Updated: Mar 1, 2019
What is PØWR-FSE
PØWR-FSE is not just a program. It is a programming method that not only works, but focuses mainly on body composition change, or the ratio of your lean body mass in relation to your percentage body fat. Developed by fitness expert, Alistaire Nzekio, it is a method with a solid scientific base.
PØWR-FSE is comprised of a warm up, cardio blast, exercise sequences, cardio phase, core phase, rest phases, and a flexibility phase. This structure is fundamental in allowing you to lose fat without losing muscle. This ultimately gives you that aesthetic physique. But how? Well, let's break it down. This might get a bit too scientific, but I will try to explain some overall terms as best as I can.
The Warm up: This is a crucial part before beginning a workout, the warm up allows your body to feel warm, and more “comfortable”. But most importantly, it greatly helps reduce potential injuries. But you already knew that (I hope). What you probably did not know is that for the latter to occur, your brain needs to switch gears from standard mode to exercise mode, literally. It does so thanks to the sympathetic nervous system. This system primes the body for action by dilating your pupils, increasing your heart rate, activating your sweat glands, dilating blood vessels in your skeletal muscles, dilating your bronchioles in your lungs (improves your breathing), preps your body for adrenaline production and ultimately gears you to be more exercise ready. This process comes at a price. It puts your body in a fight or flight like state and gives you a safe small window to utilize its benefits to workout (generally 1 hour 15 minutes). Any longer (2 hours or more) puts your body in a prolonged state of stress and may be counterproductive.
Now that you are warmed up, it’s time for your PØWR-FSE Cardio Blast. Cardio blasts are either a series of high intensity exercises or a task following the same concept (tailored to the individual of course, i.e. burpees will never be given to a 80 year old with bursitis of the hip), both lasting no more than 5 minutes MAX! Its main purpose is to elevate your heart rate into fitness performance range, and to burn through as much liver and muscle glycogen as possible. Why? Well let's take a quick look at what glycogen is.
Glycogen is sugar stored in your muscles and liver that your body uses as its secondary source of fuel, its primary source being fats, for its mandatory functions such as blinking, breathing, and for its physical exertions such as exercising. Muscle glycogen is exclusively used for physical activity (walking to fridge, opening a door etc...), whereas liver glycogen is used mostly for other body functions but can and does contribute to physical activity. Fat on the other hand is constantly in the equation.
With PØWR-FSE Cardio blast, you are depleting your glycogen, ultimately increasing the ratio of fat to glycogen being used. As your heart rate elevates from the Cardio Blast, multiple processes are happening inside your body, which is constantly trying to manage this "stress" and return to homeostasis. Guess what? That isn't "free" and does require energy to do so, further affecting the fat to glycogen ratio.
After the PØWR-FSE Cardio Blast comes a rest phase. Rest phases are crucial. As they allow for ATP regeneration, they also increase the volume of oxygen intake keeping your muscles in prime shape (prevent cramping) for what's to come next. They allow your nervous system to cope with the intensity, reducing overall stress, and giving you a window to hydrate and cool off. HOWEVER, rest phases can be dangerous and ruin your entire workout if enjoyed for too long. Remember earlier during my monologue about your sympathetic nervous system and how it shifts your body from normal mode to exercise mode? Well there is another player in the game, parasympathetic nervous system, and its job is to bring you back from exercise mode to normal mode. The longer you stay inactive, the closer to "normal mode" you will get. Once that happens, you will have to restart the process from the beginning, which I do not advise. It will place your body under an enormous amount of stress and you will have to settle for a mediocre workout. For this reason, rest phases should be between 10 secs to 3 minutes on average. Yes, that means you have to limit your socializing to almost zero once your workout has started.
PØWR-FSE Exercise Sequences (both 1 and 2) are crucial because this is where you are generally going to lift weights, allowing you to increase that muscle mass. The rule is simple. Each sequence has 4 exercises with a 5th optional one for those a bit more advanced. Each sequence generally focuses on 2 muscle groups at a time. The exercises have to be performed in order (1-2-3-4-5, is optional), 10 reps and repeated for a total of 3 sets. The rule of thumb is that each muscle group worked on does not "overlap" the another. For example, in the case of chest / biceps:
exercise 1: Chest press.
exercise 2. Bicep curl.
exercise 3: pushups.
exercise 4: barbell curl.
That formula allows one muscle group to rest as the other performs. This allows you to reduce your rest times between exercises while keeping your heart rate up, further increasing the ratio of fat to glycogen burn and preventing your parasympathetic nervous system to shut you down.
PØWR-FSE Cardio Phases are usually between the PØWR-FSE Exercise Sequence 1 & 2. When going from the PØWR-FSE Cardio Blast to the 1st exercise sequence, your heart rate will drop. Your heart rate is an indicator of your energy demand. The higher the heart rate is, the higher the demand. The higher the demand, the more glycogen burn there will be. This will further increase our fat to glycogen ratio. Cardio Phases are generally lower in intensity than Cardio blasts, but have the same duration and same concept of high intensity exercises or task(s).
After PØWR-FSE Exercise Sequence 2, we are entering one of the final stages, which is the PØWR-FSE Core Phase. Just as it sounds, this phase focuses mainly on core exercises following the exercise sequences' principles of one exercise after another. You will be surprised how elevated your heart rate will be for this phase. Its purpose is to work in conjunction with the second final stage, PØWR-FSE Flexibility Phase, where functionality is worked on. That includes foam rolling, stretching, yoga poses and etc...This phase allows your parasympathetic nervous system to finally take over and recalibrate your body. Your body's fight or flight response will end and surely, you will feel tired and relaxed. But, at the end of this, you would have used up a lot of your liver glycogen, forcing your body to use a lot more fat to start the homeostasis process since muscle glycogen are only used for physical activity.
The PØWR-FSE method is absolutely demanding on your body. Just like anything fitness related, proper nutrition is definitely required. There is no specific diet for PØWR-FSE. Just simply make sure your protein intake is high to offset the protein turnover from the level of intensity.
PØWR-FSE stands for - Power - Flexibility - Strength - Endurance - These are the 4 pillars of fitness. The PØWR-FSE structure allows you to master these pillars and tackle them faster than ever before. It truly is fitness redesigned.
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