The Phase IV Process: The Fuel Program for the New You

Setting Goals and Facing Realities

At Phase IV we believe every journey begins in the mind and the first step toward meeting your needs and solving your problems is identifying a goal. Weight loss and reduction of health risk factors is certainly a legitimate goal by itself. However, the truth of the situation is to succeed you need to choose an activity or sport. The pursuit of a healthy body and lifestyle requires a science-based combination of nutrition and specifically targeted physical exercise. This is imperative to successfully increase your body’s preference to burn fats as a primary energy source. We will teach you to construct an activity program based on the same periodization principles we use to create World Class Professional athletes, because this is the way the human body best responds to exercise.

Evaluative Assessments

By taking a careful history of your family risk factors, activity levels all the way back to junior high school, overall health, medications, past and present illnesses, and current exercise patterns and personal goals, our Registered Dietitian will help arrive at sustainable exercise activity for your personal needs.

Body Fat Analysis

Utilizing an electronic SkyndexTM caliper your current body fat and lean body mass will be calculated to determine the caloric requirements of your body as it operates now.

Nutritional Analysis

Phase IV’s Registered Dietitians make sure your nutritional intake fuels your physical activity, while still allowing weight loss. We start by getting a good picture of your day-to-day lifestyle by asking you to complete a 3-day food diary and activity log that includes everything you eat, drink and the activity you do, how hungry you are, how you feel, and the time of day of your meals. We then analyze what and how much you are eating, and compare it to what you really need and when you need it, analyzing for macronutrients (total calories, caloric distribution throughout the day, proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein) and your micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants).

Our programs are individualized so it works for you – because no two people are created equal. We try to determine any main causes of weight gain to get at the root of the problem. We also look at your diet history to better understand what has and has not worked for you in the past, and what are your best motivators.

This is matched to your requirements based on your prescribed activity levels, current body fat content and your goals. From this analysis emerges a personalized strategic plan of diet and exercise to achieve your goals and create the lifestyle you desire. Making change easy and not leaving you hungry will allow the necessary changes to naturally occur.

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Structural Examination

Basic to all Phase IV Life Performance Program exercise programs is your body’s need to function well mechanically to avoid injury while you execute your tailored training plan. The activities chosen to train your metabolic fitness will require biomechanical symmetry and efficiency on some level, and the Structural Analysis will illuminate the best way to achieve these important physical prerequisites.

Most fitness endeavors, in fact, are hampered (if not sabotaged), by a failure of the structural system (also known as the musculoskeletal system) i.e., injury. Overuse injuries effecting connective tissue (sprains, strains and tendonitis) and bone (stress fractures, bone spurs and arthritis) are a constant threat to those committed to chronic exercise for all its metabolic fitness benefits.

Phase IV was founded by Physical Therapists who have evaluated and treated thousands of clients and athletes across all age and abilities, from six-year-old soccer players, professional all-star athletes, to eighty-year-old retired insurance executives. We have seen just about every physical ailment and condition. Studying your physiology, anatomy, Kinesiology, and Pathomechanics, our Physical Therapists identify patterns of injury and dysfunction, and utilize a scientifically sound functional analysis to identify your present preparedness- always with your personal goals in mind.

Beginning with a complete head-to-toe structural examination, we will identify where you are inflexible, where you are weak, how old injuries are hindering you and predict where new ones may occur. We will evaluate your strength, flexibility, postural alignment, pronation and supination foot function, leg length discrepancies and muscular imbalances. We use goniometers to measure joint range of motion, manual muscle testing to determine strength deficits and orthopedic testing to identify functional joint stability. From your Structural Analysis we render a picture of your current state of structural preparedness and then design the optimum strength and flexibility Life Performance program to meet your goals for life.

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Metabolic Fitness Assessment: Unlock the Secrets of Your Physiology

The specific goal of this series of analyses is to determine how your body is currently wired to make energy and determine what type of personalized diet and exercise prescription will shift your metabolism to better facilitate your goals (i.e., weight reduction, increased muscle mass, increased energy, reduction of risk factors, etc). Utilizing the most advanced scientific testing technologies Phase IV Scientific Health and Performance Center provides a snapshot of exactly what energy production systems are operating well, and which are deficient. The information culled from this testing will shed light on the secrets of your personal physiology and solve the diet and exercise puzzle that’s kept you from attaining the body you want and the performance goals you have only dreamt possible.

Whether you are performing life’s daily tasks or exercising, your body has, through genetics and your past exercise habits, developed a preference for burning fats, carbohydrates and protein in a specific ratio. The Phase IV Metabolic Testing protocols will determine your body’s current preference for energy production and direct us to a specific set of strategies to modify your metabolism. Through nutritional adjustment and specifically targeted exercise intensities we can re-engineer your physiology to favor fats as a primary energy source. When fat metabolism is favored the implications for weight reduction are obvious. Also, a lesser-known benefit of fat vs. carbohydrate metabolism is the absence of lactic acid production when you are geared to burn fats. By becoming a “better butter burner” you will be able to avoid fatigue and exercise for longer periods of time.

The Phase IV Blood Lactate Test Protocol is the gold standard in metabolic fitness testing. Utilizing the latest scientific innovations we will establish the exercise intensity and corresponding heart rate training zones to produce a shift toward a fat favored metabolism, creating a leaner more energetic you!

The Blood Lactate Test protocol can be done for a variety of different activities at our Phase IV location in Santa Monica, or we can do group testing at a location of your choice. We currently offer lactate testing for walking, running, swimming, cycling and rowing.

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The primary reason for Blood Lactate Testing is to determine your current fitness throughout the energy production spectrum. It is most valuable to you when it is used to find the intensity (and therefore heart rate) below which we are certain your body is producing energy nearly entirely aerobically. This tells us the heart rate training zone to prescribe for you in order to shift your metabolism to favor fats as a preferred energy source- as this is the most valuable information culled from this testing.

Blood lactate levels are measured by a tiny prick in your fingertip. As exercise intensity and duration increases, both your lactate and heart rate increase. As lactate levels increase the shift from primarily aerobic activity to anaerobic activity becomes obvious, indicating that your body is strongly favoring burning carbohydrates in greater proportions than fat.

The Test

  • Brief warn-up
  • 4 minute workout at pre-determined exercise intensity
  • Heart rate is recorded at 3 min. and at 4 min
  • At minute 4 of each stage, a small blood sample is taken from the fingertip
  • The exercise intensity is increased another 4-minute interval
  • The cycle continues until the runner/walker/swimmer/cyclist has reached a speed that she/he can no longer maintain

Based on the knowledge of these corresponding heart rate ranges an intelligent, scientific and individualized training program can be constructed.

Technique Analysis

Regardless of which activity or sport you choose to practice, developing proper technique is paramount for injury prevention, personal enjoyment and sustainability of your activity. At Phase IV we utilized DartfishTM computer video analysis to evaluate and correct your technique for walking, biking, running, swimming and any other activity you choose for all its metabolic benefits.

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