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Defining Hybrid Training


Try this six-week program to get bigger, stronger, and all-around better.

By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC

 

I love hybrid training. My three favorite sports are powerlifting, mixed martial arts, and endurance racing (triathlon/obstacle course racing). Talk about extreme anaerobic to extreme aerobic. Almost by definition, hybrid training taxes the three metabolic energy systems: 1) Phosphagen—zero to 30 seconds in duration (powerlifting lifts usually take about two seconds); 2) Anaerobic glycolysis—30 seconds to three minutes (MMA being a perfect example. Of course, with five-minute rounds, we are slightly favoring the cardio side of things); and 3) Aerobic glycolysis: over three minutes in duration (endurance racing being the perfect example for this energy system as races exceed three, 12, and even 24 hours).

I’m often writing strength and conditioning programs for clients who adhere to hybrid-style training. Some programs I write are as short as three weeks, while others extend as long as six months, depending on the athlete, their goals, projected competition date, and any injuries. Here, I am going to lay out a solid six-week strength and conditioning program in the hybrid style.

 

WEEK 1

Monday

Strength:This is the stuff that makes you stronger and more powerful. It’s necessary for muscle growth and even fat loss. It keeps your testosterone naturally elevated and promotes tendon growth.

A) Back squats (3x3): After a sufficient warm-up, work up to weight on the bar that allows for three maximal-effort reps. Rest as needed between sets and attack the three reps again (adding weight each set is encouraged).

B) Back squats (2x12): Back off the weight to complete two down-sets (higher reps at lighter weight). This is to promote blood flow and help increase hypertrophy. Rest as needed between each set of 12 reps.

Assistance Work: This is for hypertrophy that is necessary for gains in strength

C) Leg presses (5x15)

D) Gute ham raises (4x15) or hamstring curl (3x 20) 

Conditioning:Sets like this will spike your metabolism and help you burn body fat, even after the workout is complete. The key is to hit these sets with vigor. Don’t half-ass the cardio aspect of this part of the workout. Breath heavy and take yourself (mentally) to a different place. Embrace the suck.

E) Three rounds (rest two minutes between rounds)

     - 20 Decline sit-ups

     - 20 Dumbbell deadlifts (25 to 50 pounds each arm)

     - 100-meter walking lunge

Endurance: The goals for this section are increased blood flow, aid recovery, and even a way to mentally decompress. Endurance work is a necessary component of hybrid training. This is when breathing technique and muscle endurance is put to the test. When running, find a pace that you can maintain through the entire run. Don’t sprint, then walk, then jog, then sprint again. That isn’t aerobic. And although that varied intensity running has its place, it’s not meant for the end of the workout.

F) Jog one mile easy

 

Tuesday

A) Bench presses (3x3)

B) Bench presses (2x12)

C) Incline dumbbell presses (4x15)

D) Dips (4x max reps)

E) Triceps isolation movement #1 (3x 20)

F) Triceps isolation movement #2 (3x20)

G) 30 to 60 minutes of interval cardio: running, rowing, grappling, boxing, biking, swimming, skiing, or playing a sport

 

Wednesday: Active recovery. Spend 60 minutes swimming, stretching, and foam rolling.

 

Thursday

A) Deadlifts (3x3)

B) Deadlifts (2x12)

C) Cable rows (5x15)

D) Biceps isolation movement (3x20)

E) Three rounds:

     - 20 Knee-to-elbows, hanging from bar

     - 20 Kettlebell swings (35 to 75 pounds)

     - 10 Broad jumps for max distance

F) Five rounds:

     - 15 Pull-ups

     - Run 400 meters

 

Friday

A) Military presses (3x3)

B) Military presses (2x12)

C) Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes

     - 5 Squat thrusters at 75 percent max

     - 2 Box jumps at 85 percent max height

D) Shoulder isolation movement (3x20)

E) 30 to 60 minutes of interval cardio: running, rowing, grappling, boxing, biking, swimming, skiing, or playing a sport

 

Friday and Saturday: Rest days

 

WEEK 2

Repeat Week One. Try to slightly increase weight and speed for all exercises. 

 

Defining Hybrid Training - Hybrid Squat

WEEK 3

Monday

A) Back squats (5x8-10)

B) Quad extensions (5x15)

C) Hamstring curls (5x15)

D) Calf raises (3x20)

E) Three rounds:

     - 20 Jumping air squats

     - Run 400 meters

F) Run 5K or max distance in 30 minutes

 

Tuesday

A) Bench presses (5x8-10)

B) Incline barbell presses (4x15)

C) Triceps isolation movement #1 (3x20)

D) Triceps isolation movement #2 (3x20)

E) Five rounds:

     - 15 Decline sit-ups 

     - 15 Knees to elbows, hanging from bar

     - 15 Dips

 

Wednesday: Active recovery. Spend 60 minutes swimming, stretching, and foam rolling

 

Thursday

A) Deadlift (4x8-10)

B) Deficit deadlifts (3x6) 

C) Barbell shrugs (5x15)

D) Farmer’s carry for 25 meters (4x max weight)

E) Five rounds:

     - 5 Power cleans

     - 50-meter sled/prowler sprint (or just sprint if no sled)

     - 3 Box jumps (75 percent max height)

F) Jog one mile easy

 

Friday

A) Military presses (5x8-10)

B) Behind neck presses (3x8-10)

C) Shoulder isolation movement #1

D) Shoulder isolation movement #2

E) 60 Burpee pull-ups for time

F) 30 to 60 minutes of interval cardio: running, rowing, grappling, boxing, biking, swimming, skiing, or playing a sport

 

Friday and Saturday: Rest days

 

WEEK 4

Repeat Week Three. Try to slightly increase weight and speed for all exercises.

 

WEEK 5

Repeat Week One. Try to slightly increase weight and speed for all exercises.

 

WEEK 6 

Repeat Week Three. Try to slightly increase weight and speed for all exercises.

 

As you can see, there are two different weekly programs. One of which you complete for Week One and then complete again for Week Two. The purpose of two duplicate weeks of training is to first establish benchmark scores (weight lifted, reps counted, time in duration) and then on Week Two, break through those scores. After two solid weeks of training, we change up variables like reps, sets, and durations. However, movement patterns stay relatively the same. Weeks Three and Four will feature a new weekly workout, which you will repeat as you did the first two weeks. Again, beat all Week Three scores on Week Four. By the end of Week Four, you will have done basically a month of solid hybrid training. You will begin to feel the benefits of this style of training: more energy, more strength, increased appetite, less fatigue. Then, with the improved system that is your body, repeat Week One for a third cycle, making sure that all Weeks One and Two scores are again broken. After Week Five comes to an end, repeat Week Three program for Week Six, again besting you previous scores.

The body adapts to the demand placed on it. And by that token, I think it’s important to repeat some exercises. However, repeat too often and too frequent, and adaption becomes minimal. This program has you repeat just enough, before we change things up slightly to ensure ongoing progress. Set your goals, keep them specific, and attack those specific endeavors until they are improved before moving onto a new set of goals. IM

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