Q&A: What is R7? - Indianapolis Fitness And Sports Training
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Q&A: What is R7?

written by Mike Robertson

Today I want to jump in the way back machine and talk a little bit about our R7 system.

The R7 system is something that we’ve developed and refined here over the years.

And to be honest, we’re pretty darn proud of it!

Not only are we using the R7 system with great success at IFAST, but I can tell you that coaches and trainers across the globe are using this system in their facilities as well.

This post came about because one of our clients asked the simple question:

“What do those R’s on our training program mean?”

But before I give you that answer, let me give you a little insight as to how this whole thing started.

The Story Behind our R7 System

DSC_1666If you came to IFAST in the early days, it was just Bill and I on the floor and writing programs.

And let’s be honest – Bill and I are both very technical thinkers when it comes to training.

One day we were having a discussion with one of our interns (Eric Oetter – now a strength coach for the Memphis Grizzlies), were discussing ways to improve our system.

As we looked at a program, the first words were “Soft-Tissue Mobilization.”

Now to us, that means foam rolling.

But what the heck does “soft-tissue mobilization” mean to a client or athlete?

Our goal was to find words that created an emotive response.

Words that intuitively gave our clients and athletes a better understanding of what we were trying to do in their training session.

Because we know that the better someone understands their training, the more they buy-in.

And the more they buy-in, the better results they get!

We made it a goal to find emotive words for each section, and came up with the following:

  • R1 – Release
  • R2 – Reset
  • R3 – Readiness
  • R4 – Reactive
  • R5 – Resistance
  • R6 – Resiliency
  • R7 – Recovery

Before you read any further, just look at those words and think about the meaning behind them.

Just by looking at them, what do you think our goal is at each section of the workout?

They might not be perfect, but I guarantee it’s a lot better than what we were using before 🙂

Now that you have an idea as to how the R7 system came about, now let’s take a deeper look at what each R means.

What the R’s Mean

Here’s a brief overview of the goal at each section:

R1 – Release

Release is your soft-tissue work, or foam rolling.

This is something that we did a lot more of in the past, but may not do quite as much these days.

The reason?

Well – because we’ve started including resets into your programming!

What we’ve found is that you’re doing the right resets, and your programming is on point, you simply don’t need as much “release” work.

But it still has a place in our programming.

R2 – Reset

I discussed resets in this article, so if you want more info, definitely check that out first.

A reset helps set the stage for our training. By improving our body’s position, we improve mobility.

Furthermore, we improve our ability to learn new movements and exercises, which helps improve the quality of our movement.

Resets are a cornerstone of our training programs, and set the stage for the training at hand.

R3 – Readiness

The next piece of the puzzle is R3, readiness.

This is your warm-up, where we get you primed to dominate your training session.

Whether you realize it or not, there are typically three parts of your readiness/warm-up:

  1. A physiological piece, where we try to get you warmed up and loose,
  2. A biomechanical piece, where we get you moving the way that we want, and
  3. A specific piece, where we prepare you for whatever you’re going to do at the start of the session (i.e. sprint, squat, throw, etc.)

R4 – Reactive

Once you’re warmed up, your body is primed to perform at a high level, so this is the best time to work on strength and power development.

Last week, we talked about how everyone is an athlete.

And one thing that distinguishes an athlete from someone who simply works out is their ability to produce power!

The reactive section of your workout could include a lot of things:

  • Speed and agility training,
  • Throwing medicine balls, or
  • Performing the Olympic lifts.

As long as it’s done with the intent of being fast and explosive, it fits in here.

R5 – Resistance

The next part of the workout is your resistance training, or lifting.

It’s shocking to think that there are people out there who work out but incorporate little (or no!) resistance training into their programming.

Whether it’s building muscle, increasing strength, or keeping your bones strong and healthy, everyone who trains at IFAST lifts weights.


R6 – Resiliency

As we start to fatigue, strength and power production tends to decrease.

However, we still have something left in the tank. This is where R6, resiliency (or our conditioning) comes into play.

The cool thing about conditioning here at IFAST is that we have a ton of different ways to do it.

We can go long duration, low intensity.

We can go short duration, high intensity.

And if you’re really evil to us, we have long duration, high intensity, too!

Regardless of your goals, we have a conditioning method that will help you get there faster.

R7 – Recovery

Last but not least, we have the recovery section of the workout.

You’ve spent the last 60, 75 or 90 minutes training, which gets you amped up and ready to go.

But before you walk out the door, we want you to chill out and relax.

That’s why every training session at IFAST ends with some recovery breathing or relaxation techniques – to help you kick start the recovery process and get ready for the next training session.

It’s counterintuitive, but the training session isn’t necessarily what makes you better.

It’s your ability to recover and adapt from the training session that is most important.

That’s why it’s so critical at the end of your session to chill out and relax.

Take 3-5 minutes and breathe.

Your body will thank you for it.


So there’s a quick overview of the R7 approach to training, and why we use all those R words in our programs.

I hope this gives you a better understanding as to why we train the way that we do.

And of course, if you have questions feel free to send them my way, or ask your IFAST coach.

We love to talk shop!


All the best! – MR

Mike Robertson

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