This week we sat down with our founder, Andres Loperena, to ask him to give our new and prospective members some insight into the Pledge To Fitness® system and methodology. Here’s what he had to say…
First off, Andres, can you explain what The Pledge System™ is?
The Pledge System™ is the all-encompassing name for our fitness philosophy at PTF™. On the training side it’s similar to the Optimum Performance Training Model used by the NASM [National Academy of Sports Medicine] for years and years, except our model is designed for everyday people to get fit. And then because we’re interested in a holistic approach to wellness, the other two pillars of our system are nutrition, and massage therapy.
OK, talk to us about the exercise side.
Our customized workout programs lead clients through phases–stability, endurance, hypertrophy or volume-building, and strength–in what’s called periodization training. By regularly changing the variables of a workout like the intensity and the duration of exercises, the research shows that you can actually make more gains while reducing the risks of injury.
What does each stage do for you?
Well first of all, “stability” is kind of misleading because most people think it means not tipping over or something; but we’re referring to improving the body’s ability to react under stress and maintain joint alignment for clean reps during your workout. In other words, if your knees are wobbling during a squat, you’ve got a lack of joint stability there. We start with this phase because it’s foundational to building strength and also rehabbing any old injuries.
“Endurance” is easier to understand–it’s building up muscles’ ability to put out effort for longer. As we move into hypertrophy training, we decrease the amount of reps or set duration, but bump up the load and the rest periods. This is where we’re breaking down and building up new, bigger muscles.
And last but not least, strength training puts those new muscles to work, making them stronger–or more able to produce force, to use the science-y terminology–through resistance training like free weights, machines, your own body weight, etc.
Speaking of equipment, what is the setup like at PTF™?
We use a pod system in our gym to separate activities; these are 250-square-foot areas with optional privacy screens. So when a client comes in, her Pledge Coach™ will lead them through one or two pods that will already have all the equipment they need for that workout ready to go. And if they have a massage scheduled or a consult with the nutritionist, those also take place in pods. This helps us respect clients’ time but also lets them have some interaction with other clients and trainers, because we’re all about fostering a sense of community here.
How do nutrition and massage therapy tie into everything?
They’re really, really important! Muscles are made in the kitchen, as they say, and you simply can’t be healthy while putting bad fuel in your tank. So we have professional nutrition coaching that teaches clients how to incorporate healthier eating habits they can sustain.
And then, massage therapy is so crucial for recovery, and for correcting muscle imbalances and preventing injury. And who doesn’t love a massage!?
Andres, thanks for your time; we’ll let you get back to it.