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A Review of Combined Weight Training and

Plyometric Training Modes: Complex Training

William P. Ebben, MS, MSSW, CSCS Phillip B. Watts, PhD
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Marquette University Northern Michigan University

THE IMPORTANCE OF WEIGHT This review examines (a) weight training (21), after several weeks
training for an athlete's physical training as a prerequisite to or months of sprint and resistance
development is well documented. plyometric training, (b) combined training (2), after developing a
Although plyometric training has weight training and plyometric strength base (4, 9), or after gain-
been popular in the U.S. for only training, and (c) complex training. ing experience in basic jump train-
about 20 years, its positive effect Recommendations are made ing and weight training (9).
on human performance has also within the context of accepted prin- Functional strength is a pre-
been well documented (2, 6, 8, 9, ciples of strength and condition- requisite for plyometries. Func-
25, 28, 42, 44, 45). The combina- ing, for the purpose of assessing tional strength tests for the lower
tion of weight training and plyo- the usefulness of complex train- body include squatting 1-1/2 to
metric training has also been ing in developing power for ath- 2-1 /2 times body weight (2, 42) or
investigated (1,5, 12, 20, 31). letic performance. squatting 5 repetitions at 60% of
Strength and conditioning pro- body weight in 5 sec or less. Func-
fessionals must now find a way to • Weight Training as a tional strength tests for the upper
incorporate both types of training Prerequisite to Plyometric body include bench pressing body
for athletes who require muscular Training weight (for athletes weighing more
power. One method is complex than 115 kg, or approx. 250 Ibs),
training. Complex training alter- To explain complex training, we 5 hand-clap push-ups, or bench
nates biomechanically comparable can begin with a review of how pressing 1-1/2 times body weight.
high-load weight training and weight training and plyometric Weight training is used to pre-
plyometric exercises in the same training historically have been pare for plyometric training to
workout. Combining the bench viewed as complementing each reduce the chance of injury (9,
press with the medicine ball power other. For example, frequently 21, 23), develop a strength base
drop is an example of upper body published recommendations de- (4, 21, 23, 42), and prepare the
complex training(9). Although only scribe weight training as a prereq- musculoskeletal system for high-
one training study has examined uisite to plyometric training. impact forces. The literature is
complex training (41), it has gained Recommendations include
some degree of popularity among implementing plyometric training
strength and conditioning pro- after a specific period of prepara- © 1998 National Strength &
fessionals. tion, such as 4-6 weeks of weight Conditioning Association

18 Strength and Conditioning October 1998

replete with recommendations for but result in diminished power
combining weight training and production over time.
plyometric training, specifically, Chu (9, 11) emphasizes the
implementing plyometric training importance of combined weight
into an established weight train- training and plyometric training
ing program. and suggests that resistance train-
ing is "the ideal counterpart to
• Combined Weight and plyometric training."
Plyometric Training A number of sources describe
the combination of weight train-
Many published studies cite the
ing and plyometric training with-
advantages of, and strategies out calling it complex training.
for, combining weight training
However, published recommenda-
and plyometric training for explo-
tions for combined weight train-
sive power and improved perfor-
ing and plyometric training spe-
mance (1-5, 9-12, 18-23, 29, 35,
cifically describe the combination
as "complex training" (1-3, 7, 9,
According to Young (48), one
11, 13-17, 19, 21-25, 27-31, 35,
needs to train with both heavy
38-41, 43).
and light loads to develop speed-
strength. Schmidtbleicher (34) • Complex Training
concludes that maximum strength
and power are not distinct enti- There are many brief statements
ties, and that power performance about complex training in the lit-
is influenced by training meth- erature. Bompa (7) recommends
ods that maximize both strength strength training programs that
and stretch-shorten cycle activ- use free weights along with other
ity. More specifically, Wilson et means (medicine ball, apparatus,
al. (44) recommend that "tradi- bounding, etc.) since "the train-
tional weight training," plyometric ing effect is more complex."
training, and "dynamic weight Allerheiligan (2) refers to complex
training" be combined to increase training for track and field ath-
dynamic athletic performance. letes, who may perform "high in-
Newton and Kraemer say that tensity strength training followed
mixed-method training, vs. weight by plyometries."
training alone, trains both the force Lundin and Berg's (25) review
and velocity components for maxi- of plyometric training recommends
mum power (28). According to combining it with weight training
Yessis (47), most athletic activity and refers to this combination as
requires a combination of strength the "so-called complex training
and speed. The relative combina- methods." Armstrong (3) refers to
tion of each, says Wathen, de- "combination lifts in the complex"
pends on the sport and/or posi- as combinations of structured
tion played (46). ground-based movement patterns
Stone (37) cautions that train- that combine basic strength and
ing emphasis eventually must explosiveness to maximize power.
shift to power and speed devel- Hedrick and Andersen's (23)
opment later in the training pe- review of the vertical jump and
riod, since training must be ve- case study of the U.S. Air Force
locity-specific and approximate Academy football team suggests
the movement speeds of the sport. that results can be optimal when Wisconsin volleyball player
Furthermore, heavy strength weight training and plyometrics Pauline Bresky does a push press
training alone will increase maxi- are combined as in a "complex (top), followed by a maximum
mum strength early in training weight training and plyometric jump for height.

October 1998 Strength and Conditioning 19

training program." Newton and Complex training has been complex training. Theoretically,
Kraemer (28) describe complex cited in research studies as well. any number of factors could play
training strategies as the complex Adams et al. (1) suggest that train- a role: (a) neuromuscular, (b)
nature of powerful muscle actions ing which enhances the transition hormonal, (c) metabolic, (d) myo-
and the need to integrate slow and between strength and speed re- genic, and (e) psychomotor. Table
fast force-production training quires a complex plyometric and 1 lists proposed complex-training
strategies. weight training program. mechanisms of adaptation cited
Chu (9) summarizes complex Ebben and Blackard (16) sur- in the literature.
training as follows: veyed NFL strength and condition- Complex training could serve
ing practices. Of 26 coaches who as a strategy that allows contin-
"This method of training should be responded, 7 said they combined ued neural adaptations in trained
used with the major weight lifts— weight and plyometric training as athletes in addition to morpho-
squats, inverted leg press, split complex training. Verkhoshansky logical adaptations typically asso-
squats, benchpress, power cleans, and Tatyan (41) conducted two ciated with advanced training. It
snatches, and push presses. As a complex-training studies and rec- might be further understood by
rule of thumb, integrating two ma- ommended alternating strength considering the ergogenic advan-
jor lifts with plyometrics during a and speed/strength training tages associated with warm-up
workout should yield maximum methods in mixed training ses- activity.
results." (p. 24) sions. Perhaps the most powerful
Other sources discuss com- Complex training also has been adaptation mechanisms of com-
plex training in greater detail. recommended for a variety of team plex training are neuromuscular.
Ebben and Blackard (13-15) de- sports including basketball, foot- High-load weight training in-
scribe the implementation of com- ball, hockey, rugby, soccer, and creases motorneuron excitability
plex training along with high-load volleyball (1, 7, 11, 27, 40, 52). It and reflex potentiation, which
weight training, Olympic-style lifts, has been recommended for indi- may create optimal training con-
and plyometrics. Fleck and Kontor vidual sports such as Alpine ski- ditions for subsequent plyometric
(19) briefly review the history of ing, boxing, figure skating, gym- exercise. Also, the fatigue associ-
complex training and the adapta- nastics, judo, handball, speed- ated with high-load weight train-
tions in "tension dependent neu- skating, sprint bike racing, swim- ing may force more motor units
ral mechanisms" associated with ming, track and field, tennis, and to be recruited during the plyo-
complex training. wrestling (1, 2, 7, 10, 11, 13, 21, metric phase, possibly enhanc-
Chu (11) defines the compo- 22, 24, 30, 33, 40, 41). And it has ing the training state (11, 39, 40).
nents and physiology of complex been indicated for sports involv-
training, making recommenda- ing throwing (38). • Training Studies
tions for exercises and program Given the frequency with which Anumberoftrainingstudies, listed
design. Fees (17) recommends the complex training is mentioned in in Table 2, have examined com-
use of complex training for injury the literature, it merits consider- bined weight and plyometric train-
rehabilitation and athlete recon- ation as a training method and ing programs (1, 5, 12, 20, 23, 26,
ditioning. invites questions about implemen- 31, 41). But only Verkhoshansky
Verkhoshansky (40) recom- tation. Research on the effective- and Tatyan (41) specifically exam-
mends the complex or variational ness of complex training, how- ined complex training. These stud-
method of developing explosive ever, is almost nonexistent. We ies provide evidence of the ben-
strength through use of "conse- may need to examine the research efits of combined weight and
cutive combinations of large and on combined weight training and
plyometric training.
small resistances." He describes a plyometric training in order to Several studies have examined
number of complexes, including understand the physiological combined weight and plyometric
strength, speed-strength, and mechanisms of adaptation.
training during the same workout
jump training, combining struc- (1,5, 12, 20, 26, 31,41). Yet most
tural weight training exercises
• Possible Mechanisms
failed to describe how weight train-
and jumping exercises. In another
of Adaptation
ing and plyometric training were
article he recommends combina- At present it would be difficult to combined. While these studies are
tions of squats and jumps in the offer a definitive explanation on the best evidence available to dem-
complex (39). the physiological adaptations of onstrate the effects of combined

20 Strength and Conditioning October 1998

Table 1
Proposed Complex Training Mechanisms of Adaptation

Source/Mechanism of Adaptation
"a strength training program should utilize free weights to concert with other means of training {medicine
balls, apparatus, bounding, etc.). Since the training effect is more complex, they complement each other and
therefore are more beneficial to the athlete." (p. 275)
"Combining strength movement exercises like squats with speed movements like the standing triple jump
can be a very effective way to stimulate the neuroinuscular system and provide variety for the athlete." (p. 24)
Chu(ll) .'.- . . \ . . . . ....... .
"Strength training raises the body's ability to excite the motor neurons by 50%. This gives the nervous
system more involvement and prepares muscle for even greater challenges," (p. 5}
"In the context of complex training, the primary goal of astrength and power athlete is to first emphasize
Type lib fibers and get Type He fibers to act like Type lib fibers," (p. 10)
"athletes must raise the level of excitement of the muscle fibers and challenge them when they reach their
highest level." (p. 13)
"In the complex training system, an athlete can make the greatest gains within the window of super com-
pensation. For that short period, the athlete can take advantage of a system that is maximally aroused and
able to face greater challenges." (p. 142)
Fees (17)
"In physiological terms, the precontractton of antagonistic muscles counters the inhibitory neural mecha-
nisms in the agonists." (p. 18)
The body has been working with heavy objects and thinks it has more heavy work. The neural system
remembers the heavy work and responds accordingly.'* (p. 18}
Fleck &Kontor{ 19)
"The contractions performed with the heavy resistances are an attempt to bring about adaptations in ten-
sion-dependent neural mechanisms that inhibit the excitation of motor neurons to voluntary maximal
contractions." (p. 66}
"by doing a light weight after a heavy weight you fool the body into remembering the heavy weight. You
therefore obtain a high velocity of movement which wiB develop power* (p, 66)
Verkhoshansky (39)
"fComplex training is] directed mainly to the development of reactive ability of the nerve-muscle apparatus
during significant dynamic effort and speed of switching the muscles from yielding work to overcoming
work." (p. 11)
"basic exercise for the development of reactive ability is fulfilled in a background of heightened excitability of
the central nervous system, brought about by preliminary fulfillment of exercise requiring great power." (p. 12)
Verkhoshansky {40}
"A weight of 90% of maximum, or 5RM, stimulates maximum effort and at the same time leaves a definite
impression on the body. It is expressed in greater excitation of the CMS and maintaining mobilized prepara-
tion for execution of maximal effort. Weight of 30% maximum allows for fast development of work effort. If
exercise with this weight is executed on a background of the positive consequences from the exercise with
large resistance, its training effect is significantly Increased. . . . A general adaptive reaction is formed to the
body. It is reflected to greater explosive effort." (p. 121)
Verkhoshansky & Tatyan (41)
"{Complex training invokes} a situation to which the positive consequences of previous strength work are
used in training for specific speed-strength development." (p. 12)

October 1998 Strength and Conditioning 21

Researcher Research focus Subjects Duration Type of WT Type of plyo. Exer. order Prog. des. Results
Adams et Compared S, P, 48 intermed. 6 weeks Parallel DJ, double- P before S on Periodized S Incr. VJ by 3.30 cm; P incr.
al. (1) &SP groups weightlifters 2x/week squat leg hop, heavy day, S VJ by 3.81 cm; S & P incr. VJ
in VJ split squat before P on by 10.67 cm
light day
Blakey& Assessed effect of 31 volunteer 8 weeks Leg press & In-depth P before WT Progressive 3 groups doing DJ at various
Southard combined WT & P univ. 3x/week upper body jump, or for 2 of 3 incr. in heights, all improved Margaria
(5) on Margaria test & students WT exerc. jumping during trng. days; load power scores ~3.35-5,69 watts
Universal leg press normal VB P on same
practice day as WT
Clutch et Compared WT 16 from univ. 16 weeks Deadtift, DJ of 0.75m P before WT Progressive For WT class, WT & DJ trng.
al. (12) & DJ group to WT class & 16 2x/week BP. & 1.10m during same incr. in incr. VJ ~3.73 cm vs. WT-only
WT-only group; from univ. parallel session load group, for whom VJ decreased
assessed VJ men's VB team squat -0. 1 1 cm
Fordetal. Compared WT & P, 50 high sen. 10 weeks Squat, DJ&form WT & P every WT WT incr. VJ by 1.72 in. &
(20) WT & wrestling/ boys from a 3x/week deadlift, running w/ other day, included decreased 40-yd by 17 sec; WT
softball group, & PE class power clean, 2'/2-lb ankle presumably sets of 8. 5, & activity incr. VJ by 1.23 in,,
WT only; tested & BP wts in same & 3 reps/ deer. 40-yd by 0.18 sec; WT & P
5 variables incl, workout session incr. VJ by 1.77 in., deer. 40-yd
40-yd & VJ by 1.5 sec
Hedrick & Compared test 45 college 2 years Squat, power Not specified Order of WT Periodized Incr. squat & clean per-
Anderson scores in squat & football clean, & other & P not (presumed) formance, avg. VJ incr.
(23) clean w/VJ players football specified of 3.66-10.41 cm
perform.; program conditioning
included plyomet. exerc.
Lyttle et Compared max 33 untrained 8 weeks WT & P group WT & P: DJ WT & P group Progressive WT & P yielded more signif.
al. (26) power trng., males 2x/week used squat & & med ball did exerc. on incr. in results in various power
combined WT & P, BP throw; max same day load tests than max power trng.
& control group on power group: or control groups
various tests of wgtd. squat
dynamic power jump &
bench throw

Strength and Conditioning

Polhemus Compared W T & P 27 male univ. 6 weeks BP, power Running P & WT on Pyramid WT incr. VJ by 1.3 in,, incr.
etal. (31) to WT-only group; track & field 3x/week clean, squat, in place, same tmg. program SLJ by 2.0 in., deer. 40-yd by
assessed 40-yd, athletes military press, weighted days 11 sec; WT & P incr. VJ by 3.0
VJ, & SLJ mini-gym DJ in., incr. SLJ by 7.25 in., deer,
leaper 40- yd by 0.33 sec.
Polhemus Compared W T & P 31 female 6 weeks BP, power Running P & WT on Pyramid WT incr. VJ by 1 .4 in., incr.
etal. (31) to WT-only groups; univ. 3x/week clean, squat, in place, same tmg. program SLJ by 1.75 in., deer. 40-yd
assessed 40-yd, athletes military press, weighted days by 0.33 sec; WT & P incr. VJ
VJ, & SLJ (no WT exper.) mini-gym DJ by 4.0 in., incr. SLJ by 3.0 in.,
leaper deer. 40-yd by 0.43 sec.
Verkhosh- Compared signif. 96 beginning 14 weeks Squat, supine Squat jump, Compared WT Not No numerical data; complex
ansky& of exerc. order; track & field 36 sessions leg press, one- hop, VJ, before P, P specified trng. group outperformed WT
Tatyan assessed WT athletes leg squat. SLJ, & before WT & before P group, & P before WT
(41) before P, P before walking w/ triple jump complex trng. group
WT, & complex trng. partner on
Verkhosh- Compared order of 108 beginning 12 weeks Squat, other DJ, other Compared WT Not No numerical data given; DJ
ansky & WT & P in same tmg. track & field 36 sessions unspecified unspecified before P, and P specified group outperformed combined
Tatyan session to DJ group athletes WT exerc, plyomet. before WT in WT&P group
(41) complex group, &
DJ control group

October 1998
Note: S = squat group; WT = weight trng group; P = plyometric group; VJ = vertical jump; SLJ = standing long jump; DJ = depth jump; BP = bench press.
weight and plyometric training, metric drills can be paired with
they offer little explanatory value functionally similar weight train-
for the mechanisms of complex ing, as complex training, in the
training. Complex training can be precompetition cycle (10, 14, 15,
further understood through care- 28, 40, 47).
fully controlled studies that ex- Including plyometric drills and
amine exercise order and length of reducing the volume of weight
rest between the weight training training allows for "unloading" and
and plyometric exercises of a com- facilitates power development (1,
plex pair. 9, 11, 14, 15, 28, 40, 47). Sport-
Since complex training is likely specific complexes are a form of
to be employed by individuals who "functional training" and increase
are already trained, the research the generalizability of training to
should involve trained athletes. the actual athletic activity. Com-
Training volume should be quan- plex training is also time-efficient
tified and specified; it should fol- and offers variation of training
low periodization schedules. methods during the competition
Weight training components cycle.
should include exercises com-
Intensity and Volume
monly used by athletes in train-
ing, such as the parallel squat and Recommendations for intensity
power clean. and volume of exercise are consis-
tent. The athlete needs to work at
• Recommendations for a high intensity level for both
Complex Training weight and plyometric training (1,
2, 9, 11, 14, 15, 21, 28, 40, 47).
Although there is a lack of re- The volume of complex training
search on the effectiveness and should be low enough to guard
mechanisms of complex training, against undue fatigue so the ath-
a review of the literature suggests lete can focus on quality of work
potential benefits of such train- performed.
ing. In light of established prin- An example of complex pairs
ciples of strength and condition- may include biomechanically simi-
ing, we can offer some recommen- lar exercises such as bench press
dations on designing a complex and medicine ball power drop, or
training program. the squat and squat jump. Two to
Periodization 5 sets of any complex pair are
recommended. The athlete does
Complex training must be part of 2-8 reps during the weight train-
a periodized program. First, one ing component and 5-15 reps dur-
must have functional base strength. ing the plyometric component (1,9,
Complex training can be incorpo- 10, 11, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 39, 40).
rated after a base strength or
"preparation" training cycle of Specificity and
weight training (9, 10, 14, 15, 18, Exercise Choice
19, 28, 39, 40, 43, 47). Recommendations for exercise
Complex training should fol- choice in complex pairs are con-
low established periodization prin- sistent with the principle of
ciples associated with plyometric biomechanic and velocity speci-
training programs. For example, ficity needed for power sports.
low-intensity plyometric drills, not Complex pairs should include a
in complex pairs, should be intro- multijoint weight training exer- Offensive tackle Chris Mclntosh
duced in the strength-power cycle. cise followed by a biomechani- performs the squat (top), followed
Eventually sport-specific plyo- cally similar plyometric exercise by the box jump.

October 1998 Strength and Conditioning 23

(1, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, 19, 21, 28, training frequency. But they are anically similar weight and
43). Total body or Olympic-style less certain for exercise order and plyometric training exercises and
lifts may also be used, followed rest between sets and exercises. the next pair). However, inadequate
by plyometric exercises in a rest between sets leaves room for
complex pair. • Tentative different interpretations. For ex-
Numerous sport-specific com- Recommendations ample, if a weight training exer-
binations of biomechanically simi- for Complex Training cise is followed by a plyometric
lar free-weight and plyometric ex- Exercise Order exercise (complex pair), then by a
ercises can be paired in complex second set of weight training and
training. Furthermore, one should Recommendations for exercise
plyometric exercises without ad-
consider unilateral exercises such order in complex training typically
equate rest after the first complex
as single-arm power drops vs. two- call for high-load weight training
pair, does the plyometric exercise
arm power drops, since full motor followed by functionally similar
follow the weight training exercise
unit activation may occur more plyometrics (2, 9, 14, 15, 19, 40).
or precede it?
readily during unilateral contrac- For example, one set of squats
Until more research is con-
tions (32). followed by one set of depth jumps.
ducted, the majority opinion is to
Another recommendation is to
Training Frequency perform the plyometric exercise
follow a high-load weight training
and Recovery set relatively soon (0-30 sec) after
exercise (e.g., squat) with sport-
the weight training set so as to
Recommendations for frequency specific lighter exercises of 30-
take advantage of the possible
of, and recovery between, training 40% RM such as a jump squat,
heightened neural stimulation af-
sessions are consistent. Complex followed by plyometrics such as
forded by the weight training set.
training may be undertaken 1-3 depth jumps, creating a 3-exer-
Adequate rest between com-
times a week with 48-96 hrs re- cise complex (15, 19, 40).
plex pairs is important. Recom-
covery between sessions in which Adams et al. (1) suggest doing
mendations are 2 to 10 min of rest
the exercise affects the same all plyometric exercises first on a
after completing one complex pair
muscle group (2,43). Training with low-intensity weight training day
(weight training+plyometric train-
complex pairs in the same session since the fatigue induced by plyo-
ing exercise) and before beginning
prevents the problem of weight metrics will not be as deleterious
the next set of the same pair (11,
training on one day followed by to the weight training exercise.
16,41). Generally, strength/power
plyometric training the same It is generally believed that the
training requires adequate rest
muscle group the next day. advantages of complex training
For an untrained individual, between sets to allow the body to
accrue from performing plyo-
replenish the anaerobic energy
the initial training cycle would metrics after weight training, tak-
contain no plyometric drills, while sources needed for performing
ing advantage of the heightened high-velocity contractions at high
for athletes with prerequisite func- neural stimulation afforded by the
tional strength it would contain power output (16, 43).
weight training. In a given work-
limited, low-intensity plyometric out, multijoint complex pairs
drills. Later training cycles such
• Summary
should be performed before other
as the precompetitive cycle may exercises to ensure that they are Stone (36) offers guidelines for com-
contain complex training 2 or 3 done at a high work intensity (43). ing to a reasonable conclusion re-
days a week (2, 11, 16, 42). One garding strength and conditioning
or two complex training sessions Rest Between Sets
methods. These guidelines are one
a week can be used during the As is the case with exercise order, way to examine the combination of
competitive season as a high in- recommendations for rest between weight training, plyometric train-
tensity /low volume, time efficient sets merely serve as guidelines ing, and sport-specific exercise, as
training method. until empirically determined. Rec- well as complex training.
Many published complex- ommendations for rest between
training recommendations follow exercises in complex pairs range 1. Is the idea logical?
sound principles of strength and from almost none to 5 minutes Complex training is consistent
conditioning. Recommendations (11, 16, 41). with the principles of periodization,
are consistent for periodization, Recommendations for rest be- variation, specificity, recovery, and
variation, intensity, volume, exer- tween pairs are less clear (i.e., individualization. There is no evi-
cise choice, specificity, recovery, and between one pair of biomech- dence that it has a deleterious

24 Strength and Conditioning October 1998

effect. Research supports the value
of combining weight training and
plyometric training in the same
Weight training, plyometric
training, and sport-specific exer-
cise must be combined in some
fashion for optimal power devel-
opment and transfer of training
adaptations to athletic activity.
Weight training and high-inten-
sity plyometric training on alter-
nating days—for the same muscle
groups, as is often recommended—
violates the principle of recovery.
Recommendations have been
made for training intensity, vol-
ume, exercise choice, recovery, and
training frequency. There is also
the educational value of directly
pairing activities such as bench
press and medicine ball chest pass.
It allows athletes to correlate the
functional value and the unique
training stimulus of each type of
biomechanically similar exercise.
Finally, complex training may
be administratively advantageous.
It allows the coach to supervise
athletes' weight training and
plyometric training during a single
session, on the same day, in the
same facility.
2. Has the idea been tested
subjectively? Fullback Cecil Martin does a bench press (top), followed by a plyometric
Complex training has been push-up.
employed for some time, and nu-
merous recommendations appear
in the literature. when compared to weight training is logical, administratively effi-
alone (1, 12, 20, 23, 26, 31, 41). cient, and offers advantages as-
3. Has the idea been tested There are no empirically estab- sociated with combined weight
objectively? lished guidelines for recommen- training and plyometric train-
Studies of complex training dations on exercise order, length ing.
are limited to the work of Verk- of rest between sets, and number Complex training most likely
hoshansky and Tatyan (41), yield- of complexes per workout. will offer an enhanced training
ing inconclusive results. Other stimulus for athletes possessing
researchers point to the signifi-
4. Is there enough informa- functional strength and athletic
cant advantages of combining tion for making a judgment? development (9,21,28,41). It may
weight training and plyometric There is no evidence that com- or may not offer the optimal train-
training methods in the same ses- plex training is harmful or impairs ing stimulus. However, it is worth
sion. Theyfound superior improve- development in athletes who al- implementing and assessing sub-
ments in the vertical jump, 40-yd ready possess prerequisite func- jectively as well as researching
dash, and standing long-jump tional strength. Complex training objectively.

October 1998 Strength and Conditioning 25

Renowned strength and con- Strength. Champaign, IL: Human 25. Lundin, P., and W. Berg. A review
ditioning coaches and sport sci- Kinetics, 1996. of plyometric training. NSCA Jour-
entists have concluded that com- 12. Clutch, D., M.Wilton, C.McGown, nal 13(6):69-75. 1991.
plex training is a useful and per- and G.R. Bryce. The effect of depth 26. Lyttle, A.D., G. J. Wilson, and K. J.
haps optimal training strategy. It jumps and weight training on leg Ostrowskl. Enhancing perfor-
strength and vertical jump. Res. mance: Maximal power versus
deserves objective consideration
Q. 54:5-10. 1983. combined weights and plyometric
as a training strategy as well as 13. Ebben, W.P., and D.O. Blackard. training. J. Strength Cond. Res.
careful analysis to determine its Developing a strength-power pro- 10:173-179. 1996.
benefits and the mechanisms gram for amatuer Boxing. Strength 27. Mateeva, L. [The speed strength
responsible. A andCond. 19(1):42-51. 1997. correlation with the explosive
14. Ebben,W.P., andD.O. Blackard. Com- strength development] (Abstract).
• References plex training with combined explo- Teniorsfca-missaL 6:23-24. 1988.
sive weight and plyometric exer- 28. Newton, R.U., and W. Kraemer.
1. Adams, K., J.P. O'Shea, K.L. cises. Olympic Coach 7(4): 11-12. Developing explosive muscular
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