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Here’s what you’re learning today: PHA=Peripheral Heart Action Training
“PHA training dates back to the 1960s when Mr. Universe, Bob Gajda, popularized it. To this day, serious bodybuilders use it when they want to shake up their routine. Like circuit training, it’s a dynamic and fast-paced way to work out and one that places greater demands on your cardiovascular system, yet still leads to gains in strength and muscle size.” –Cathe Friedrich
Here’s a taste of Strong and Sweaty PHA Training:
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So maybe your goal isn’t to look like Mr. Universe but that’s ok. Neither is mine. However, Mr. Universe was on to something…
Listen up, Girls. The only way to change the shape of your body is to snuggle up with some dumbbells.
Are you going to morph into a gorilla who could play linebacker for the NFL because you pick up dumbbells a few times a week? No.
But it just might shrink your ass to a lovely round sphere that you can’t stop admiring.
Here’s a tip: If you’ve never lifted anything heavier than your cell phone then don’t use the weights Cathe Friedrich uses in this routine. But do challenge yourself to pick up something that stimulates your muscles to wake up from the dead.
If you don’t own any dumbbells and don’t know where to start then read this, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells.
Now let’s get started at making you a total badass…
Your heart rate stays high because the rest intervals between exercises are very short (about 30 seconds at the most) but this is a strength training workout.
12, 15, 20 and 25 lb. dumbbells
*You won’t need a mat if you’re doing the routine on carpet.
You can find more risers here.
My rating: A-*
*I added the minus because while the main routine is very effective, it’s still all repetition, so it ranks pretty low on the Fun-O-Meter.
My Favorite Premix routine on this video: Mish Most Extreme #2
Peripheral Heart Action training alternates an upper body strength training exercise with a lower body strength training exercise with no more than 30 seconds rest in between. Read this post on Cathe Friedrich’s blog to learn more about this kind of workout style.
Strong and Sweaty PHA Training has 2 rounds of exercises.
Each round has 6 strength training exercises.
Each move is done for 12 reps. After doing all 6 exercises you go back through each one 2 more times (for a total of 3 sets), before moving on to the next round.
I love the set and outfits Cathe’s team is wearing for this workout. It shouldn’t matter so much but it does. Cathe’s side ponytail always makes me smile (because I’m old and used to wear my hair like that in the 80’s).
This is one workout where being off beat is ok (and expected).
If you hate repetition then you might not want to do PHA Training all the time. I personally hate repetition so I usually stick with one of the premix routines on this video (there are 15 premix workouts on Strong and Sweaty PHA Training!).
Cathe does a good job telling you what weights she’s using in this program. She keeps the same weight to do each exercise for all 3 sets.
If you lose track of how many sets you’ve done there’s a helpful graphic on the bottom of the screen that tells you where you’re at. Each set is labeled A, B or C accordingly (so Round 1 set two is called Round 1B)
Remember to read to the end of this post for links to a few places you can compare prices on this video as well as tips and advice for mastering each exercise.
The warm-up is about 4 minutes long. You’ll get the blood flowing with some low impact moves as well as some lower body stretches.
Cathe places a hand on the step during some of the stretches but you won’t really need any equipment during the warm-up.
Make sure your aerobic step is ready with 3 risers on each side. You’ll need 15 and 12 lb. DB’s and a mat (if you’re not on carpet) in this section.
The six exercises in Round One:
*Remember there are 12 reps of each exercise
Squat off the end of your step with one 15 lb. DB
Overhead Presses with 15 lb. DB’s
Side Lunges with 12 lb. DB’s
Upright Rows with 15 lb. DB’s
Step Ups with 12 lb. DB’s
Repeat each exercise for 2 more sets
You’ll need your step (keep 3 risers per side), 12, 15, 20 and 25 lb. DB’s for section two
*Again, 12 reps for each
The six exercises in Round Two:
Cross Back Lunges off the Step with one 15 lb. DB
Bicep Curls with two 15 lb. DB’s
Deadlifts with two 25 lb. DB’s
Pullovers with two 15 lb. DB’s
Standing Squats with two 20 lb. DB’s
Lying Extensions with 12 lb. DB’s
*If you don’t lift weights regularly you may want to start off with 15 or 20 lbs. for the deadlifts. You should feel this in your hamstrings and your lower back.
The cool down is about 3 minutes long. Make sure you do this. You might want to add in a few extra hamstring stretches if you felt really tight after those deadlifts and squats in Round Two.
Add an ab routine to Strong and Sweaty PHA Training (check out Premix #1) and you’ve got a total body strength workout for the day.
Cathe does a great job using classic exercises in this program that are easy to master.
Another way I frequently use this program is after a 2 or 3 mile run, which makes a complete cardio + strength workout.
I recommend everyone try it (Cathe on Demand) out for at least a month (to try out new videos before you buy them, if for no other reason).
Thanks for reading!
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