Post Covid: Our new Hybrid Training Models
Over the past 15 months most of us who workout regularly have had to make some significant accommodations to the gyms being closed. We have all adapted our training to some degree to accommodate the limitations imposed by Covid.
Now that many gyms are open again (many did not survive) we are confronting a new normal. Training for most of us will be different than what we did before.
After months without gyms available most of us kept training but with adaptations we devised to meet our own circumstances. According to market research done by McKenzie and Company, most of us will continue to train with a hybrid of what we did before.
How did some of us adapt?
To put this matter in context, roughly 5% of the US population worked out in gyms before the Covid lockdown. Power lifters and power sports devotees are a small percentage of those who trained in gyms. It is safe to say that none of these people quit training during covid due to the gyms being closed.
During the lockdown all of us who did not have access to big iron came up with creative ways to stay in condition.
In my case, I did my major training with the kettlebell collection I built over the years. I did a version of Pavels Q & D program (Quick and the Dead). In addition, I worked on gymnastic moves that required a lot of strength. I also did a substantial amount of isometric training.
After being out of the gym for roughly a year, I found that my powerlifting strength returned completely within roughly six weeks of regular training.
Clearly my improvised training during the gym closure kept my strength at near competition levels.
When my area was hit with a second gym closure, I decided to buy a modest amount of barbell equipment. I invested in a 7-foot barbell and some bumper plates. This was not enough to do powerlifting training, but was enough to begin doing Olympic style lifting training that I did back in my 20s.
This expanded my horizon considerably. I did almost all my training at home and visited the gym only to make use of their ample supply of weights for heavy lifting.
In short, I developed my own hybrid training program. Im finding that it has advantages over my old gym only approach to training.
Potential Advantages of the Hybrid Approach
My focus for years had been training with heavy weights to compete in powerlifting. This was of course supplemented with a lot of weightlifting assistance work. In addition, I ran and occasionally did swimming.
Over several years I developed some muscle imbalances and limited ranges of motion that didnt impact my powerlifting or daily life. However, I suspected that it was not a good idea to leave them untreated as I aged.
With hybrid training, I include training on movements that are difficult for me to perform such as the Turkish Get Up, Olympic Snatch, and Olympic Clean and Jerk.
I began working on the Olympic lifts with a broomstick and gradually moved up to an unweighted barbell. I began practice on get ups with a 5 lb weight.
The best way to describe this is as a work in progress. There is no question that this training has improved my quickness, flexibility, and overall conditioning.
Another big advantage for me and probably for others who have a full schedule is that I do this training at home instead of driving to a gym and dealing with time consuming logistics.
This program appears to be helping build my powerlifting strength as well.
In short, I think Ill stay with this hybrid training model for a while.
I have included running in my workouts since 1966. I do this because I enjoy running. Almost every step I have run since 1966 has been outside in the weather.
In my hybrid program I run 2-4 times a week. I run over pre-measured courses and include interval surges and occasional sprints in the run.
Others I know prefer cycling, swimming, or elliptical trainers. Whatever works for you.
I enjoy the variation in the workouts a great deal. Probably most important, I feel great. If I get the urge to compete in a powerlifting meet, Im in shape to do an 8-week peaking cycle and be ready to do my best.
If no powerlifting meet is on the horizon, Ill stick with the hybrid training because it is interesting, fun, flexible and keeps me in super condition.
Check it out. This might work great for you.