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What is Integrated Training?

Let’s start with a pop quiz. Integrated training is:

a) My favorite way to train

b) A training methodology that incorporates all forms of training

c) A training methodology that uses progression thru different phases of training

d) All of the above

If you selected d, you would be correct!

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) defines integrated training as a

“concept that incorporates all forms of training in an integrated fashion as part of a progressive system.”

It was developed as a fitness training approach to progress people to any level fitness goal in a systematic way, regardless of their current fitness level. The systematic and progressive fashion helps to prevent injury, overuse and addresses the musculoskeletal imbalances that many of us have from sedentary jobs and/or lifestyles.

The benefits of using an integrated program include:

  • improved cardiorespiratory system performance;

  • increases in metabolism;

  • increases in bone density;

  • decreases in body fat;

  • increases in lean body tissue and;

  • better tensile strength in our tendons, ligaments and muscles. (That means we are less likely to tear something!)

What is meant by all forms of training?

Cardio, balance, flexibility, plyometric, core, SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) and resistance training are all part of integrated training. It's this variety that makes it preferred method. It adds interest, helps me avoid overtraining by using only one form of training and shortens the duration of my individual workouts. All 3 of these elements are key to a consistent Life Integrated Fitness Training habit. As I get older (I am in my late 40s), I find this approach to fitness ages with me. It is adaptable to what my body can do and what my body needs as it changes.

The first phase of training is the Stabilization phase. This phase is about getting our neuromuscular system (the muscles and the nerves associate with their movement) to work together efficiently. In this phase we’re focused on proper posture, movement patterns and stability. It’s important to do this work first as a way to protect against stress on the joints and soft tissue pain.

The second phase of training is the Strength phase. The strength phase has 3 sub-phases, endurance, hypertrophy, and maximal strength. In the first, the goal is to strengthen the primary muscles involved in movement, increase lean body mass and continue to enhance joint stability and the overall endurance or capacity of our muscles to do work.

Many, many of us will stop at the endurance phase, periodically returning to the stabilization phase to prevent overtraining. Those looking to increase muscle size or develop big time strength will progress into the other strength phases, but also cycle back into stabilization and strength endurance periodically.

Finally, the last phase is the power level. This is where we want to exert as much force as we can as quickly as we can (think speed and power).

As a personal trainer, how do I put this concept into action for you?

  1. It starts with a free consultation to get to know you, your goals, your obstacles, and successes. You’ll be most consistent if we integrate a new fitness plan into the real constraints of your daily life.

  2. Assessments - Static and dynamic posture assessments come next. The first stretches and exercises we’ll do together will focus on your areas of musculoskeletal imbalances.

  3. Program Design - the next steps are all mine. I develop workouts that include the appropriate training form and phase of training, systematically progressing the program each month.

  4. We work - if you select a standard package, we workout together for the first 2 weeks to ensure proper form, technique and instruction. The 2nd two weeks, you complete the workouts when you want with weekly accountability check-ins.


LIFT - Life Integrated Fitness Training is here to help you grow stronger and integrate fitness into your life.


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