The PSC Triad: What, Why & How?

We love our PSC program. Believe in it. Promote it. Put on our name on it. Refined over a decade, there are three components that make up our PSC triad, each of them in appropriately proportionate parts. Today we’ll dive a little deeper into the what, why, and how — to ultimately answer the question: how does the P360 program benefit me?

After all, anyone can make you sweat. Our promise is to make you better.

Physique

It’s rather unreal to us how much the group fitness industry after all of these years of testing and observation STILL egregiously ignores the process of building muscle as a vital component to being physically fit. It’s still mostly all about plastering yourself to the floor with intensity and fetishizing calories burned. The reality is there aren’t many concepts out there basing their classes around 8-rep back squats. The middle component of building muscle remains completely neglected, even within concepts that train strength.

Years ago, we had someone from a local “functional fitness” gym trying us out and it was on a day where DB rows were programmed as a back squat superset. They asked, and we quote, “So this is more like a group bodybuilding gym?”…because we did dumbbell rows…He was flabbergasted at the notion we were isolating and training muscle groups because at the time, that got you laughed out of the “functional fitness” room. An exchange ensued where we tried to educate them on why we build muscle in unison while pursuing strength, and we may as well have been speaking in German. You’ll never guess – he did not join.

Here we are ten years later still on our bullshit. Building muscle.

We treat building the structure of your soft tissue as non-negotiable for the following reasons.

  • It extends your life.
  • It increases your resting metabolic rate, keeping you leaner for longer.
  • It strengthens connective tissue like tendons and ligaments, which improves the durability of your joints.
  • It creates balance and symmetry in your movement, which keeps you healthy.
  • It helps you get stronger.
  • It improves endurance.
  • It combats the development of chronic disease.

Is it great that the side effect of  muscle makes any human look better? Yes. Is that the reason we program it? Also, yes. NGL. But it does not matter one lick if your goal is vanity or function. It benefits all regardless of why you’re in the room.

Strength

Don’t get the fact that it’s listed second twisted. Our PSC triad is Venn diagram not a hierarchy, and the reality is you cannot really get strong until you’ve established a base. We’ve covered a lot how we train four strength abilities, but it always bears repeating to reinforce that heavy barbells are just one of the four ways we build your strength: absolute, explosive (athletic power), relative (bodyweight), and functional (primal movement patterns).

But let’s stay out of the ‘how’ weeds on this and make sure we answer the most basic and most important question, the one question to rule them all: Why does getting stronger actually matter?

  • Improves bone density and decreases sarcopenia, a condition of muscle wasting as we get older. Being strong allows you to preserve your muscle for longer.
  • Improves work capacity. You can do more things – stronger, longer, and fitter.
  • Improves mobility and flexibility. Probably the best form of it, to be honest.
  • Reduces risk of injury. For many of you this will sound counterintuitive since you’ve been taught to fear heavy weights, but nothing prevents injury like being strong enough to not get hurt in the first place.
  • Favorable endocrine conditions.
  • Confidence.

If you’re challenging yourself, you’re getting plenty stronger but in order to do that you need to get comfortable using the word ‘heavy’ (not ‘max’). Getting sweaty and moving 10# dumbbells doesn’t cut it.

Conditioning

We prefer the term conditioning over cardio because cardio can be anything and usually, it’s aimless and void of intent. Going for a run around the block is cardio. Performing mixed modal work aggressively for 18 minutes is conditioning. It has purpose. Here, some days might have more of a bias towards anaerobic conditioning (shorter, faster), other days we might skew more aerobic (longer, sustained). You can check out a deep dive into the benefits of each here, but for the purposes of this article it’s to zoom out and understand that for your fitness you to be well rounded, you will benefit from both.

Alternatively, it is the practice of many concepts to do one of two things:

  • Run a clock for a very long time and present the mirage of good training through fatigue.
  • Run a clock for a very short time and present the mirage of good training through exhaustion.

Rinse. Repeat. With little to no variance in total work performed.

Both are superficially satisfying at first, but physiologically limited long term when they comprise the bulk of your fitness routine. Be extremely wary of concepts that have a schtick. In fact, if you’re a reader who is a non-member then next time you take class at wherever you go, ask your Coach for the purpose of the workout. Put what you’re being asked to do to the test. And here’s a spoiler alert: If everyday is basically the same, then your results will be short lived.

Tying It All Together

Practical Example 1

Every 90″ for 8 Rounds 
1 Olympic Complex #1
5 Plyo Push-Ups

Then, 3 Rounds
30 Ring Rows
30 Half Rack Reverse Lunge
30 SA DB Jerks

Finish:
500m Row

In the workout above, the first tier would build explosive strength. The second tier builds muscle through high rep single sets and aerobic fitness through overall volume of work. The finisher targets anaerobic endurance.

Practical Example 2:

First, for 20 Minutes:
8 Back Squat
10 Seated RD Raise
10 Banded Push-Ups

Then, 10:1
KB Rotational Split Squat
MB Slams
100m Run
(15 Min Cap)

Tier one focusing on building muscle. Tier 2 focused on 10-15 minute fast-paced aerobic workout that’s also going to build explosive and unilateral strength through the individual movements.

We are an open book. We can do this all day. Demand the same of your current program.

The PSC program features eight different signature formats. Each of them are design to bring a little more to the table in a specific benefit of physique, strength, and conditioning. All of them performed regularly throughout a cycle, and the net yield is a body that’s developing lean, athletic muscle, building four kinds of strength, and conditioned well.

That is our aim. Nothing more. Nothing less.