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Peripheral Heart Action Workout

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Fleck & Kraemer Peripheral Heart Action System

"The peripheral heart action system is a variation of circuit training. A training session using this system is divided into several sequences (Gadja, 1965). A sequence is a group of five or six exercises, each for a different body part. A training session consists of four to six sequences, all of which contain different exercises for each body part being trained. The number of repetitions per set of each exercise varies with the goals of the program, but normally 8 to 12 repetitions per set are performed. One training session consists of performing all the exercises in the first sequence three times in a circuit fashion. The remaining sequences are then performed one after the other in the same fashion as the first sequence."

"The aim of the peripheral heart action system is to keep the blood moving from one body part to the next, not allowing the blood to pool in any particular part of the body for a long period of time (Gajda, 1965). This system is extremely fatiguing. Heart rate should be kept at 140 beats per minute or higher. The short rest periods and maintenance of a relatively high heart rate make this system very similar to normal circuit training. The peripheral heart action system is therefore also an ideal program if a major goal is to increase cardiovascular endurance." From the book "Designing Resistance Training Programs", Steven J. Fleck & William J. Kraemer.

Gadja, B. (1965). The new revolutionary phase or sequence system of training. Iron Man, 26, 14-17.

Example of a Four-Sequence Peripheral Heart Action Training Session:

Body Part Sequence 1 Sequence 2 Sequence 3 Sequence 4
1. Chest Bench Press Incline Bench Decline Press Fly
2. Back Lat Pull-down Seated Row Bent-over Rows T-bar Rows
3. Shoulders Military Press Upright Row Lateral Raise Front Raise
4. Leg Squat (back) Leg Extension Squat (front) Split Squat
5. Abdomen Sit-up Crunch Roman-chair Sit-up V-up
About Fleck and Kraemer

The Classic Weightlifting Program (Power Phase) was taken from the book "Designing Resistance Training Programs" first edition, co-authored by Steven J. Fleck, PhD and William J. Kraemer, PhD and published in 1987. Subsequently, a second and third edition have been published. At the time the first edition of "Designing Resistance Training Programs" was published, Fleck was working for the U.S. Olympic Committee advising elite athletes and their coaches on training programs and Kraemer was working in the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science Program at the University of Connecticut. 

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