January 14, 2016

If climbing ropes and crawling through mud sounds appealing, you’ve probably decided to either enlist in some form of armed forces or participate in an obstacle course where the goal is to get as dirty as possible followed by the consumption of barley based carbonated beverages. If taking a ripped shirt, mud-crusted selfie doesn’t sound like your “thing”, there are many other ways to get in shape this year. A combination of conditioning and physique-toning resistance training could help you achieve that strong, lean look for summer. Next time you’re in the gym try this hybrid training approach from Renegade Founder John Davies.


An athletic/aesthetic training system must respect functionality of development and appropriate muscular balance and fitness. The common grounds this highly effective hybrid training plan respect are the following:


Safety First


Casting aside the bravado-laced marketing, no training plan should place an individual in a situation where there’s a risk of injury but equally as important is that it places emphasis upon injury prevention. This is important as the demands of an athlete are great and invariably events, whether an obstacle course mosh pit run or other, will involve situations well beyond the confines of the pretty gym where signs of work are frowned upon. Challenge is part of the day for athletes, just as they work to avoid injury in the presence of fatigue.


A proper athletic/aesthetic hybrid training system will place emphasis upon:

  • Movement generation
  • Maintaining optimal posture
  • Force directed, accepted and re-directed with relaxation of agonist groups
  • Time under Tension
  • Efficient use of training time period


and finally, the big point:

  • Train in chaos or prepare To Fail


Using this general outline, it is important to note that the most effective route, following movement preparation work that activates the core musculature, is via compound multiple joint lifts in large circuit fashion which also is means you will sweat a great deal and not one moment will be the proverbial stroll in the park.


Said multiple joint lifts serve as the ‘fundamental’ movements of training and to the surprise of absolutely none are the Squat, Push Press | Jerk, Snatch, Clean, Deadlift and Bench Press. These movements truly are the core of resistance training, and recruit the greatest amount of muscle in the most efficient use of time.


Secondary to said ‘fundamental’ movements are supplemental exercises which are less motor challenging and can satisfy a multitude of goals from general strength, shoring weak spots, hypertrophy concerns and injury prevention. Selection choices will vary due to individual needs and interests, but is very easy to program with total sets of fundamental lifts equaling supplement movements.


Using this basic template allows for ease of programming that is scalable to technical ability and maturity all without a clever marketing term, ‘three easy payments’ and the app that tracks and documents every single movement of your life. As an example, consider a classic ‘Legs, Back and Biceps’ routine for the intermediate level exercise enthusiast:


1a) One Arm Dumbbell Snatch x12

1b) Plié Squats x12


Russian Split Jumps 3×15 (Rest 30 to 45 seconds)


2a) Bent-Over Rows (underhand grip) x12

2b) Towel Chins (towel over pull-up bar and grasp) x12


Burpees 3×15 (Rest 30 to 45 seconds)


Barbell Biceps Curls 3×12 reps *

Scott Curl 3×12 reps *

*Peak contraction for a 2 count at top of movement with slow eccentric


Star Jumps 3×15 (Rest 30 to 45 seconds)


Renegade Row 3×15

Side Plank 3×30 seconds

Superman (one arm) 3×15 seconds each


The final point and in returning to the iron game and sport training world of old; each was based firmly upon a foundation of healthy dietary habits (in a time where there was nothing called ‘fast food’), drinking sufficient water (in a time there was no sugar-laced fluorescent-toned ‘energy drinks’), being physically active outside of the gym (in a time where ‘GPP’ was how you lived) and obtaining the appropriate amount of sleep (because you weren’t posting status updates late at night).


TEAM USPlabs Amanda Gable


Follow John on Twitter


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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