Building a Champion one Phase at a time: 2

24-7 and partner Chad Ikei of Ikei Performance would like to present part two of Chad's series that hopefully can be used by Arizona athletes to help improve performance on the field

This is the second installment of a 4 part series on our unique and proven system for producing the very best athletes.


Four Phase Approach for Elite Athletes

Phase 1: Structural Phase

Phase 2: Functional Hypertrophy

Phase 3: Maximal Strength

Phase 4: Power


In this second installment we will be focusing on increasing lean muscle mass, Phase 2 - The Functional Hypertrophy Phase.  This phase will focus on increasing lower body mass (specifically hip extensors) with an introduction to improving leg strength.  It is important to follow the strict guidelines for the technique and rest intervals.  Nutrition and supplementation, especially pre & post workout nutrition, plays a large role in building muscle.  In this article we will be focusing on the exercise portion.


Phase 2 - Functional Hypertrophy

The increase in functional lean muscle mass and strength will help you to minimize injuries later in the season, due to the more solid structure surrounding joints, tendons, and other tissues. Most athletes fear gaining too much muscle mass because they believe that they will lose range of motion (flexibility/mobility) and speed. By executing optimal range of motion with each exercise and supplementing strength training with an intelligent stretching protocol as well as sports specific practices, we have found that this misconception is irrelevant. At the same time, as we prepare our athletes through each phase their relative strength improves which allows every athlete to generate a greater amount of force with each stride, actually improving an athletes speed, even at a heavier body weight.


Basic Guidelines

Don't forget the importance of Tempo, Rest, Sets & Repetition.  Please refer to Part 1 of this installment.


An individualized Program

This program is focused on improving hip extensor strength (lower back, glutes and hamstrings).  Please note that the workout below is only 1 of 2 lower body programs our athletes perform in the weight room during the week and the entire program changes every 3 weeks.  Our athletes will also be performing 2-4 days of energy system training through sprinting, agility drills, stadium stairs or strongman training to name a few, to enhance lower body conditioning and speed.


A1)      1 ¼ Back Squat

Tempo = 4-0-1-0, rest = 90 sec, sets = 4, reps 6-8

A2)      Lying Leg Curl

Tempo = 4-0-1-0, rest = 90 sec, sets = 4, reps 6-8


B1)      Snatch Grip High Pull

Tempo = XXXX, rest = 10 sec, sets = 3, reps 4-6

B2)      Dynamic Barbell Lunges

Tempo = 2-0-1-0, rest = 90 sec, sets = 3, reps 6-8 (alternating each leg)


C)        Weighted Back Extension

Tempo = 3-0-1-2, rest = 90 sec, sets = 3, reps 8-10

Click HERE to watch this installment's video.

Note:  The above exercises that are paired with an A1/A2 represents performing one exercise (A1) followed by the second exercise (A2) with the designated rest interval between each exercise.  For more information on training programs, log onto or email questions to  Our next installment will cover Phase 3: Maximal Strength.

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