This is the second installment of our two-part series on our unique and proven technique for producing the very best athletes. To recap our previous article on the “Four Phase Approach for Elite Athletes,” visit our website (below) and click on the “articles” link to view Part 1 of the “Building a Champion one Phase at a Time” that appeared in the May/June issue of SportZine. Let’s introduce you to one of our training phases we utilize during the preparation of Building Champions—Structural Phase.

First of all, it is important to go over some basic principles that will intensify and maximize your training. Secondly, I will use a detailed training program to emphasize these principles. Prepare yourself for the next level of training and the highest level of success.

Tempo: Tempo is described as the speed of a repetition during the execution of an exercise. For simplicity, let’s just say every time the weight is lowered against gravity (i.e. lowering your body weight during a pull-up) it is represented by the first number (5-0-1-0). When a movement requires a pause between the lowering of the weight & lifting of the weight (i.e. pause at arms stretched out during a pull-up) it is represented by the second number (5-0-1-0). Lifting the weight against gravity (i.e. pulling your chin up above the bar during a pull-up) is represented by the third number (5-0-1-0). When a movement requires a pause between the lifting of the weight & lowering of the weight (i.e. pause with chin above the bar during pull-up) it is represented by the fourth number (5-0-1-0).

Rest: Rest is specific to the training phase. To elicit greater hypertrophy (muscle building), rest intervals will be shorter, versus longer rest periods for maximal strength and power.

Sets: The number of sets is determined by the specificity of goals alongside number of repetitions. A greater number of sets per one exercise may be required for the development of strength, as compared to hypertrophy (performing 5 sets vs. 3 sets for the bench press). However, the total number of sets for the entire workout may be greater for hypertrophy, as compared to strength (performing 20 sets vs. 12 sets total workout).

Repetition: The number of repetitions (reps) per exercise/set is once again determined by the phase of training. The greater number of reps (7–12 reps) is usually more specific to hypertrophy, as compared to the low number of reps (1–6 reps) utilized for strength and power gains.

Let’s reiterate the above-mentioned principles. To improve strength, focus on faster tempo, longer rest, more sets per single exercise with less sets total workout and lower reps amounting to greater weights lifted. To build muscle, focus on slower tempo, shorter rest, less sets per single exercise with greater sets total workout and higher reps amounting to less weight lifted.

To generalize, you can follow the same guidelines for the structural phase as you would the functional hypertrophy phase and the same for power as you would for strength.

The following is a sample Structural Phase training program for an athlete with poor posture (weak shoulders and upper back), with an emphasis of building muscle.

This is only one of a five-day split training program targeting the shoulders and arms.

A1) Side Lying 30-degree Incline Db Powell Raise Tempo = 4-0-2-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 10-12 reps

A2) Elbow on Knee Db External Rotation Tempo = 4-0-2-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 10-12 reps

B1) 11/4 Seated Db Press Tempo = 5-0-1-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 8-10 reps

B2) 45 deg Incline Db Zottman Curl Tempo = 5-0-1-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 8-10 reps

C1) Close-grip Bench Press Tempo = 4-0-1-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 8-10 reps

C2) Paused Standing EZ Reverse Curl Tempo = 4-2-1-0, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 8-10 reps

D) Seated Db Shrug Tempo = 2-0-1-2, rest = 60 sec, sets = 3 sets, reps 12-15 reps

Note: The above exercises that are paired with an A1/A2 represent performing one exercise (A1) followed by the second exercise (A2) with the designated rest interval between each exercise. Some exercises are out of the ordinary and descriptions of each exercise would be beyond the scope of this column. For more information on the above program with descriptions of each exercise and photos log onto www.ikeiperformance. com and visit the “articles” section.

Remember, this is only an introduction to our Structural Phase Program. After three weeks of successfully completing this program we would progress to the Functional Hypertrophy, followed by the remaining phases of our Four Phase Approach for Elite Athletes. In order to maximize your athletic performance, start training smarter and always train harder. Becoming a champion is only a phase away.

For more information on elite sports performance training contact Chad Ikei at 480-657-6937 or visit www.ikeiperformance.com.