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Hybrid Training
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 let’s not get Nick Nilsson started on that cause knowing him he’ll 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 can’t 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…I’ll stop with the environment lecture and get back to Hybrid Training!

Considering that the reader is going to find most of the exercises new, a lot of what I’ve mentioned in past reviews of Nick Nilsson’s other books also holds true (see Best Arm Exercises and Best Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of). In short, you might find some exercises unsuitable for you either because you don’t have the exact equipment for it, you don’t 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 Nilsson’s books this is a must have.



Rating Scale Very poor/avoidable
  O.K. read
  Excellent /must have



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