Hybrid Training

Training towards multiple goals at once is not optimal for results but can still be beneficial and very fun.  With traditional periodisation, we tend to focus on specific components of fitness as I discussed in the previous articles: general physical preparedness, body composition, and strength and power training. However, when using what I call ‘Hybrid Training’ we target all the components of fitness at once.

What is hybrid training?

My hybrid training programme is based on three sessions a week and each training session has three sections, not including the warm-up and cool-down. 

Section one – Strength and power

Once warmed up, section one begins with a strength and/or power exercise. Across the three sessions, section one alternates between a lower-body pull, a superset combining an upper-body push and pull, and a lower-body push.

Example

Monday Wednesday Friday

A) Deadlift Pyramid

6-8 reps/ 4-6  reps/ 2-4 reps

A1) Weighted chins  

A2) Overhead Press 

5 reps x 5 sets

A) Back squat

5 reps x 5 sets

The focus is to either lift heavy and or explosively to increase strength and power.

Section two – Hypertrophy and work capacity

In the second section, the objective changes to increasing the size and work capacity of the muscles.  There will also be a big demand on the cardiovascular system too.  To do this, the weight decreases but the reps increase, and we try to get as much volume as we can in a given time period or we try to complete a given volume in a faster time. Timed circuits and escalating density training are great for this. For those of you familiar with Crossfit, you may know these are AMRAPs and AFAPs.

Example

Monday Wednesday Friday

Timed circuit

3 rounds for time

B1) DB lunge 15 each leg

B2) Weighted dips 6-8 reps

B3) Single arm rows 6-8 reps

B4) Hanging leg raises

 

 

Escalating density training (EDT)

As many rounds as possible in 12-minutes.

B1) Kettlebell swings 25 

B2) DB Incline chest press 6-8 reps

B3) Barbell upright rows 6-8 reps

B4) Oblique curls 20 reps

EMOM 15 minute

10 reps every minute on the minute alternating between:

  1. Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts
  2. Barbell bench press
  3. Landmine wide grip bent over row

Section three – Finisher and specialisation

The last section before cooling down is what I call a finisher or specialisation. This can be another high volume exercise focusing on an area of development (weakness). Or a cardiovascular based finisher, like a 1000 metre row for time.

Example

Monday Wednesday Friday

Tabata

20 sec’s 15kg barbell curls

10 sec’s rest x 8 sets

 

 

Time trial

1km run

For time

100 reps Banded good mornings for time.

 

This type of programming structure is very similar to the type you may see at a Crossfit box but with some subtle differences. I am not a fan of doing anything too complex as part of a work capacity/high volume training system. I think the injury risk is too high for my clients. I also make sure that the whole body is targeted every session. Finally, I do not allow my clients to move onto this type of programme until they have a good foundation of GPP, muscle mass, strength and power.

These hybrid sessions may not be optimal for improvements in specific areas, as targeting multiple goals at once can dilute the training effect. However, in my experience clients can still make marginal improvements in all areas and a sensibly balanced programme such as this is great for both physical and mental health.