I use the term "integrated fitness" a lot but what does it really mean?
I have a lot of experience with different types of exercise such as Classical Pilates, cardiovascular training, weight and strength training, powerlifting, TRX, and kettle bells. My approach to training is to find the combination of these different modalities that will help my clients work towards achieving their health and fitness goals.
In the OPT model I found the perfect framework for building a program that incorporates all of those pieces in a safe and effective manner.
I was initially drawn to the OPT model because I saw how similar it was to the approach of Joe Pilates and the Classical Pilates Method. One must build a solid base of alignment and core stabilization before moving on to more complex exercises and movements. Without that base, none of the exercises you do following that will benefit you. In fact, you will most likely end up injuring yourself if you attempt to strength train without properly aligned joints or a stable and supported core. That's not to say that while we work in the stabilization level of the model we won't be developing strength and endurance. The exercises we use to develop stabilization are strength training exercises that increase the endurance of the muscles that create and maintain balance, stabilization, and alignment.
The strength level of training emphasizes maintaining what was learned in the stabilization phase while increasing the overall full-body strength, muscle endurance, and muscle size.
The main goal of the power phase is to develop speed and power while executing a traditional strength training exercise. This stage is helpful for anybody from the professional athlete to the recreational runner who wants to cut down his sprint time.
But the true genius behind the OPT model is that you never stop working on one level just because you've moved on to the next. Each piece of the model is equally important to successfully reach your goals.