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Foreword to Hybrid Strength Training by Dan John


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One of the hardest things about strength and conditioning coaching, and all areas of personal training, is knitting together all the various tools available to us today. There are probably hundreds of curl machines (just how many ways do we need to get those biceps pumped?) and it’s a rare day that someone doesn’t show up with another variation of a variation of a variation for the damn lunge.

Danny Kavadlo’s new book, Hybrid Strength Training, is your step-by-step guide to utilizing barbells, bodyweight, pull up bars and dip racks to change the way you move and feel. Danny walks us through the basics of basic training. He shows us how to do the most important exercises that every BODY should know and then…

And then he details how to combine these movements into a training system. Danny’s work reminds me of how "we" were taught back in the day. Before I become the man yelling at clouds, let me just say that Danny’s book reflects the great tradition of strength, physique, and exercise books.

It’s not a dissertation on one or two moves that, in total candor, you would be embarrassed to do in a typical gym. Honestly, it’s what "we" do…we being coaches and trainers truly interested in improving the lives of our athletes and clients.

Danny’s approach to the basics of teaching the movements is sound and simple. There are excellent additional hints sprinkled throughout the chapters on movement and the experienced coach will nod along and then steal the insights for the next training session.

I liked the explanations on the why and how of the book, but what got me really excited was the programming. I would strongly suggest you read and practice the movements before beginning his programs. Having said that, you will have an excellent break-in period for each of his protocols. Danny’s sense of humor comes out clearly in the titles of his programs.

As we approach the Blue Flame training, I found a bit of joy in discovering that Danny has returned us to the simplicity and logic of the whole-body workout. We balance our week with an upper body day and a lower body day yet come back to circuit training one day a week. Although I might just be an experiment of one (n=1 is the new cool way to say it), but my body reveled in doing this EXACT system decades ago after years of overtraining. (For the record, when you look up the word "overtraining" in the dictionary, you find my picture.)

The standards for the next program, Red Hot, mirror what many of us in the field think is an appropriately strong level of lifts for that odd category we call "most of us." Squatting bodyweight and doing five pull ups, as well as reasonable push up and deadlift standards, reflects a vision of common sense.

I like this idea of being asked to establish a standard before moving along to a harder program. None of Danny’s standards are crazy, extreme, or mind-bending. But, if you can do them, you should note a change in your physique…and your ability to help people move couches.

Hellyeah! is probably the workout protocol that really ties Danny’s vision of "Hybrid Training" together. If you can do the standards of the Hellyeah! program, you really won’t have to worry about any gaps in your training or physique. If you get that far, look into Danny’s bonus program Deadlift Deathstroke, which is something I think might frighten many of his gentle readers. (Eight sets of deadlifts!!!!)

I want to highlight one thing I always like about Danny’s work: he discusses the importance of getting the work in and NOT focusing on the outcome. In my world of coaching performance, I stress "Respect the process." We walk together on this point: if you do the work, follow the program, do the do…you will set yourself up for positive results. Whether it is (or is not) a 315-pound bench or a gold medal often depends on the mysterious workings of the universe. Respect the process.

Danny’s suggestions about life and living are common sense. Certainly, these are practical points that we probably heard from grandma, but they are always the first thing I discuss when someone is failing and flailing. I will say his point, "Don’t let toxic people in," is something I could use a refresher course on.

I’m honored to call Danny my friend. His impact on my field of strength and conditioning continues to expand daily. This book is part of his legacy.


—Daniel John, author, Never Let Go

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