulars trying to maintain and make incremental gains as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Typical group training commonly involves a pre-established Workout Of the Day (WOD) that is similar in nature for all levels of members with minor changes in the “scale” of the exercise to meet the client needs and abilities. In group training you don't control the member's schedule and attendance, nor is it practical to try and customize and adapt each and every program to large groups of varied demographics in age, conditioning and physical abilities. The downside of this type of programming is that the same workout doesn't benefit everyone equally if it is not customized to each individual's needs, abilities and objectives.

Typical high intensity short duration programs like CrossFit®, F45 or P90X® which are performed in a class format require a pre-established workout that is the same for everyone. Although it is relatively simple to individualize or scale a specific exercise for one person it is cumbersome to do this in a class of 20+ and meet the needs of all members of the class. 

Additionally, members train on different days and as such may receive an overabundance of one type of training during a microcycle as opposed to getting what they need on the day they train.  This results in less than optimal outcomes, with everyone performing to the lowest common denominator within the class to meet the greatest needs of the group.

CrossFit® in general is responsible for a phenomenal increase in the popularity of health and fitness but is also focused around the premise of randomness through constant variation which only produces results for a set period where it then normally tapers off in diminishing returns as well. Eventually, even a competitive CrossFit® athlete will find their way to some sort of progressive form of periodization and specificity to make improvements in their weak areas. Initially this type of programming is particularly effective as GPP in non-trained and deconditioned individuals or in athletes that have been specializing in only one type of programming such as bodybuilding or powerlifting. It is also particularly effective in athletes with excellent recovery but can create an opportunity for an overtrained state in gen-pop clients who don't focus on recovery techniques. Lastly, CrossFit® suffers from the same problem as all other group programming in that the coach or trainer must take into consideration the client's conditioning levels, injuries, experience and capabilities and "scale" or modify each workout to meet the demands of the clients and thus often has 3-5 versions of a workout happening simultaneously. 

Along with the sudden increase in popular methodologies surrounding high intensity short duration programming is the spike in health professionals entering the system in an attempt to spread the "word". The effect has been to allow poorly educated and inexperienced trainers to promote a training system they don't fully understand that throws together exercises and sets in a fashion that promotes exhaustion as a goal of a good workout thus masking their lack of programming ability.

One solution to these class based programs is to schedule and program both lower and higher level classes requiring multiple and overlapping time schedules and multiple coaches with varied experience to coordinate them, thus making attendance to classes inflexible for members and more costly to administer. Another solution often attempted is to scale programming on the fly in the gym environment.  This solution requires a highly individualized and informal approach beyond the ability of most coaches' technical experience and or ability to track multiple members capabilities and progressions.

A form of Periodization that allows much more flexibility in the programming and is better suited for general health purposes is called Undulating Periodization or Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP).

DUP is a form of training in which the rep ranges and variation of workouts is varied daily (Training Unit) as opposed to by Mesocycle (weeks-months).

A Comparison of Linear and Daily Undulating Periodized Programs with Equated Volume and Intensity for Strength

The purpose of this study was to compare linear periodization (LP) and daily undulating periodization (DUP) for strength gains. Twenty men (age = 21 +/- 2.3 years) were randomly assigned to LP (n = 10) or DUP (n = 10) groups. One repetition maximum (1RM) was recorded for bench press and leg press as a pre-, mid-, and posttest. Training involved 3 sets (bench press and leg press), 3 days per week. The LP group performed sets of 8 RM during weeks 1-4, 6 RM during weeks 4-8, and 4 RM during weeks 9-12. The DUP group altered training on a daily basis (Monday, 8 RM; Wednesday, 6 RM; Friday, 4 RM). Analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed statistically significant differences favoring the DUP group between T1 to T2 and T1 to T3. Making program alterations on a daily basis was more effective in eliciting strength gains than doing so every 4 weeks.

Rhea, Matthew & D Ball, Stephen & Phillips, Wayne & N Burkett, Lee. (2002). A Comparison of Linear and Daily Undulating Periodized Programs with Equated Volume and Intensity for Strength. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 16. 250-5. 10.1519/1533-4287(2002)016<0250:ACOLAD>2.0.CO;2.

In fact over the years, CrossFit® gyms have begun to include more varied undulating programming to their weekly classes. 

Undulating Periodization is a mix of Mesocycles spread over just two weeks vs Classic Peoridization which is normally spread over several weeks or months. The Microcycle which normally lasts 1-4 weeks is essentially replaced by the Mesocycle which is typically compressed into approximately 2 weeks and can include everything normally seen in all Mesocycles (Power, Strength, Hypertrophy, Endurance, Active Rest/Transition).

Six Sigma Fitness™ has taken the Undulating Periodization model one step further, modifying it for group programming utilizing a 15 workout Mesocycle concept which can be documented and tracked manually but is more easily implemented with the help of some technology. This Undulating Periodization program is named HESEA™.

The Six Sigma Fitness HESEA™ Model is a new and updated approach to an age-old time tested method of periodization and intelligent progressive programming.  It takes the principles of Undulating Periodization and replaces the Mesocycle with a targeted 3 week program divided into 1 week or 5 workout microcycles. Note the concept of weeks and months is artificial as training density is based on sessions and governed by recovery. As such the Mesocycle is 15 sessions for as long as it takes for the athlete to complete the scheduled training. It applies the principals that allow your body to be stressed by adaptational forces in a progressive manner that increases results and minimizes plateaus.  It takes the concept of randomized and constantly varied training like CrossFit and enhances the results by customizing the approach for each client so they get what they need on the days that they train as opposed to reducing or "dumbing down" the workout to meet the needs of the lowest common denominator in the class program.

Applying the Six Sigma Fitness HESEA™ methodology enhances results by meeting the individual requirements of each member in a formalized fashion at the time they are able to workout.

For group classes such as boot camps or CrossFit® type training, the Six Sigma Fitness HESEA™ methodology using a variation of the Undulating periodization model, fits the needs and flexibility of the member and the group training environment while maintaining both customization, progression and variation.  From a more technical perspective, HESEA™ uses Undulating Periodization with Block Microcycles and Conjugate Mesocyles.  Given that Power is a very explosive sport or combative specific concept, it should be reserved for more experienced clients. Power is force development with speed and should not be used until the client has reached Fitness Level 1 in preparation to move to Fitness Level 2.

Power developed too early will lead to injury and or poor technique. Conversely if Power is not developed at the athletic stages of Fitness 2, 3 and 4, it can also lead to injury on the field during application. As such, the HESEA™ programming for general non-sport specific health endeavors, includes only the following 4 block phases of Hypertrophy, Strength, Endurance and Recovery:

Swipe left to right

Type of Workout (Phase)
Sets
Reps
Rest
Load % of1 RM
Hypertrophy

3-4

8-12

.5-1.5 mins

50-65%

Strength

3-5

4-6

3-4 mins

75-85%

Endurance strength

3-4

15-30

0-.5 mins

40-50%

Active Recovery/Mobility

1-2

10-15

1-2 mins

50-55%

Notes:
  1. GPP is considered the best and most practical way to start a new and or deconditioned individual as more formalized progression is not required to make gains.
  2. Clients should progress to an Objective Specific model such as RATDP™ to optimize health and fitness to an appropriate level before moving to a Sport specific Physical Preparedness model. 
  3.  Endurance strength is written as "Endurance" for these purposes and does not solely mean bodyweight aerobics but any and all Metcon activities including and preferably a mix of high repetition weighted exercises as well as bodyweight movements.
  4. Power training requires speed and is more sport than health specific and increases risk of injury for the average individual due to its explosive nature.  As such, specific Power training is left out of the HESEA™ programming model due to the higher risk of ballistic weighted movements. The system has been modified to meet the needs of both barbell and non-barbell programs with a Strength phase with set ranges of 4-6. Strength rep ranges of 1-3 are also advised to be avoided due to high risk of injury until the athlete becomes more advanced. Power can be added to replace Strength for more advanced students and athletes.
  5. Active Rest/Recovery/Transition/Mobility can also be accomplished through other types of training or activities such as stretching, foam roller, yoga, Pilates as well as biking, hiking or walking.  Research also shows 2 sets of 5-8 reps of whole body concentric dominated movements such as deadlifts or squats at a load of  80% - 90% 1 RM is also an acceptable form of recovery, as well as cardio training at 72-88% of your max heart. The goal is to leave the session not feeling spent or exhausted and better than when you started.

 

HESEA™ Cycle Definitions:

Training unit - Refers to the actual "daily" workout or WOD
Microcycle - In this case it refers to approximately 1 week of training or 5 workouts
Mesocycle - In this case it refers to a period lasting approximately 3-5 weeks or 15 workouts
Macrocycle - The largest unit of time lasting anywhere from 6 months to 4 years (Olympic cycle)

Foot notes:

Research has found that undulating periodized programs are just as effective as linear periodized models for the development of strength power and muscle mass (Marx et al. 2001; Kraemer et al. 2000) and are more effective than nonperiodized programs.

One study by Rhea et al. (2002) found that undulating periodized training was more effective for developing strength compared to a linear periodized plan.

A Comparison of Linear and Daily Undulating Periodized Programs

Research has shown that on new individuals, a more randomized GPP approach to gain a foundation to work from is as effective as any other method. A study of 20 Brazilian Special OPs soldiers was performed using 3 different types of periodization and GPP.  Although soldiers, they were actually not very strong or very fast so their general state of fitness was low.  They trained 3 primary exercises for 9 weeks.  At the end of the 9 weeks it was noted that all soldiers saw similar improvements.

Distinct Temporal Organizations of the Strength- and Power-Training Loads Produce Similar Performance Improvements - Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 188–194 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182503807

Programming - 
Mesocycle - (15 workouts/3-5 weeks)
Microcycle (5 workouts/1-2 weeks):
HESEA - Hypertrophy, Endurance, Strength, Endurance, Active Recovery
U-L-W - Upper body, Lower body, Whole body

HU = Hypertrophy - Upper Body
HL = Hypertrophy - Lower Body
HW = Hypertrophy - Whole Body
EW = Endurance - Whole Body
SU = Strength - Upper Body
SL = Strength - Lower Body
SW = Strength - Whole Body
ARW = Active Recovery - Whole Body

Swipe left to right

Mesocycle

Microcycle

Training Unit

1

Training Unit

2

Training Unit

3

Training Unit

4

Training Unit

5

1

HU

EW

SW

EW

ARW

2

HL

EW

SU

EW

ARW

3

HW

EW

SL

EW

ARW

Notes:

Volume = Sets x Reps
Intensity = Load or weight (expended physical effort)
Power = Force x Velocity (Max power at max speed) - Not used in the initial stages of the HESEA™ Periodization Program (see notes above)

The Six Sigma Fitness™ Programming Framework

Six Sigma Fitness™ Beginner GPP Program

For beginners, novices and deconditioned athletes a more generalized GPP approach to start their conditioning program works very well. This includes a well rounded whole body movement curriculum such as a boot camp or a randomized approach such as CrossFit®. But even a GPP program should be monitored and progressed for movement abilities and conditioning so that the right stimulus continues to be used throughout.

Such a program is usually designed for 6-12 weeks depending on client’s experience, conditioning and athletic ability.  

Depending on the client's history, conditioning and objectives, although they likely must start with a GPP program they may progress directly to the Six Sigma Fitness™ Regional Adipose Tissue Deposit Profile (RATDP) program where the client is assessed with an ultrasound body composition to determine chemical factors contributing to their body shape and fat deposit locations. (Follow the SSF Framework Methodology Flow)  Technically the RATDP™ is an Objective-Specific model of training The end result is a group categorization of Objective-Specific Physical Preparedness  generated by an evaluation of the client's assessment results that recommends either Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT), Lactic Acid Training (LAT) or Density Based Training (DBT) for specific movement patterns and attributes that will best enhance and progress their health and fitness.

Clients will typically need to progress past this program when they reach signs of plateau which maybe as early as 7-12 weeks or when their Body Mass Index (BMI) begins to reach more normalized levels below 25 (normal build) to 27 (if tall or muscular) or when bodyfat reaches an optimal level of 15% for men and 22% for women depending on age. This is the ideal time to begin the HESEA™ program.

The HESEA™ program is ideal for a small group training environment where each client performs the next workout in order of the training template.  In theory it is possible that all clients may be training together but performing different workouts depending on where they are in the HESEA™ cycle. In practicality HESEA™ can be applied on a M-F schedule with Saturday being a makeup day (see below).

Session 1 - Hypertrophy
Session 2 - Endurance
Session 3 - Strength
Session - 4 Endurance
Session - 5 Active recovery

Another common form of application of the HESEA™ program is to run a 5 day fixed training schedule as follows:

Monday - Hypertrophy
Tuesday - Endurance
Wednesday - Strength
Thursday - Endurance
Friday - Active recovery

Typical Six Sigma Fitness™ Applied Training Program Cycle

Is the client BMI above 30-32.5? Or are they visibly severely deconditioned or self-admitted non-athletes? These are signs that the individual has been both sedentary for a very long time and likely not following a healthy lifestyle or diet. This is a client that is well suited for GPP starting at as basic a level as may be necessary.

Start: Physical Assessment - Assess, Screen, Test and Survey
Assessment: Track weight and circumference measurements.
Screen: Biomarkers - Blood Pressure, FMS/Movement Screens
Test: Resting heart rate, Exercise Tests
Survey: Inquire into health profile including diet and lifestyle log

Determine baseline data points and goals and objectives for progression to next levels

Begin: First Mesocycle GPP1 - Non-barbell - approximately 4 weeks, continue working on Assessment weaknesses
Transition: Reassess
Fail Assessment: Return to Mesocycle GPP1 - Non-barbell - approximately 2-4 weeks
Pass Assessment: Begin Mesocycle GPP2
Transition: Reassess
Fail Assessment: Return to Mesocycle GPP2 - Non-barbell - approximately 2-4 weeks
Pass Assessment: Begin Mesocycle GPP3
Transition: Reassess
Fail Assessment: Return to Mesocycle GPP3 - Non-barbell - approximately 2-4 weeks
Pass Assessment: Begin Mesocycle GPP4
Transition: Reassess
Fail Assessment: Return to Mesocycle GPP4 - Non-barbell - approximately 2-4 weeks
Pass Assessment: Progress to OPP or SPP

Once the client has become regularly active, is making positive lifestyle and nutritional changes and is consistent in their health practices they may be progressed to their next phase or OPP.  Often this will likely coincide with reduced BMI of 27.5-30 but is based on goals and objectives set in GPP phase.

Start: Physical Assessment - Assess, Screen, Test and Survey
Assessment: Perform Body Composition and RATDP
Screen: 
Movement - Biomarkers - Blood Pressure
Test: 
Resting heart rate - VO2 Max - HRV
Survey:
Inquire into health profile including diet and lifestyle log


Begin: First Mesocycle (Six Sigma Fitness™ Beginner Intro Program) -12 session Movement Preparation Classes as necessary - Non-barbell - New Member Training - approximately 3-4 weeks

Begin:

  • Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT)
  • Lactic Acid Training (LAT)
  • Density Based Training (DBT)

Transition: Reassess

Pass Assessment: Client has reached normalized BMI and or Body Composition targets, passes movement screens and is medically able to progress to higher performance levels.

Progress to  HESEA™ Periodization Program or SPP

Once reaching their healthy weight and fitness level the individual will need to decide if they are going to maintain where they are at or attempt to enter into a more sport or performance specific program.

Most clients will initially choose to enter into a maintenance program with minor continued gains seen among all health modalities including muscle tone and size, endurance conditioning and strength. The Six Sigma Fitness™ HESEA™ program is ideally suited for optimal maintenance of all major health domains.

Begin: Training Unit - Hypertrophy - Medium Intensity / High Volume - low to moderate loads for high repetition
50-75% of 1 RM (Rep Max) and 3-6 sets of 10-20 reps
Movement Type:  Slow concentric and eccentric

Next: Training Unit - Endurance  - Low Intensity / High Volume - moderately heavy loads for moderately high repetition
40-50% of 1 RM (Rep Max) and 3-4 sets of 15-30 reps
Movement Type:  Fast concentric and eccentric

Next: Training Unit - Strength  - Moderately High Intensity / Moderately Volume - moderately heavy loads for moderately low repetition
75-85% of 1 RM (Rep Max) and 3-5 sets of 4-6 reps
Movement Type:  Slow concentric and eccentric

Next: Training Unit - Endurance  - Low Intensity / High Volume - moderately heavy loads for moderately high repetition
40-50% of 1 RM (Rep Max) and 3-4 sets of 15-30 reps
Movement Type:  Fast concentric and eccentric

Next: Training Unit - Active Recovery/Mobility  - Low Intensity / Medium Volume - Bodyweight loads for moderately low repetitions
Bodyweight and 1-2 sets of 10-12 reps
Movement Type:  slow concentric and eccentric

Other influential components of any program include

  1. Choice of exercises
  2. Order of exercises
  3. Resistance or load
  4. Number of sets per exercise
  5. Number of exercises per muscle group
  6. Repetition range
  7. Type of contraction
  8. Speed of movement
  9. Rest periods between sets
  10. Rest periods between training sessions 
  11. Nutritional status.

Further research remains to be conducted and evaluated. However, for more advanced resistance training designs, the evidence appears to strongly suggest utilizing a periodized approach as compared to constant repetition/set type programs.

Training Variables:
Volume (number of sets and reps performed with the main lift and assistance work)
Intensity (the amount of weight on the bar)
Rating of Perceived Exertion (how close to failure you get with a set)

Progressive Overload Variables:
Lift more weight for the same amount of reps as a previous training session
Do more sets (adding volume via sets) of an exercise than a previous training session
Do additional exercises (adding volume via additional movements) for a given muscle than a previous training session
Do the same amount of weight with less rest than a previous training session (progressing by accomplishing the same workload in less time)
Similar to above, accomplish more reps in a given period of time

Dean
A graduate of Loyola University and MBA from The University of Chicago.
Pre-med LSU and post graduate at A.T. Still University.

His love of technology started right out of school. As a new hire for Arthur Andersen's Consulting group, the largest accounting and consulting firm in the world at that time, he led the first implementation of one of the very first IBM and Apple personal computers ever used in the business environment quickly becoming the world wide expert in analytical implementation of personal computers for business. Eventually moving on to a widely successful leveraged buy-out and then returning to Arthur Andersen and becoming a Partner in the Chicago office, he specialized in health, fitness, nutritional and food businesses managing some of the largest strategic food industry restructuring deals at the time. As COO of a successful Midwest Venture Capital firm, he was responsible for the operational management and success of over 25 investments each averaging $2-5 million over 5 years yielding returns in excess of 1000%.

He served on the board of many businesses in the health and nutrition sector as well as the educational and certification industries, including the board of Nutrisystems and one of the largest licensing and certifying bodies in the US. Achieving a modest level of success he decided return to school to increase his scientific and technical knowledge and launch an investment company targeting startups in the health and fitness sectors. During this time he became one of Infusionsoft's first Certified Partners providing digital marketing consultation and implementation for many industries including the health, fitness and hospitality service sectors. Having custom developed some of the very first website to Infusionsoft CRM integrations, he implemented over 50 Infusionsoft installations and one of the first website membership systems providing targeted content to clients based on funnel tagging and online behaviors. While UltraFit Systems has incubated and exited several fitness concepts, he noted a need for better digital marketing and client management systems as well as analytical tools for health practitioners to use to chart a scientifically valid path to achieving their goals and objectives.

He is a founding member of Six Sigma Fitness (SSF), an online science and technology company with multiple distribution channels. SSF is a Cloud based SaaS health technology platform for Athlete Management and sub-clinical Health, Wellness and Fitness evaluations for the Health and Fitness industry. It is also a health practitioner educational resource that certifies practitioners in the SSF proprietary methods and business processes. He has created proprietary scientific algorithms, custom CRMs and integrated technologies using API integrations and behavioral logic for marketing and conversion strategies in the health sector. This platform and technology is currently being adopted and customized for a small muti-location mobile technology retail organization as well and B to B telcom provider.

A wrestler in high school and for a brief time in college until realizing the challenges of studying and playing sports at a high level while constantly having to cut weight, he decided to coach and master the challenges of health and fitness through weightlifting and martial arts while pursuing careers in consulting and eventually the venture capital and private equity business specializing in food and nutrition industries.

He is a multiple blackbelt having studied martial arts for over 30 years including kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, Krav Maga, Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu, Northern (Longfist) and Southern Shaolin (Hung Gar Tiger and Crane), Tai Chi, Qigong, Traditional Weapons and Chinese philosophical studies including Taoism, internal arts and energy systems from an Eastern medicine perspective.

He has had the good fortune to train with and or under the direct lineage of some of the greatest martial artists in the world including Master Ed Parker, Master Jinheng Li, Kru Pol and Master Eddie Cha.

He is also the author of the Six Sigma Fitness™ Scholar Warrior Program which brings together the Eastern and Western sciences as well as the training of both traditional strength and conditioning with martial arts programming.

He is currently the Research Physiologist with UltraFit Systems, Physiologist/Consultant to many professional athletes specializing in combat sports, weight cutting and physiological adaptation. Authored and developed The Scholar Warrior Program for Six Sigma Fitness™ and The Six Sigma Fitness™ Methodology.

Past certifications are too numerous to list but more include Six Sigma Fitness™ Certified Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer (C.P.T.), CrossFit Level 1, Precision Nutrition, Poliquin Biosignature, Poliquin PICP, BioForce HRV, BioForce Certified Conditioning Coach

He is available for consults, private self-defense training and speaking engagements.

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