"PHA Training - Build Muscle and Cut Fat with 1960s Mr. America"

PHA training can leave you sweating like Porky Pig in a bacon factory! The result? You get to build muscle and cut fat in double-quick time.


Bob Gajda PHA Training Pioneer

For those that don't know, 1960s Mr. America and Mr. Universe Bob Gajda was one of only three men to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger in competition.

But that's not all...

Not only did Bob Gajda axe down the "Austrian Oak," but he also introduced one of the most significant modes of training to the meathead masses. 

Its name?

Peripheral Heart Action.


What is PHA?

Peripheral Heart Action Training (also known as PHA) was developed by Dr. Arthur Steinhaus. The main concept behind this form of training torture is to force blood flow up and down the body by working all the major muscle groups while maintaining an elevated heart rate.

This practice is achieved by alternating upper and lower body exercises - thereby, as muscles in the upper body are worked, the muscles in the lower body are temporarily rested.

And the goal of this simple training system?

Improved strength, more muscle size, and increased cardio efficiency.


The Set Up?

But hold onto your horses, cowboy. Just because this system seems simple, don't for a moment go thinking it's easy. PHA training, performed correctly and with challenging weights, can be brutal and leave you sweating like Porky Pig in a bacon factory!

So how do you set this up?

You begin by choosing two compound upper body exercises and two compound lower body exercises. For example, try goblet squats and stiff leg deadlifts for the legs and select presses and chin-ups for the upper body - isolation exercises should be avoided as they won't tax your heart sufficiently.

Once you've picked your exercises, your goal is to go from upper to lower body with no rest (the only rest you take is at the end of each circuit).

So a sample PHA workout might look like this:

  • Goblet Squat x10
  • Chin-up x 6
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift x 8
  • Barbell Floor Press x 6

(Rest 60-90 seconds)

Now repeat this circuit 3-5 times depending on your conditioning levels.


Complexes vs PHA

Any seasoned lifters out there will likely recognise some cool similarities with complexes. We've covered complexes on our site before, as they're one of the most effective and time-efficient ways to train your body...

How so?

1. By removing any rest periods between exercises, you complete more work (weight lifted).

2. By sequencing the exercises in super-set fashion, you put your body under load for longer (increased time under tension equals more muscle growth).

In short, these two elements combined ramp-up your training density.

The result?

Just like our 1960s Mr. America, you get to build muscle as you cut fat.

To learn more, check out our article below...

Landmine Complexes for Explosive Muscle Mass and Fat Loss


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