Even with superwoman willpower, overeating during Christmas and Tet is a challenge for anyone. Staying on track with your healthy eating plan while trying to find the time to exercise regularly during the holiday season can feel like a daunting task when your Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties role into Tet. As we all know, none of us want to start the New Year all over again having to shed those excess pounds from a few weeks of festivities.
What is PHA Training?
PHA training — Peripheral Heart Action Training — is a system of resistance conditioning developed in the 1940s by Dr. Arthur Steinhaus, an American physical fitness and sport physiologist. It was made popular in the world of bodybuilding during the 1960s by former Mr. America and Mr. Universe bodybuilder Bob Gajda.
The key to fat-burning that lasts hours beyond your workout and overcoming plateaus is by constantly challenging your body. This is done by progressively overloading it with new resistance workout techniques and changing your routine every four to six weeks.
Unlike conventional circuit training, the PHA workout turns your regular circuit into a fat-burning super circuit. This is done by a sequence of exercises alternating upper and lower-body muscle groups to decrease lactic acid buildup so you can train harder throughout the circuit without your muscle groups becoming over-worked and exhausted. Like an aerobic workout, the PHA workout is a dynamic form of resistance training that is designed to increase the strength of your muscles by making your heart pump faster by keeping blood circulating throughout the whole body. During the workout, smaller muscles around the heart are worked first before the larger muscles around the body’s periphery.
Why implement PHA for Tet?
Off the back of Christmas and New Year’s Eve with no time to spare, January becomes a busy time of year for everyone leading into Tet. PHA is great for the busy person on the go as it reduces your time in the gym by half, with your entire workout lasting between 30 and 40 minutes.
For those that shy away from monotonous cardio exercise, PHA is great to overcome boredom as it’s the all-in-one workout that combines anaerobic and aerobic training.
If your Tet New Year’s resolution is to start a weight-training routine for the first time, then PHA is for you. PHA is great for the absolute beginner since you learn how to work your entire body in one routine while kick-starting your body to burn fat more readily without training to exhaustion. You finish your session feeling invigorated and energized for the day ahead.
The PHA Mini-Gym Workout
The benefit of the PHA workout is that it is versatile, and is an effective and convenient workout for the home, outdoors, travel or in the gym. I suggest training in mini PHA cycles with upper and lower body exercise equipment in close proximity of each other.
Start off with two PHA mini-cycles working up to three. Choose three exercises with a weight that will allow you to complete 12 to 15 reps. Rest for around 30 to 40 seconds between completing each mini-cycle before doing another set. Do both PHA mini-cycles twice.
PHA Mini-Cycle Workout 1
Seated barbell front presses: 12 to 15 reps
Barbell or machine squats: 12 to 15 reps
Floor abdominal crunch: 20 to 25 reps
PHA Mini-Cycle Workout 2
Lat machine pulldowns: 12 to 15 reps
Machine leg press: 12 to 15 reps
Barbell or dumbbell lying bench chest press: 12 to 15 reps
PHA Mini-Cycle Workout 3
Seated machine cable back rows: 12 to 15 reps
Floor abdominal crunch: 20 to 25 reps
Floor bodyweight push-ups: 12 to 15 reps
Amazin is a Prana Samyana meditation Yin Yoga teacher and performance coach having trained Olympic athletes to special forces. She is also a former natural competitive bodybuilder and the first Vietnamese internationally published health and fitness author and DNA fitness trainer. For more info, click on amazinlethi.com.