Hybrid Training: What is it? Who is it for?

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I shared last week that I recently became certified as a Concurrent Hybrid Performance Coach. I got a lot of positive feedback, but hey, it may just have been because my arms looked jacked in the picture I shared. So I’m going to go into that “more details to come” part now, in case you were actually wondering what the hell “Concurrent Hybrid Performance Coach” actually means.

A little background to start.

Concurrent training is training simultaneously for adaptations from both resistance and endurance training.

And concurrent training is an idea that has been controversial basically since the advent of strength and conditioning as a profession. Strength coaches argue that simultaneously training for endurance while training to compete as a strength athlete will interfere with strength progress. Endurance coaches argue that simultaneously training for strength while training to compete as an endurance athlete will interfere with endurance progress. Each side contends that the negative adaptations of the other outweigh the positive adaptations.

I believe they are wrong.

Fast forward a little bit, and let’s dial into another dimension of this idea: Hybrid Training. What’s that?

Hybrid training is the concurrent training of different athletic disciplines that do not explicitly support one another, and whose disparate components are not essential to success at any one sport. (Viada, 2015.)

Got that?

Didn’t think so. So let’s break it down a little better. Essentially, Hybrid Training is “a style of programming that develops strength, strength-endurance, sport skill, and aerobic conditioning simultaneously.” (Viada 2015)

Holy crap, really?!

Yes, really. And how do we do this? With very careful programming, that’s how. By paying very close attention to goals, schedules, current fitness levels, priorities, recovery, and nutrition. By taking into account every bit of that to determine what is truly important for training, cutting out the crap, and then focusing in hard. By training really smart, and really hard. And recovering hard too.

When it’s all done right, we reap the benefits of all the best positive adaptations of strength and endurance, together.

So what’s the application of this Hybrid Training? Who exactly is a Hybrid Athlete? Well, I’m one. You know all those big muscles I’ve been selfie-ing? And the super slow runs I’ve been enjoying? Followed by super fast ones I’ve been crushing? Yeah, product of Hybrid Training.

Just as an example that I can speak to, here’s the Reader’s Digest version of my story: I started really lifting heavy around last summer. I went through a couple of progressive programs, saw great results, but wanted to focus in some more to gain more muscle and get even stronger. But I didn’t want to give up running. I love running! I wanted to be able to gain muscle and run far and fast at the same time. Luckily, I had learned of Complete Human Performance in May. And after a bit of research, I reached out, filled out their athlete intake form, and was on my way to quickly becoming the best athlete I could ever dream of being.

  • I’ve put on about a half inch in my arms in four months, and almost an inch in my legs. (Yes, I wanted bigger legs.)
  • I’ve gotten progressively faster while running far less volume, but maintaining distance.
  • I’ve improved my quality of sleep and recovery, and my body feels less fatigued than when I was running only with minimal circuit style strength training.

In a nutshell: All performance up, all fatigue and injuries down.

My big bulky muscles haven’t slowed down my running. And my long-distance running hasn’t killed my gainzzzzz.

Oh, and I get to eat food too. Including the dreaded carb! (Insert spooky music here.)

OK, so what does all this mean for you? Well, if you’re not interested in it, not a damn thing. And that’s totally cool. However, if you do have any aspirations of participating in multiple sports spanning strength and endurance disciplines and improving performance in all capacities, pay attention.

If you’re into powerlifting, but want to run a sprint triathlon?

If you told yourself you’d run a marathon before you turned 40, but you also really want to improve your deadlift?

If you want to put on muscle, but know you need to improve general aerobic conditioning?

If you want to increase your running distance, but also want to improve your aesthetics?

If you just want to be able to deadlift 300 pounds and run a 6 minute mile too?

This. Is. For. You.

If you’re convinced that there’s only one way to get really good at one discipline? More power to you, but I’d still encourage you to have a little more of an open mind. I’ve never been and will never be an elite level athlete, but the truth of it is, neither will most of you reading this. You can, however, excel to a very high degree in your given sport, while also placing some strategic attention on other aspects of your athletic development. And if you decide you want to? You can excel at more than one sport. At the same time.

Anyway, the point is, Concurrent Hybrid Performance Coaching is here, it’s for anyone interested in concurrent training, and I’m super pumped to be able to bring it to my athletes. I’m even more pumped to say that I’m currently the only one certified in the state of Missouri to coach this method. What’s even better? I provide this coaching virtually, so you actually don’t need to be local at all. If you think we might be a good fit, let’s see if we are.

And if you’re not ready for a coach yet? You can always find out more information about the method by reading the book The Hybrid Athlete. Or by shooting me a message anytime.

It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s challenging. It’s damn sure never boring. And it’s incredibly rewarding. Don’t be scared. We’ll crush it! And then have cake :)