“FIRST THINGS FIRST” DEVELOP YOUR BASE By Robert Forster, PT Research from around the world has confirmed that development of substantial physiological infrastructure must precede the hard work of the competitive phase. Without the necessary infrastructure developed through Base Training, the hard work to prepare for competition will not be as effective and in fact may not be tolerated at all but instead lead to injury or illness. Signs of inadequate Base Training include inconsistent performances, failure to achieve optimal competition body weight (fat loss or muscle gain), frequent illness or injury, chronic fatigue and poor attitude and focus. In twenty years of designing programs I have found that athletes who wish to perform well consistently, avoid injury and reach their greatest potential, must be scientific in their approach to Base Training. To achieve this there are two distinct areas of preparation to be considered – Metabolic Fitness and Structural Integrity. Metabolic fitness translates to optimal cellular physiology in all the applicable systems of internal bodily functions: cardiovascular system, pulmonary system (lungs), nervous system, endocrine system (hormonal system), and the energy production systems in the muscles themselves. Structural integrity speaks to the resiliency of the mechanical structures of the body. This includes muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments and bone. This aspect of Base Training is the least understood and most underdeveloped in recreational and competitive age group athletes. Too often an athlete in pursuit of optimal cellular fitness is sabotaged by insufficient structural preparation. As you ramp up the intensity of training you will need a strong foundation of physiological and physical infrastructure. METABOLIC AND STRUCTURAL HEALTH Metabolic testing is the starting point for all science based nutrition and exercise programs designed to achieve optimum health and body weight. The Resting Metabolic Rate test measures precisely how many calories your body requires to keep your metabolism revving and burning more calories all day. The VO2 test measures your metabolic efficiency: at what heart rate you stop burning fat for fuel. A metabolism that relies on carbohydrate for energy throughout the day is often the cause of fatigue, weight gain, an a condition known as metabolic syndrome. The human physiological structure is the most magnificent creation on earth. The systems that keep us alive, healthy and fit require movement. “Use it or loose it,” is the truth; but the right movement at the right times, with the correct intensity, is a prescription for health. The Forster Structure Program is the corner stone of every exercise and training program at PHASE IV. It is a global fitness program that is uniquely designed to build functional joint stability, range of motion, flexibility and strength in phases; overtime, to not only prevent injury, but to address old injuries and imbalances that have occurred throughout life. PHASE IV is a governed by Master Physical Therapists and Exercise Physiologists who have dedicated their lives to understanding how the body works, and how to empower you to reach your goals with less effort and more support than you imagine.