Following you will find a variety of metabolic strength training combinations. Some combinations involve more movements to complete 1 repetition than others. The more movements within a given combination, the tougher it is.
Before we get into the combinations, let’s first take a look at how exactly you’ll use them. Strength training combinations are used in two ways in the training system put forth in this book.
Combination Method 1
The first method is a timed set, which involves performing as many repetitions as possible of a given combination exercise for one 6- to 10-minute time frame. If performing a unilateral (one side at a time) complex, split the time frame in half and work 3 to 5 minutes per side. After finishing the full time frame, rest 3 to 4 minutes before starting a new exercise protocol.
Combination Method 2
The other method of using combinations takes the more traditional approach, which uses a preset number of sets and reps. This method consists of performing 3 to 5 sets (per combination) for 6 to 10 reps. Then you rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets of a given combination. If you’re doing a unilateral (one side at a time) combination, perform 6 to 10 reps per side and then rest approximately 30 seconds before switching sides. Once you’ve done both sides, completing 1 round, rest approximately 90 seconds before starting the next round.
When using combinations, make sure the load is heavy enough to create an appropriate challenge for the number of reps you’re using but not so heavy that it prevents you from controlling the weight or from completing the desired reps. Ensure continued progression by increasing the load, increasing the reps, or reducing the rest time.
No matter how much scientific research is generated or how many modern training methods are developed, basic resistance training continues to reign supreme, with the barbell serving as one of the most effective pieces of exercise equipment available today. Following are various metabolic combinations using a barbell.
Bent-Over Row ■ Romanian Deadlift ■ Hang Clean ■ Overhead Push Press
1 Bent-Over Row
Stand with your feet roughly hip-width apart. Hold the barbell using an underhand grip, keeping your hands just outside shoulder-width apart. Bend over at your hips, keeping your back straight so that your torso is parallel to the floor and your knees are bent 15 to 20 degrees (see figure a). Row the bar into the middle of your torso between your chest and your belly button (see figure b). Slowly lower the bar without allowing the barbell to touch the ground. You can also perform bent-over rows by using an overhand grip, which many people find to be a less strong gripping option.
Note: After finishing your bent-over rows, place the barbell on the floor and switch to an overhand grip to perform the Romanian deadlift and the rest of the exercises in this combination.
2 Romanian Deadlift
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell in front of your thighs with your arms straight (see figure c). Keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips and bend forward toward the floor, keeping your knees bent at a 15- to 20-degree angle (see figure d). As you hinge forward, drive your hips backward and do not allow your back to round out. Once your torso is roughly parallel to the floor or the weight plates lightly tap the floor, drive your hips forward toward the barbell, reversing the motion to stand tall again.
3 Hang Clean
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with your hands just outside shoulder-width apart. Slightly hinge at your hips, keeping the bar against your thighs (see figure e), and explode your hips into the bar as you simultaneously pull the bar upward (see figure f). Once the bar reaches shoulder level (see figure g), quickly flip your elbows underneath the bar to catch it at the top of your chest (see figure h).
4 Overhead Push Press
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the barbell with your hands just outside shoulder-width apart (see figure i). Slightly bend your knees (see figure j) and then quickly reverse the motion, exploding into the bar and driving it overhead using both your arms and legs in a coordinated fashion (see figure k). Once the bar is completely overhead, slowly reverse the previous motions, replacing the bar on the floor to complete 1 full repetition.