By Nick Nilsson - Review
Review by Rahul Alvares
I first started
using exercise bands when I was training with a powerlifter
Greg who was following the Louie Simmons Westside
Barbell Club style of training. Greg was immensely strong
(and built like most powerlifters with a fair amount of
fat!) and he trained a lot with bands. The advantage of
using bands he told me was that unlike regular weights
they perfectly accomodated for the variable strength curve
of every exercise.
Take for example if you
are doing an overhead tricep extension with a dumbell.
You will notice that your weakest point is somewhere when
your arm is fully bent behind your neck and you are at
your strongest when your arm is almost fully flexed overhead.
Actually in lockout position you will notice that there
is almost zero pressure on the tricep. This was an unavoidable
drawback of using good ol iron, that is until Westside
Barbell (and now Hybrid Training!) came into the picture!
Bands eliminate this disadvantage.
Take the same tricep extension exercise but perform it
with an exercise band. The band perfectly compensates
for the variable strength curve by offering least resistance
at your sticking point and most resistance at your strongest
point. And at lockout the band is practically alive and
tearing at your tricep!
Westside Barbell is basically
a powerlifting routine focussing on a few basic compound
exercises only and it was but natural that they should
use bands for only a few exercises. (Actually they also
use chains but lets not get Nick Nilsson started
on that cause knowing him hell soon be torturing
us with a book only on chain training!)
Hybrid Training is the bodybuiders
solution to band training. And what a piece of work it
is. A total of 40 exercises covering all the major muscles
of the body,almost all of them using exercise bands. Most
of them actually are a combination of regular weights,
pulley cables, and, bands (I now finally understand why
the title Hybrid Training!)
The best part about the
exercises is that they are extremely home-gym friendly.
Actually with just a few free weights, a power rack ,
and a pulley you can get by with most of the exercises
all at home. This suits me just fine since I train in
small sessions throughout the day and I cant be
bothered with using the car to get to the gym all the
time (As an added advantage I consume less fossil fuel
these days thus reducing the size of my carbon footprint
on the planet. Talk about a butterfly effect!) Ok ok
stop with the environment lecture and get back to Hybrid
Considering that the reader
is going to find most of the exercises new, a lot of what
Ive mentioned in past reviews of Nick Nilssons
other books also holds true (see Best
Arm Exercises and Best
Exercises Youve Never Heard Of). In short, you
might find some exercises unsuitable for you either because
you dont have the exact equipment for it, you dont
get a good feel with it, you get too many stares from
people in the gym while performing it, or all of the above!
Still I am confident that
just like the exercise band that so beautifully compensates
for the natural strenght curve of the muscle, Hybrid Training
is a book that anyone from the geriatric fitness enthusiast
to the serious musclehead will find extremely useful.
Like all of Nick Nilssons
books this is a must have.