Look like a pro and perform like an athlete with Hybrid Training Methods
When it comes to enhanced athletic performance and physique development you can certainly have it all; you can attain muscle, lose fat and elevate performance simultaneously if you implement hybrid training strategies effectively.
The bottom line with this approach is that achieving fat loss and a shredded look doesn’t have to happen at the expense of muscle, strength and power. Your metabolic health and conditioning need not suffer either. To avoid physique and muscular performance suicide, especially during the diet and/or prep phases, consider adopting a “hybrid” approach to training.
The basics of hybrid training fall into two categories: athletic performance and muscle group focus:
Athletic performance: fast-paced lifts—Total body, lower-body dominant resistance exercise protocols geared towards:
- enhancing work capacity;
- increasing strength-endurance, power-endurance, aerobic capacity, and athleticism; and
- establishing a focused mind-movement connection.
Muscle group specific ‘focus’ lifts—Resistance exercise protocols geared towards:
- maximising muscle group specific performance and growth;
- increasing muscle group specific strength, power, and aesthetics; and,
- establishing a focused mind-muscle connection.
Programming for and implementing two distinctly different types of resistance exercise protocols have allowed me to create and develop a performance capacity and physique I’ve always desired and I suspect that the approach will also work for you…
Fast-paced lifts for athletic performance
Fast-paced lifts are rooted in free weight-based multi-joint movements. Infrequently, these may be combined with joint isolation and trunk (static and dynamic) movements/exercises.
In general, these total-body protocols consist of 2-4 ‘complexes’ or blocks of work, with each one of the complexes comprised of 2-8 exercises.
My top movements for high-level metabolic conditioning, athletic and muscular performance improvement, and fat loss are:
- Equipment options: Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls and body weight.
- Lower body (bilateral and unilateral variations): Lunges, squats, deadlifts, hinging, swings
- Upper body (bilateral and unilateral variations): Vertical pulling and pressing, horizontal pulling and pressing.
- Total body: Cleans, snatches, tyre flips, sprints.
Muscle group specific ‘focus’ lifts
‘Focus’ lifts are bodybuilding-style protocols that I primarily use to focus on my upper body muscular development.
In general, they emphasise 1-3 muscle groups. Depending on the number of muscle groups you plan to hit in a single workout, you will adjust the number of exercises you select per muscle group to control overall training quality and volume. For example, 1 muscle group: 8-10 exercises; 2 muscle groups: 5-6 exercises per group; 3 muscle groups: 3-4 exercises per group; total upper body: 2-3 exercises per group.
My top movements for muscle group specific growth, strength and power are:
- Equipment options: Dumbbells, barbells, cables, machines and body weight.
- Back: Vertical (e.g. lat pulldown) and horizontal (e.g. bent-over row) pulling
- Chest: Horizontal pressing (e.g. bench press), flyes (horizontal adduction)
- Shoulders: Vertical pressing (e.g. shoulder press) and pulling (e.g. upright row), isolation (e.g. front/side raises)
- Biceps: Elbow flexion (e.g. curls)
- Triceps: Elbow extension (e.g. push downs)