Phase 1 Program: Questions Answered

Ashley Pritz Coach Performance360

By: Ashley Pritz
Phase 1 / New Member Coach

When I started here at the gym in 2013, the Phase 1 Program didn’t exist. I wish it had for the sake of my own development and I still spend time on the Phase 1 side of the board on certain days where I need the modification. Whether you are new to this style of training or have years of experience, you’ll be able to get as little or as much development in the Phase 1 Program as fits your experience level. Let me break down how the program works for you. This email is very important as it explains how your development will take place at Performance360 and why your first 30-45 days here are so impactful.

We are not like other gyms that carelessly throw you into complex, intense workouts and expect you to do well. We take a much more structured and progressive approach to ensure the you train safely and effectively to achieve the following while attending and being a part of our regular class schedule:

  • That you get the results that you came here for.
  • That you gradually progress, and not skip important steps.
  • That you don’t get hurt.
  • That you develop lasting results, not temporary.

What is the Phase 1 Program?
A gradual and progressive on-ramping of your training in our regular class structure. It’s learning how to use the scuba tank before you dive into the deep ocean. Just like we take the 101 course before the 404, play JV before Varsity, an run 5Ks before marathons, the same is said for our weight training and functional fitness. We expose ourselves to gradually increasing doses of challenge and intensity so that our body has time to adapt.

What is Phase 1 not?
The kids table. Your workouts in the Phase 1 Program are challenging and result-oriented. The workouts operate in-class with the rest of membership, and are programmed laterally, not beneath. Meaning, they are simply a progressive version of the main workout still meant to challenge and improve you. There will be benchmarks, challenges, and progress like any other member, just more appropriate to starting out here.

What are the PHASE 1 tests?
Athletes who graduate from PHASE 1 will have completed the following:

  • CONDITIONING BASELINE – 5′ Row Test (Men – 1,200 meters / Women, 1,000 meters)
  • STRENGTH BASELINE – 5′ Goblet Squat Test (Men – 60 Reps @ 62# / Women – 60 Reps @ 44#)

Phase 1 Tests

When can I complete them?
Every week, there is at least one dedicated day to complete each test in any PSC class. You may also come in during any Saturday or Sunday Open Coaching to complete one or both. There is a dedicated Phase 1 Testing program on our schedule that you can register for on Saturday or Sunday which lets the coach know you’ll be coming in to test out of one or both tests.

Will I be able to test and set progressive benchmarks while in Phase 1?
Absolutely. In fact, we insist! We want you to be challenged, tracking your weight, occasionally testing speed, and encouraging you to pay close attention to your progress. You will be closely tracking your lower, upper body, and core strength, as well as your conditioning ability.

What progress will I see in Phase 1?
Most athletes in Phase 1 will drop a little bit of body fat, see their strength substantially increase, build a little bit of lean muscle, and see their athletic capabilities gradually improve.

What is Phase 1 specifically developing?
A few things. Movement pattern. We want to own movement pattern before we load it. Connective tissue, so your joints, tendons, and ligaments aren’t asked to do too much too early. And your aerobic energy system. We want to make sure you have a good level of conditioning established rather than trying to go as hard and as fast as possible right out of the gates.

“I’ve been going to the gym for years. I don’t need Phase 1.”
While this mindset is tempting because we all want to perceive our abilities at the highest level, the reality is the style of training that most participate in prior to Performance360 is ill-equipped from a preparation stand point. For example, a cardio based program might have you in great “shape”, but it has not addressed gross motor patterns like a squat, hinge, push, and pull, nor hast it likely asked you to perform multiple demands in a single workout. Participating in the local globo gym is a great start, but most is machine-based training where we follow a set path of movement rarely forcing us to react and stabilize under load. If you come from a CrossFit background, you likely have been exposed to many similar movements, but a crapshoot on whether or not you were taught them well.

We find that one in fifty who join are truly ready to complete a one-day Phase 1 test-out and will benefit from skipping the Phase 1 Program.

What is my expected length in Phase 1?
Totally depends. Some very high level athletes may attempt to the complete the 1-day test out, but most will be in the program for 30 – 45 days. If you are a complete beginner, perhaps a little longer and that’s to be expected. We encourage you to take your time and develop. A 30 – 45 day investment that will lay the foundation for years of results and progress is worth exploring.

Why do I not use a lot of barbells in Phase 1?
There are two main reasons.

  1. Most barbell movements directly load the spine, and we want to make sure your core strength is developed before doing so.
  2. Most barbell movements require very high skill and mobility, and we want to make sure your body can handle its application. 

Are there any Phase 1 class restrictions?
You may attend any PSC (Progressive Strength & Conditioning) class while in the Phase 1 Program. All specialty classes are unlocked once you graduate from the Phase 1 curriculum.

How will my coach know that I am in Phase 1?
Each new member receives a Phase 1 status in our software, so the coach will see that when you register for class. If you haven’t met a coach yet, just say hello and let him or her know that you just started and they’ll help you every step of the way. We love to help. In fact, the majority of our coaches started out here years ago as new members just like you. We take pride in the “home-grown” nature of our coaching team.

I know that is a lot to digest, so what questions can I help with as you start out here?


Coach Ashley