Peripheral Heart Action Training - Use PHA Circuits
& Workouts To Burn Fat
are often found to be great in burning fat and getting better conditioned.
There is however one problem with circuits that use the same muscles
for the entire circuit. That problem is of course a burning lactic
acid build up. This will often slow down the trainees and will make
them fatigue fast. Think of a circuit like this and you will get
- Squats: 10 reps
- Leg extensions: 10 reps
- Lunges: 8 reps
- Squat jumps: 10 reps
The above mentioned circuit might be a great idea
to build some serious conditioning for the legs, but will be very
hard to keep up for most trainees who are not very advanced.
Enter Peripheral Heart Action or PHA training. Developed
by Dr. Arthur Steinhaus and brought to the forefront of the muscle
world by 1960's legendary bodybuilder Bob Gajda, who holds Mr. America
and Mr. Universe titles. This style of training works muscle groups
of different extremities to avoid too much lactic acid build up
while still allowing you to train hard. In the PHA style training,
you will do a circuit of 5-6 exercises and do it for 4-5 rounds.
Unlike regular circuits, in PHA training you will alternate between
muscles of extremities. For example, you can start with an upper
body exercise like the overhead press and follow that with an exercise
for the lower body like the squat.
be honest, I feel that PHA is the best way to go for anyone starting
with circuit style training. This way they can do a circuit and
build their fitness and lose fat, without having to encounter too
much muscular fatigue in one area, which they might not be able
to handle in the initial stages. Even for advanced trainees, this
style of training can work wonders.
So what about the rest periods? I will suggest that
when you begin, take a rest of about 30 seconds between exercises
and 1-2 minutes between each PHA circuit. With time, work on cutting
down the rest between exercises to zero. When you can do that, you
will need to increase the weight that you use or increase the number
of reps for the bodyweight exercises. This will again require you
to take a small break between exercises, which you will reduce as
you get fitter.
Here are two sample workouts that you can try.
Sample Workout - Option #1:
- Barbell squats: 10 reps
- Pulldowns: 10 reps
- Push ups: 10 reps
- Romanian deadlift: 8-10 reps
- Incline board leg raises: 10-12 reps
Sample Workout - Option #2 (dumbbells only):
- Overhead press: 10 reps
- Squat: 10 reps
- Row: 8 reps (each hand)
- Crunch: 10 reps
- Swings: 12 reps
- Repeat the entire PHA circuit 5 times.
If you find that initially you cannot do the full 5 rounds, then
you can start with 3 rounds initially and work your way up to 5
rounds. You can use other exercises of your choice instead of the
exercises that I have mentioned, if you like. However, keep in mind
to alternate between muscles of two different extremities to do
a proper PHA circuit. Try PHA, you will love it and will surely
benefit from it.