Healthy Bodies
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • July 2013
Written by  Brian Bankenbusch, CSCS, CES, PES

Is there a proper protocol to follow when weight training?

There is often confusion about how to train for optimal performance, whether it be for sports performance, rehabilitation or just wanting to get back into shape. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) states that for proper adaptation and efficiency to occur, one must follow the structure of correction exercises first, stability second, endurance third, strength fourth and lastly, power.

There are many reasons gym goers will start an exercise regimen: to achieve certain results like lowering cholesterol, blood pressure or body fat; for more aesthetic factors like getting bigger biceps or a more defined abdominal region; or for performance factors such as greater strength and/or power, or being able to run for longer distances. These are all wonderful goals, but they mean nothing if your body cannot function properly or avoid/recover from an injury. If one follows the structure listed below, the body will be what I like to call “primed” and, therefore, a foundation is set within your body for optimal functioning with decreased risk of injury.






Notice how if you start from the bottom and work your way up, the phases go from large to small. Similar to the food pyramid, the bottom and much larger phases show the hierarchy of importance, and how skipping any phase will hinder optimal performance.

For some, the confusion comes when discussing the bottom, or most important phases. We often associate the words corrective and stabilization with injury, or rehabilitation situations. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need to be injured to actually need these phases of exercise. The body produces movement patterns for everything we do in life, and most times it is faulty in some way, shape or form. By addressing the corrective and stabilization phases, you are merely trying to teach the body correct movement patterns, and create a foundation for the small muscles within the body (stabilizers). Once this foundation is in place, your body will be more willing to accept more forces, and the strength will follow. You will have a higher possibility of injuring yourself or getting injured if these phases are overlooked.

Think of it this way: Your body and all its structural makeup is like a car. In order for your car to function properly, it needs an engine (power phase), a strong foundation or chassis (this would represent the muscles in your body, and therefore be the strength phase), and gas (endurance phase). You have heard that oil is your car’s lifeline. The oil represents the stability phase. Now, in order for the car to move, it needs wheels. The wheels are the corrective phase.

As you can see, all of the car’s essentials that make it function are all linked together. A car is only as good as its individual pieces. If one piece is missing or working in a subpar fashion, the link is or will be broken (in this case stranded on the road). Many people would argue what the most important part of the car is, but in reality none of them are important if the car does not have wheels. The engine can have 500 horsepower, the oil can be the best there is, the chassis can be rock solid and the gas tank can be on full, but if your car has no wheels, you’re not going anywhere!

The corrective phase is your body’s wheels. It is the part of the car we often take for granted, and many times even forget completely about. It is imperative that in order to get the most out of your body and its long-lasting performance, you must get a set of good tires. If you are currently injured, find a therapist to get your body back on track. If you are unsure of where to start and what exercises are most beneficial in the beginning to create the foundation for optimal performance, work with a certified personal trainer who understands how to properly train muscles to work together synergistically to avoid injury, while at the same time improving performance.



Brian Bankenbusch, CSCS, CES, PES, is the owner of Epic Fitness & Sports Performance LLC. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with over 10 years of experience training high school and collegiate athletes. He is devoted to bringing proper education and superior program design to the community. Brian is also a certified corrective exercise specialist, wellness coach and personal trainer. For more information, visit or call 414-464-2156.

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