Being in the health and fitness industry one of the questions I am frequently asked is “How can I train to maximize benefits with limited time?” One such method has multiple benefits and is time efficient; PHA or Peripheral Heart Action.
Peripheral heart action is a method of circuit training that involves training one upper body exercise followed by one lower body exercise in a circuit fashion with no rest between exercises, unless your heart rate exceeds your targeted heart rate zone. This will be done performing approximately 6 exercises one right after the other without stopping.
THE HISTORY OF PHA TRAINING:
PHA training was conceptualized by Dr. Arthur Steinhaus(1) - (1897 - 1970) in the 1940’s and was further popularized by bodybuilder and personal trainer Bob Gadja. The concept of the PHA training program is to make the heart pump blood to the extremities. This is achieved through a constant use of compound movements that are performed in a sequence of upper body followed by lower body. This method of training is effective for burning fat, building muscle, and increased cardiovascular health.
PHA training causes the heart to work harder and achieves cardiovascular benefit by having to continually pump blood to the working muscles of the upper and lower body.
Some of the research shows that increased cardiovascular health is a definite benefit to this type of training. One study comparing PHA interval training and HIIT training found that PHA training was more effective at lowering systolic blood pressure and increasing strength over HIIT training. HIIT training is currently a popular form of interval training that we will write an article about in the future. HIIT training is #5 on ASCM’s fitness trends for 2021.
If you are looking to lose weight, increase strength, and increase lean muscle mass, implementing a PHA workout will help you succeed in meeting those goals.
THE PERIPHERAL HEART ACTION ADVANTAGES:
If you have blood pressure issues (high or low blood pressure) this type of training may not be ideal for you. Also, if you are severely deconditioned or pregnant you should consult with your doctor prior to starting a PHA workout plan.
A1) Push up - 10-20 reps
A2) Bodyweight Squat - 20-30 reps
B1) Pull up - 10-15 reps
B2) Side Lunge - 20-25 reps
C1) Pike push up - 15-25 reps
C2) Glute Bridge - 25-30 reps
A1) Resistance band row - 15-20 reps
A2) Deadlift - 10-12 reps
B1) Bench Press - 10-15 reps
B2) Goblet Squat - 12-15 reps
C1) Overhead press - 12-15 reps
C2) Step ups - 15-20 reps
The repetition range is a guideline only. Adjust repetitions amount for each exercise to fit your current fitness level. Challenge yourself, but only do the number of reps that can be done with strict form. If you can do more than the number of reps stated with good form, add weight or make the exercise more difficult.
“Wikipedia - Arthur Steinhaus, PhD.” Arthur H. Steinhaus - Wikipedia, 9 November 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_H._Steinhaus.
Kravitz, PhD, Len. “Peripheral Heart Action Training: "What's Old is New Again."” Peripheral Heart Action Training, 2015, https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/PeripheralHeartAction.html. Accessed 07 02 2021.