Hybrid Training is the basic combination of bodybuilding and powerlifting. The training techniques are all combined and used to together to really give new meaning to "muscle confusion". This is the whole theory behind hybrid training is that it keeps the muscle's guessing and it never gets used to the workout. This leads to strength increases, definition, and size. Let me explain it a little more. Let's take the periodization cycle from my "Surefire Way to Increase Your Bench" program. The program cycles different intensities to give you strength gains from cycle to cycle. Powerlifters would agree with this fact. Well, take the thought of cycling and use it to change your workout in two ways:
- Change the exercise itself and keep the reps and sets the same or
- Keep the exercise itself the same and change the reps and sets
The bodybuilding aspect comes in the form of the high-intensity techniques that are used with the exercises. Everybody has done 3 sets of 8, 3 sets of 10, etc. and to me that's kind of boring. Remember, hybrid training is all about keeping your training evolving more and more. There probably more than 10 high-intensity techniques used in this training, some for strength, some for definition, and some for both. Blast Singles and Blast Doubles, 50-reps, 50-drop, 100-reps, 5x5 strength system, Explosive Reps, X-Reps, a little of Max-OT, HIT itself, and more are used in hybrid training. Hybrid training also manipulates the rest between sets. The longer you rest (more than one minute) tends to increase size (on compound movements) while shorter rest periods promote definition(on other movements). You'll be gaining strength using both types of rest periods as long as you progressively add your weights.
Between the choices of rest periods, choices of techniques to choose from and the number of exercises that can be done, there's no limit to where your body can go and the no limit to how much muscle you can pack on. Whether you like going heavy or going light, this training is a hybrid of both. Beside, the philosophy of this training is in order to gain muscle is to gain strength and to gain definition is to gain muscle and when you get defined or get leaner in hybrid training, you get stronger.
Later on in this article, I'll give you an example of a "hybrid" workout for the arms. The workout will require you to cycle a bit, but you have to use what works and hybrid training works!
Hybrid training has made me stronger and more leaner than I was back in 2000. Because of this training, 2001 has to have been one my best years in powerlifting training and even as I write this article, I'm looking for ways to make hybrid training even more hybrid like. The possibilities are countless. Below are a few results I recorded from some of the exercises I've done from June 2001 to December 2001.
(sets x reps/weight)
- Bench Press 6-00 - 3x4/285, 12-00 - 3x4/305
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press 6-00 - 85/4x2, 12-00 - 115/5x5 (most I've ever done was 125 for 2x6)
- Rack Deadlifts 6-00 - 10reps/585, 12-00 - 3 reps/ 705
- Leg Press- 6-00- 4 reps/630, 12-00- superset of 6x4/720
- Pulldowns- 6-00- 2x6/15 plates, 12-00- 3x6/ whole-stack
-Dumbbell Bench Press- 6-00- 7 reps/ 120s, 12-00- 5x5/125s
-Dumbbell Shrugs- 6-00- 10 reps/115s, 12-00- 25 reps/150s
These are just a few of the results from my badgered training log and trust me, hybrid training requires you to keep log of all of your reps, sets, and weights. Remember, the weights might look low (to me at least), but this is within the first year of it and I plan on making more gains this year with it.
The workout below is for the arms. Give this workout a try and see how it feels for you. All of the techniques will be explained below as well.
*Barbell Curls 5x2 (Blast Doubles) (10 second rest between sets)
*Preacher Curls 5x5 (45 second rest between sets)
Cable Curls 50-reps followed by a X-Rep
*Close-Grip Bench Press 6x3 (Blast Triples) (10 second rest between sets)
Pushdowns 50-drop followed by a X-Rep
Hammer Curls 5x5 (45 second rest between sets)
*Dumbbell Curls 5x5 (45 second rest between sets)
Concentration Curls 50-drop followed by a X-Rep
*Decline Close-Grip Bench Press 5x5 (45 second rest between sets)
*Triceps Extensions 6x3 (Blast Triples) (10 second rest between sets)
Barbell Wrist Curls 100-reps
*Don't be afraid to go heavy on these
50-reps (also 100-reps)
These are good for burnouts and build great muscularity and strength too. You don't do all 50 reps in one swoop (you can, but if you do it's too light). Let's say you do 15 reps and stop. You only have a 10-15 second rest, then you go again. You do this until you reach that 50th or 100th rep (100 reps for abs and calves).
Drop Sets (also 50-drop or 100-drop)
This is an "old" school method. You simply do a certain weight until you can't do any more and drop to a light and continue. You continue this until you reach failure or run out of weight. The 50-drop or 100-drop is the same way, but you do it until you reach 50 or 100 reps.
This is doing 5 sets of 5 reps, but your goal is to do 5 sets of 5 reps with your selected weight. If its too light, then you need to go up 5-10lbs, if its too heavy, do down 5-10lbs. The weight should be 70-80% of your 1RM.
Blast Singles, Blast Doubles, & Blast Triples
Doing four to six sets of 2-3 reps with submaximal weight, resting ten seconds between sets.
This is done with heavy weight and holding the weight at the contracted position up to 20 seconds. If you can do 20 seconds, then increase the seconds until you reach 40 seconds, then increase the weight.
If you keep with the arm workout for two months and increase the weights progressively, you will get some results in the form of strength and bicep size. (Assuming your nutrition is in order).
Hybrid Training has been used not only by me, but by my training partners and former clients. My current training partner, Jon, had made what I think to be the best improvement of his year. He went from a skinny 205 to a muscular and bigger 220 in a year and his bench is his best lift, going from 205 to 320 within the first year of hybrid training. My other training partner, Chris, has eventually gotten up to doing 445lbs on Machine Shrugs at 165!! One of my clients, went from benching 275 to 300 on the bench in eight weeks and he was getting leaner as well. Even to this day, I'm looking for more people to motivate and guide through the hybrid training because it works. Hybrid Training is what I believe to be HIE, high-intensity evolved!!
In conclusion, Hybrid Training is hardcore and very intense and the best part about it is that it continues to evolve into a better system. I believe very highly in this training because it seems to give new meaning to the word "variety" and it bridges the gap between bodybuilding and powerlifting. Plus, I'm always looking for things out there that will add to it and make this training better. I hope to add band training (rubber bands used by Westside Barbell lifters) to this training to improve it. If your wanting to be bigger, stronger, and leaner, hybrid training is for you. If you have any questions e-mail me or go to the site below for more info. Thanks and good luck on the arm workout and please, I would like to know your results.
Hybrid Training- "Hybrid Training for Maximum Results!!"
Check out my web site at: http://www.angelfire.com/al3/optimummuscle/system.html