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Updated on February 28, 2012

Strength & Cardio Training in One Workout


"I hear the water, I see the birds, but Master what I truly seek is a training program that gives me both strength and cardio benefit."

"Grasshopper, looking forward sometimes requires looking backwards, search the 60's for the program which brings you the truth; search out P.H.A."

Peripheral Heart Action, known as P.H.A. was popularized by Bob Gajda (Mr. America 1966). It was the training program followed by Bruce Lee, the martial arts legend who was nearly cast as the Shaolin monk in the TV series "Kung Fu".

Similar to circuit training, with focus on strength and cardio, this program pushes blood through the muscles by alternating upper and lower body resistance exercises. The movement of the blood avoids localized congestion in one muscle and therefore limits the pump and build up of lactic acid. Perhaps that is why the program was not used more often by some bodybuilders as they could not forgo the pump. But the program does build muscle; just take a look at Bruce Lee or better yet Bob Gajda.

Five or six compound exercises are grouped in what is known as a cycle. All exercises in the cycle are completed for 10-12 repetitions and the cycle is repeated for up to five times. Each time through the cycle more weight is added and just enough rest is taken to allow for the completion of the prescribed repetitions. As the lifter becomes more conditioned a second group of exercises can be added. If time or stamina is limited do 3 cycles of a group of exercises with the goal of working up to a total of 5 cycles. The most ambitious of you can do 5 cycles of two groups per workout. Now that is a tremendous amount of work and will keep your metabolism peaked for hours after the workout ends. Burn baby burn; say goodbye body fat!

Here are some sample group:

Group 1:
D. Overhead Press
Wide Lat Pull Down
Standing Calf Raise
D. Lying Press

Group 2:
Dead Lift
D. Seated Press
B. Curl
Bench Press
Leg Raise

Group 3:
D . Incline Press
Front Squat
B. Bent Over Row
D. Clean and Press
B. Upright Row
Hanging Knee-Ups

Peripheral Heart Action maximizes effort in a minimal amount of time. Increased strength, improved cardio function, and body fat loss are the program's greatest rewards.

"Master, I found the P.H.A. program you spoke of but I have doubt and fear it will not work for me."

"Grasshopper, do not be blind, you have seen the truth; your fear is the only true darkness."


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