Do You Have To Be Fat To Be Strong?

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Many of you know that I compete as an amatuer powerlifter.  One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that there are a lot of guys that believe the bigger you get and the more bodyweight you carry the stronger you will get.  This was pretty much undisputed in the past.

All you had to do was look up all the world records in the squat, bench and deadlift and you’d find that the super heavyweights weighing 300 lbs and more dominated all the record boards regardless of age.

I’m not sure exactly when it started happening, but the tides are turning.  When you look up the powerlifting rankings you’ll see that today the top numbers at many of the biggest powerlifting events each year are not always held by the heaviest guys.

In fact on forums across the Internet people are arguing that the strongest guys in the world today are representing the 198, 220, 242 and 275 lbs classes.

And I’m not talking about short fat guys that weigh less than their taller counterparts. These are lean powerlifters that look like they compete in bodybuilding.


Matt Kroczaleski pictured above competes in the 220 lb class giving the
heavyweights a run for their money and I don’t see no stinkin body fat!

The world famous strength coach and owner of Westside Barbell Louie Simmons is an advocate of having his powerlifters push a weighted wheelbarrow and do sled drags.  You can read about it in many of his articles.

What does this have to do with Lean Hybrid Muscle, Mike?  Well, there’s a new breed of powerlifters that are taking over and they do cardio! Can you believe that, powerlifters doing cardio?  Well they’re doing hybrid cardio or resistance cardio.

Not only are they improving their fitness level, but they are increasing their overall or “absolute strength” which seems to be carrying over to their max strength  powerlifting results.

It’s true,  times are a changing in the powerlifting world.  Pretty soon the word powerlifter may just bring to mind a lean hybrid muscle machine instead of the stereotypical big fat bald guy with a goatee.  Hybrid cardio or type III muscle training has a lot to do with it in my opinion.

Sometimes I train with an elite powerlifter named Mike Schwanke over at Tampa Barbell.  Here’s another example of a lighter guy giving the heavyweights a run for their money.  He squats over 1K and has deadlifted 800 lbs.  Check out this video of his training footage prior to a meet earlier this year.

Even though he’s a powerlifter he implements cardio and hybrid conditioning so that he can reduce his bodyfat while building strength.

Yes – You Can Be Strong, Lean & In Shape At The Same Time

This is important so listen up.  Hybrid cardio is not a “style” of training but rather, it is a component of training-and it doesn’t require and special training or fancy equipment.

If you are interested in developing balance among fitness, strength and size, then you should be taking a good look at this blog and the developments. For example, a guy can lift and lift and lift until he’s as big as an ox with bulging muscles of steel but be short of breath from a climb up a flight of stairs.

Or, if you are into competitive sports, adding the Hybrid Muscle Training component to your training mix can really give you a competitive edge. Guys also use hybrid conditioning to improve weak spots, to be more adaptable, improve their overall fitness levels and to boost and speed up their bodies’ capacity to recover.

The sled pull, tire flip, farmer’s walk, wheelbarrow push and plate lifting are some of the more common hybrid exercises around. In doing any of these exercises you start out with a goal of doing it for maybe ten minutes or so, with a long-term goal of working up to about 30 minutes.

It’s important to remember this part: Once you reach 30 minutes, don’t keep striving to be able to do longer stretches of time. Rather, enhance your capacity by increasing the weight, not the amount of time you’re doing the exercises. This is where you’ll really see improvements in your performance.

One of the great things about Hybrid cardio as it relates to muscle building is that it involves compound exercises that require you to use multiple muscle groups and multiple skills (balance, coordination, etc.) at the same time. By doing compound exercises you’re not only improving your all around fitness level but you’re also significantly lowering your risk of injuring yourself.


Lots of bodybuilders get totally caught up in building size, focusing on doing the same exercises over and over again. By keeping the focus just on the muscles that you see in the mirror (the “beach muscles”) and not training the core, they are setting themselves up for injury.

Powerlifters are equally guilty on totally concentrating on their maximum strength without paying much attention to their hearts or work capacity as we discussed earlier. If you can squat 700 pounds you should be able to squat 225 for 15 reps without getting totally winded.

Many powerlifters myself included could use the fat burning benefits of incorporating some hybrid cardio training which as a bonus will develop the type III muscle fiber. Maybe there’d be a little more gas in the tank by the time the deadlift rolls around on meet day.

I’ve heard the excuses, doing this will make you weaker.  Well I’m calling Bullshit on that one!  How many of you have seen the DVD “242 Raw” featuring Jeremy Hoornstra?  For those of you who don’t know him he’s one of the top raw bench pressers in the world having hit a 675 bench in competition right before my eyes!

It was amazing.  Well in Jeremy’s DVD him and his buddies push his SUV up a hill for their early morning workout. So don’t tell me this kind of conditioning will make you lose max strength, because if anything it will make you overall stronger.


That’s another great thing about hybrid cardio/muscle building exercises, you can do them with whatever you have handy. If you don’t happen to have a sled hanging around the house, no worries just push a vehicle around.

And if you aren’t able to do that, then maybe you can flip a tire or attach some rope to a piece of plywood, put a bunch of bricks on it and start dragging it around. With lean hybrid muscle building workouts, you’re not tied to a specific routine or exercise.

It’s not a requirement that you do specific exercises or follow a particular routine-it’s more important that you do “strongman” type exercises in addition to your current routine that are really going to challenge you.

Even if you live in the heart of the city you can incorporate hybrid muscle exercises into your training routine. The farmer’s walk can be done anywhere. Just grab a couple of heavy dumbbells and start walking. As you improve, use heavier dumbbells.

sustainedstrengthIf the weather is lousy then you can do it at the gym. At the gym you can also carry around plates instead of dumbbells, if you’d like. Kettle bells are great for doing these exercises too. You can use them to do snatches, the farmer’s walk or any number of other compound exercises.

You can even do these hybrid training exercises if you don’t have anything more than your own bodyweight. Jump squats are just one example of a bodyweight exercise that you can do. The point is this kind of training allows for a great deal of creativity, flexibility and adaptability. Watch the Strong Man competitions on the television if you want some great ideas for coming up with your own routines.

To wrap up, by including Hybrid muscle training exercises into the training routine, dangerous imbalances-and the injuries that often accompany them-can be avoided. Adding some of these exercises into the mix can also help keep boredom at bay and can also keep you from getting burned out on training.

You’ll also be giving yourself a serious competitive edge and as an added bonus, because the body is in all-around better physical condition, you’ll also find that you recover more rapidly and will probably have more energy too.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.  I’m learning so much just from reading everyone’s comments.  So if you learned anything or enjoyed this post, than please leave a comment below.  It’s only fair that I get to pick your brain too!

Give me 35 comments below and I’ll be back with a follow up post!


86 Comments Add yours

  1. Taylor
    August 20, 2009
    8:04 pm

    Man these articles get me fired up to train. I can not thank you enough for putting in the work. What you guys are selling I am buying and spreading the word. It is about time someone finally brings these ideas together as ONE. I can’t wait to see when you guys come up with a template to follow. Do you want my credit card number now or later? These articles F****** rock.

    Peace out.


  2. Clarence
    August 20, 2009
    9:14 pm

    Some folks think that strength alone is enough. Not true. You can have the strength of 10 oxen, but, if you have no endurance-you cannot hold out and end up being as weak as a newborn kitten, while the over-weight guy next to you is still flying on the stairmaster.


  3. Tomas
    August 20, 2009
    9:19 pm

    Hey i just started a building muscle routine, should i do things like farmers walks, heavy carries etc after or b4 my weight training ? great info btw thanks :)


    leanhybr Reply:

    Try it out a few different ways Tomas and see what you prefer. The cool thing is there’s no right or wrong answer. You can do them right in the middle of your regular weight training or save it till the end. See which way you like better and let us know.


  4. Juan
    August 20, 2009
    9:20 pm

    cool i am ready to work out


  5. Lane
    August 20, 2009
    9:21 pm

    These articles are giving me a whole new perspective on training. I’m lovin’ the insane workouts! Can’t wait for the next one.


  6. Eddie
    August 20, 2009
    9:36 pm

    This is the type of training that will take anyone to the next level. i’m sure football players who train like this are going to be unstoppable. I wish there was a place near me where I could practice this type of training in addition to my lifting.


    leanhybr Reply:

    Eddie, I agree with you man. More and more football players are smartening up and starting to train this way which is why athletes are getting stronger, faster and more explosive! You don’t need a fancy training facility to train this way. Just get creative and you can do a lot of this stuff at your local gym or even at home. – Mike


  7. Mike Shuman
    August 20, 2009
    9:41 pm

    Great article again, but I would like to add the Sledgehammer workout. It is great addition to hybrid training and is very beneficial! I would go into detail, but I use the K.I.S.S. Method, so Goggle- Sledgehammer workout and enjoy.


  8. Ricardo
    August 20, 2009
    10:18 pm

    Keep bring the good stuff. Now people can see that being a well rounded competitor has it perks, not just the runner or just the weight lifter alone will cut it anymore. They say three strans are stronger than two. So why do people think that just lifting 400lb and have nice abs means you are in great shape, but they can’t run 1mile. Who’s in better shape? The runner or the wieghterlifter. You need to have more then one or two muscle building activetes to have the edge and this is it.


  9. bryan
    August 20, 2009
    10:19 pm

    i love training like this…i cant say it enough…they gym i work at and train at, people see me doing crazy stuff like going out back and flipping the big tire, or doing farmers walks up and down the stairs, and they ask questions…then they are hooked…so many ways like this to train…i love deadlifting and power cleaning big landscape rock as well…i love this $hit


  10. Johan
    August 20, 2009
    10:24 pm

    No freaking way this kind of training will make your maxes go down. I think that people that say that are just being lazy about doing the work. If it makes you stronger and it helps you get rid of your gut I don’t see why more people wouldn’t want to do it. I mean these guys you’re talking about are high level athletes and if it works for the worlds best I’m sure it will work for me. Thanks Mike good article, keep em coming brother.


    leanhybr Reply:

    I agree Johan. I’m planning on doing a powerlifting meet in December and I’m adding in this kind of training and I have every intention of setting PRs so I’ll keep you posted on how it plays out over next couple months.


  11. K
    August 20, 2009
    10:27 pm

    It all makes sense. I used to debate with the fat guys out relative strength. Now I don’t talk in the gym. One of the oldtimers told me once that if you have enough oxygen to be gasbagging while your training then you’re not working hard enough. It stuck with me. I’m no longer preoccupied with being big. I want to be strong, fast, explosive. The true unstoppable warrior/athlete. I’m only just beginning to understand this holistic approach to strength training. Thanks for the motivation. Keep the articles coming.


    leanhybr Reply:


    I love that you say “holistic”… that is truly what this is and I’ll be blowing your mind with some really cool stuff that ties this in with ALL of your biological systems (nervous, hormonal, skeletal, etc.)

    I think you’re gonna love it!

    Thanks for commenting buddy!



    Graigg Reply:

    You guys are proving a long held theory, that you don’t have to be a big-belly-body to be strong as a backhoe. In fact I am in the process of downsizing from 330 lbs @ 6’4″ 26.4 bf to 245 lbs, 9% bf before I turn 50 in ten months. Do you think that hybrid training is for me?


    Elliott Reply:


    How is your “downsizing” going man?

    All the best!

  12. Glauco
    August 20, 2009
    10:43 pm

    Great article!! however as creative this workout may be, I think we still need some further guidance. I´ll stay tuned



  13. Nestor Ahumada
    August 20, 2009
    10:52 pm

    Sensational article! I dug your e-book too man, you see i run a submission grappling academy in Guatemala, i´m also a student of Elliott´s (he´s a great guy) anyway and i hope you don´t mind, the second i downloaded “The Warrior Physique” (it was a great read by the way, i was so into it, i finished reading it in like 40 minutes ) I was so impressed that i had to send it to every one of my students and training partners and urged them to read it, i was inspired, informed and enlightened. They will be tested on it…Spartan Style hahahaha.

    My School, the Barbarian Training Systems academy is known for getting guys in fighting shape, i have guys from local kickboxing schools and even some Gracie trained martial artists come to our school because we follow the principles laid out in your book and Elliot´s teachings. Thanks for doing this and keep up the great work!

    In Ciudad de Guatemala you guys rule! God bless.


    leanhybr Reply:

    Nestor, your blog is fantastic, that’s my kind of site! It’s a pleasure digitally meeting you and I look forward to hearing more about your academy and the warriors you are producing. God Bless.


    leanhybr Reply:


    You’re the man! — Dude, if you wanna give this info and out reports out to the whole WORLD… Feel Free!

    That’s the point of this blog, to share this type of training and philosophy with as many people as possible. Building a community!

    Thanks for commenting brother!



  14. Niko
    August 20, 2009
    11:02 pm

    This is exactly what I am doing. I am doing 1 crossfit training per week. Just fo example this my yesturday training.
    For a minimum time, do 10 rounds of:
    3 dead lift at 275lbs
    run to the tire
    2 tire flip

    That was a crazy workout, time 6min22


  15. luis
    August 20, 2009
    11:56 pm

    This type of training is just AWSOME!!
    love to go intense, and really push it to the limimts.
    i gotta a concern tough,
    how often would this style of trainig should be done?
    i know everyone is different
    and also you said this speeded recovery, i am there with you, but can you expand more into the sience of it,
    thanks, keep up the insane work!


    leanhybr Reply:


    Next week I am going to introduce you to what I call “The Hybrid Spectrum”

    This will give you an opportunity to see the different types of workouts and parameters associated with them.

    With this information you can choose to alternate between training styles along the spectrum so as not kill your nervous system and allow for recovery.

    Stay tuned for the video!

    Thanks for commenting.



  16. lee jobelius
    August 21, 2009
    3:21 am

    I think this kind of training would be great for my girlfrend & myself! The way we train now is chest,shoulders and tris the next is legs,back and bis. It would be kickass to put a tire flip in the routin! The raw strenght that it takes is awsome! It’s amazing what the body can handel! I’v been injured a few times, I still like to compet! stacy and i are going to ower frist strongman comp this saturday the 22nd my bday i’m truning 37. I’ll be JACKED all day! To let u know im not good at this typing, even thou i had to try!


  17. Al in Vancouver
    August 21, 2009
    6:28 am

    Hey this is solid info. Thanks guys.


  18. brad Hirayama
    August 21, 2009
    7:05 am

    just this year i’ve really gotten serious about powerlifting…my highschool doesn’t encourage heavy sets which i thought was total B.S..they also wanted us to do cardio things in the off season (another BS call i though) after reading this i kno that i’m an idiot. the hybrid muscle training seems to be a great way to not only train cardio but give your body a full workout. core is something else i’ve neglected..which has hurt me some…KEEP THIS S*** UP MAN GREAT ARTICALS!!1


    leanhybr Reply:

    Brad, you are on the right track buddy! Keep up the great work.



  19. Jc
    August 21, 2009
    7:21 am

    Hey guys!
    I am loving this stuff man! Just one question though, if I don’t have a keg, can I use a cooler instead and put 100 pounds worth of sand in it or maybe weights?
    Thanks man and please keep it up because you’re helping a lot of people out there. :D


    leanhybr Reply:


    The truth is that you DO NOT need strongman training equipment to train like this.

    In fact, this is not about strongman training at all, you can do all of this type of training at a regular gym with barbells and dumb bells.

    My uncle is a competitive bodybuilder and trains at a a gym filled with senior citizens and bosu balls… and he trains like a HYBRID BEST.

    I’ll be posting some of his training videos soon!!



  20. DAVE
    August 21, 2009
    7:29 am

    It’s about time!! Great article, to me there are 3 components to fitness, cardio, resistance training, and stretching! I call this the fitness jigsaw puzzle-you need to fit the pieces together. Always very interesting reading, thanks.


  21. Johann
    August 21, 2009
    7:35 am

    Awesome stuff guys. I ve started a new 3 day workout based on this -

    I notice I am getting stronger and bigger! And I m also a lot more HUNGRIER NOW !!! :-)


  22. Malcolm
    August 21, 2009
    8:10 am

    Real awesome stuff. I’ve been debating this with my meathead friends for years. It’s pointless being able to bench 160 kg but you can’t play soccer with your kid. I’ve always done a form of cross-training. I hit the weights hard and heavy in the gym 3 days a week alternating between upper & lower (this seems to work best for me) and twice a week I do hillsprints. Heck I’ve done sprints with a car tyre tied around my waist. Did construction work by building a house for charity. Mixed concrete & moved furniture free of charge just for the heck of it. I truly believe in functional strength. Not bad for a 37 year old corporate banker hey…lol


    leanhybr Reply:


    Your comment reminds me of when I worked for a moving company in college, I loved moving the heavy stuff around… up and down stairs.

    Great work, awesome workouts!




  23. Randy
    August 21, 2009
    11:10 am

    I want to try all of this. My problem is I can’t store any equipment. A 300lb tire, my dad would have a fit. I very interested in doing this. Where can I buy a weighted vest? The cheapest way is the best way for me. I want to do this training but I don’t want to be big and bulky. I take martial arts and if I have large muscles i will lose speed. Any ideas? I definitely want to be strong and ripped, I have a long way to go. Any help is most appreciated.


    leanhybr Reply:


    You’ll soon discover that this training is meant to be done with all types of training equipment… not just tires and kegs.

    In fact, it can be done at a typical fitness gym.

    Also, this is the BEST type of training for martial artists and MMA… especially if the goal is to get stronger and more explosive without gaining too musc mass..

    Next week I will introduce you to the “Hybrid Spectrum”, that will give you the info you need to design several different types of hybird training to allow for various results.



  24. Tyler
    August 21, 2009
    1:25 pm

    Well this is great, i’m certainly going to do hybrid cardio when i’m cutting down, but right now with my metabolism and low bf% im afraid doing it could possibly burn some muscle off. Definitely dont want that. But when I decided to cut im definitely putting hybrid cardio in my routine.


  25. Syrus
    August 21, 2009
    2:09 pm

    U r abspuloutly riright . u do not have to be fat ,u have to be muscular, as it is a fat 250 lbs guy looks much smaller when compared to a muscular 200 lb guy, what good is size if ur panting and gasping half the time.


  26. Simon Merrett
    August 21, 2009
    5:30 pm

    Hi Elliot,

    Great article, I think all you have to do is look at the top fighters in the UFC today who follow a similar training program and who are required to use high amounts of explosive power and skill over long periods of time. The use of compound exercises in this way is definitely the way to go forward, as conventional training like you have already explained is much more likely to lead to injury due to muscle imbalance, and plus where in every day life do we work in isolation like many do in the gym, never. This form of training is allot more sports specific sorry let me refrase that allot mor LIFE specific. well done again on a great artical and I look forward to reading more!


    leanhybr Reply:


    You are SPOT ON brother!!



  27. adam roy
    August 21, 2009
    6:41 pm

    great articles, very much a case of food for thought…when I was 19 I worked on a building (construction) site and spent 6 days a week for 10 weeks pushing wheelbarrows full of mortar, carrying bricks and blocks, and shovelling sand and cement into a mixer. I’ve often wondered over the past 22 years why my weights in the gym increased quite dramatically during this period and now you seem to have found the answer. Thank You, I shall once more be adding these wonderfully simple yet effective exercises to my routine. BTW have you tried rope climbing- keeping legs out in front @90 degrees from a seated position on the floor-try the one and two rope variations-great for frying your hands, forearms, bi’s and lats!


    leanhybr Reply:

    Adam –

    Rope climbing is a SUPER exercise… very demanding stuff!

    and great for building biceps, lats, rear delts and core!!



  28. Thomas
    August 22, 2009
    2:33 am

    Hi Mike,

    34 comments so I figured I’d put up another one so you can put your next post up;)

    This is the good stuff, Me and a friend just started a new ‘gym’ in Bangkok Thailand at the ground floor of a house. In addition to the ‘standard’ squatrack, barbells and dumbells we made sleds from old car tires and people are loving it! Gonna pick up some larger tires to flip this afternoon.
    My clients range from 15 year old high school athletes to their 50+ year old moms, and everybody is doing the hardcore stuff.

    This stuff you and Elliot put up gives me a ton of new ideas and confrims we’re on the right track!

    Keep it up,



  29. gary
    August 22, 2009
    9:57 am

    Wow Brother is all I can say!I’m 56,been training in some capacity since I was 17.Boxing,weights,martial arts,etc.I’ve just recently incorporated kettlebells into my NEW routine of power lifting.I never wanted to lift heavy,because I thought lifting for size meant I had to pack on pounds,but I always felt.I was never comfortable.I’;ve always been strong for a little guy5’8″,now by doing hybrid I am stronger,and still lean,I have energy galore,and I outwork guys half my age.Thx brother for all your input,it really cuts through the BS.and provides me with insight to develop a routine that actually WORKS.You r the best!Keep it comin bro


    leanhybr Reply:


    Kettlebells are a GREAT Hybrid Muscle building tool and we use them in alot of our programs!

    Keep up the great work!



  30. sonny
    August 24, 2009
    2:54 am

    Have you seen Mariusz Pudzianowski? Holy crap! Although not a powerlifter per se, he’s strong as shit and he does this type of stuff all the time. Check out his diet too, lol..thats the diet I want!


  31. Donovan
    August 24, 2009
    7:30 pm

    I really am glad you are shining a light on this type of training. It encourages me to keep pushing and adding new workouts. I have a hard time putting on weight so knowing that it isn’t always a necessary really ramps me up. I always enjoy reading the emails you send out. Keep it up. Thanks


  32. Tom Hinkley
    August 25, 2009
    2:57 am

    I’m a little chunky and I’m strong. But I’d rather be in better and shape and strong. As long as I don’t have to start dieting I’ll try any workout if it gets me results…bring it on!!!


  33. Ted
    September 7, 2009
    4:46 am

    Ex FCS football player trying to cut fat. This is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you so much. So pumped to incorporate this stuff into my routine.


  34. Anth
    September 8, 2009
    4:20 pm

    Where have you heared that doing STRONGMAN exercises can make you weaker lol? The strongest men in the world train strong man style….


    leanhybr Reply:

    If done too often it can effect your one rep max strength negatively. Not saying it makes you weaker in an absolute sense.


    Anth Reply:

    Meaning if you avoid max strength training and solely JUST do strong man then it can effetc ytour max strenght obviously becayse your avoiding it. BUT if you balance max strength with strong man than it can BOOST your max streght even more correct? And that what your working on with all this no>?


  35. Jess
    September 9, 2009
    7:06 am

    Hey there!
    Smart call .


  36. Dom
    November 4, 2009
    7:01 pm

    hi there Elliott-

    I’ve just seen your website and videos for the first time, and you definitely rank high up there with the likes of Zach Even-Esh. Thanks for all the great info. I really like your holistic approach of total fitness. Lots of variety, shock the muscles, mix it up to promote an all-rounded physique and keep every aspect of fitness pumped up.

    I look forward to following your videos/blogs from now on.

    Dom (Fitness4London)


  37. Sean
    November 9, 2009
    12:07 am

    I haven’t incorporated your specific method yet, but I am doing my own type of hybred routines by using both Sean Nalewanyj’s 3X12 week cycled routines along with Jeff Anderson’s Optimal Anabolics principles. I have found this very effective, because I hit “two birds with one stone” per workout. I use the 4:1 tempo which kicks your butt on every exercise and places stress on both the slow and fast twitch muscle fibers along with 1 minute or not rest periods. This combination has allowed me to gain muscle size, strength and lose fat. I also change exercises every couple of workouts to keep it fresh and change the entire routine cycle every 12 weeks or when I feel stale.

    I naturally like to lift heavy, but I know you need to mix things up, so this really fits in perfectly. Every once in a awhile I’ll do a heavy set to see where I am, then go back to what I am doing. Once I feel I have made good gains, I will then go on a heavy cycle again, but crank up the HIT cardio sessions.

    I feel the 4:1 tempo is giving me what I want, so until that changes, I’ll stick to this; however, I am looking at your strategies as well and will take notes!


  38. Tyler Harnett
    November 12, 2009
    5:26 pm

    I love your guys’ site and will be picking up a copy of the program when it’s available

    Just wondering. I am competing in powerlifting next month for the first time and have been doing the Sheiko programs leading up to it

    Can I add some of these hybrid workouts to this or will this overload the CNS? The Sheiko program I am doing is 4 days a week so I was thinking of adding one or 2 of these workouts (like your sample workout) in on my days off?

    Thanks for all the great info and keep it up!


  39. atm
    November 25, 2009
    11:41 am

    That´s it. This way of training combines the esthetics of bodybuilding and the straight of powerlifting. A know lot of guys that want to get stronger but train only the bodybuilding way because they think being fat and ugly is the price you pay for the strength. The people have to know that it is possible to look good and also be strong.
    This way of training is the future!
    Greets from Germany


  40. Pete
    February 5, 2010
    8:55 pm

    Let’s have a 24 hour disount for your course! I bet there are a lot of guys who want to try it but cannot afford it right now? How about a special???


  41. justin price
    February 5, 2010
    10:46 pm

    keep up the great work guys.the holistic approach you apply to your philosophies of training are fantastic.with your programs you get the best of everything size,strength,power,endurance and’re going back to the way nature intended us to use our bodies.all my life i’ve been looking for a program that would incorporate all factors of training into one philosophy,and you guys have nailed name represents your lean hybrid muscle program-mariusz pudzianowski.i’m from south wales but i’d love to come over and train with you guys at some point(when i can afford it and also when i’m healthy.)i’ve had health problems for the last 2years,namely ulcerative guys have got me fired up though,with your great videos and e-mails would be a great challenge for me to use your program to get back into would make a good documentary, i believe about the benefits of your training philosophy and how effective it is.
    thanks guys,
    all the best from south wales


  42. phil
    February 5, 2010
    11:22 pm

    the best part of this kind of training is that it is fun as hell. Never bored, never dreading a workout. What’s not to like?


  43. Bob
    February 6, 2010
    6:51 am

    Gee, maybe you should just get a job doing some manual labor. Make some money AND get in shape. There’s a 75 yo guy that used to work on our farm that could probably kick all your butts. Guys used to come out and ask how they could get to be his size after seeing him. He’d just smile and say come work with me. They’d be dead tired by the end of the day and if they could make it through a few weeks, he was impressed. I didn’t realize how much strength I had gained working alongside him until I switched to a desk job and the weight room. I lost energy, definition, stamina and I sure couldn’t hack it down on the farm any more. Proof to me we need to return to simpler times.


  44. Steve
    February 6, 2010
    11:08 am

    Hey Elliott,
    Great advice mate. I work in transport doing stores work and driving, moving cartons and lifting boxes has been a fantastic “hybrid” style workout for me. After work I find I have much more energy than when I am driving a truck all day!


    February 6, 2010
    12:49 pm




  46. Isaac Wilkins
    February 6, 2010
    1:22 pm

    The days of the fat, out of shape, and overweight power athlete are over or at least dying. The training, conditioning, nutrition, and supplementation are getting good enough that these guys are staying lean as they get bigger and bigger. Elite powerlifting and strongman is full of guys walking around at 300+ with visible abs or within striking distance of it.

    One of the interesting trends to notice is the All-American offensive lines for the last couple of years. Look at every single one of those guys. They’re all 6’5″ or above. They’re all over 300 lbs. They all have a visible bicep vein and barely any gut. They look like tight ends used to, only twice the size!

    In order to be a successful power athlete now you just can’t be big and fat. That fat weight is just extra room for muscle mass that someone else is putting on while it slows you down.



  47. Louie
    February 6, 2010
    1:47 pm

    I am a big guy for my height. I have been fat and in a constant battle with fat all my life. We all have to some extent. I started working out some years ago at the gym and love it, it is addictive. But it is the quality of the workout that matters and to get the best quality I am finding out to assess what exactly I am doing wrong. I watch what types of foods and the quantity I am eating, I do at least an hour of cardio when I go to the gym at least 5 times a week, I lift my weights and concentrate on a muscle group only for about 30 to 45 minutes maximum. Leanhybrid seems like a good thing to me but what if you do not have the room to set up something like this? I live in town and do not have that much property to where I could set up something like this. What about the apartment dwellers? What can they do to do hybrid muscle training. Some good pointers in this would be great. No I do not believe you have to be fat to be powerful, I also do not believe you have to bulk up to be powerful either.


  48. Rod
    February 6, 2010
    6:40 pm


    I have been thinking about doing something like this for a while now. I will add this to my routine in some way. I lift every day. I am 55, and a carpenter by trade. We build house

    Thanks for the insight!



  49. David Cambre
    February 6, 2010
    11:51 pm

    I agree with you in every way. My only problem is how do I incorporate the excercises in y routine and keep my knee’s from killing me. I have had three knee surgeries (two on the left and one on the right) and they both ache. As a guy that would run to stay fit by running and build muscle by lifting weights. What can I do to add some of these hardcore excercises in my weekly plan to stay fit and lean without the knee pain. Sometimes the pain brings me to a complete STOP.


  50. George Ruddell
    February 7, 2010
    1:17 pm

    cut out the running. That’s what killing your knees. You’ll find that doing hybrid cardio is less stressful and will in time help heal your knees. Rowing machines are better for pure cardio.
    Keep on rockin’ Elliot & Mike


    David Reply:

    Thanks for the info


  51. Tyler
    February 7, 2010
    8:27 pm

    would you recommend hybrid muscle training for ectomorphs as well? i’m pretty skinny and prone to muscle loss unfortunately. thanks in advance


  52. jane cascio
    February 7, 2010
    9:52 pm

    fantastic article!!!


  53. Franco
    February 9, 2010
    5:44 pm

    Love the whole part bodybuilder-part powerlifter-part strongman-philosophy… So ready to get into the gym and anhilate myself.. and bringing my training partner down with me…


  54. Mark "The Lionheart"
    February 18, 2010
    4:00 pm

    I have always known that strongman training was the way to build what I refer to as “applicable real world strength.”
    These videos are the first I have ever seen where perfect form and complete movement, ( squatting all the way to parallel) for example is shown in full view.
    Absoluteley fantastic guys!
    I am already in the works to secure my space for storage and my tire for flipping,
    as I am an apartment dweller…where there’s a will there’s a way.
    Again these vids are not only an inspiration, they absolutely ROCK…I love it.

    Yeah give us more posts.


  55. David
    February 28, 2010
    9:01 pm

    I’m 17, only have a barbell, 2 dumbells (adjustable) and a chin-up bar in my brother’s old room – any ideas? I would do farmers walks, but being limited on space, i’d probably get dizzy! I was thinking maybe barbell complexes followed by bodyweight circuits. What do you think?

    Oh, and great article! as a martial artist, I know conditioning is essential. I took a break off of martial arts for 3 months and only trained heavy – when I returned I did a 2min sparring match and was knackered after 30secs! So now I’m thinking 2 days heavy, low rep stuff (push/pull split), 1 day hybrid-cardio and my usual day of MMA, all with a days rest in between. Any comments?



  56. ORE
    April 16, 2010
    12:51 am

    thanks 4 the other advice…its bn kinda useful…my main problem is my stomach…cld u pls give me some..efective abs training exercises…that cld build my abs and my chest…AM TIRED OF HAVN MAN BOOBS …ND AN EXTRA STOMACH!!!! PLS I NEED HLP


  57. dan
    April 16, 2010
    5:03 pm

    im struggling bad working out pushing heavy weights and doing cardio but still ave a pot belly my diet is good lots of veg and proteins any advice would be much appreciated


  58. Daniel Sandvik
    May 10, 2010
    12:42 pm

    This is an amazing way of training. I havent had this much fun in mu workouts since when i did karate and mma.
    This far ive been flipping tires, benching trees, carrying large logs around and even just running around in rough terrain with logs on my shoulders. Also many basic leg-excercises and explosive strength routines can be done using a large tire. Me and my buddies started this a few weeks ago, and it was just the push i needed to start burning fat for real..


  59. Roger
    May 24, 2010
    8:23 pm

    To Start of I’m a complete novice in lifting weights but have been doing so for the last 8 weeks or so & have started riding to & from work on my bicycle 5 miles each way mainly flat but try and do this as close to 20 minutes each way as possible 5 days a week & 3 days a week I’m lifting weights to increase my strength using mainly compound movements. would adding a 4th day of weighted cardio be over training my body ?


  60. Dennis
    June 1, 2010
    7:27 pm

    Loved the article. As someone more prone to a fighters workout, I’ve been somewhat put off by those advacating heavier & heavier iron, but paying lip service at best, or maybe doing other modes of fitness with less than half the heart they put into lifting. Have been interrested in adding more strongman type of workouts into my routine, this has given me some inspiration & ideas on doing so.



  61. Kit Taylor
    August 8, 2010
    11:40 pm

    really enjoy reading these articles and learnign about these impressive training methods that are new to me. I’m 17, should i wait a few years before starting on this type of training or is it suitable at this age?



  62. justin
    August 9, 2010
    11:35 am

    i loved the article guys(keep up the great work.)being a bodybuilder at heart i found it hard to know training,cardio etc.i couldn’t see how to get the best on all guys have paved the way’s a fantastic holistic way of guys have helped me remember what i already knew,but just wouldn’t’ve also explained how to do it and shown the results of this type of training,which are’s like putting jay cutler up against mariusz pudzianovski.who’s the better all round,healthier athlete.thers just no comparison.mariusz has strength,power,endurance and he looks absolutely amazing.bodybuilding doesn’t really build a functional’s all about looks really.thanks guys for opening my eyes to the truth,i cant wait to put your ideas into practice,even though i’m not quite sure how to do it,as i only have basic equipment.
    i’d love to come out to america and train with you guys one day.i think it would be a fabulous oppurtunity.
    i cant wait for the next article.i’m feeling an excitement about training that i haven’t had in a long time.
    you guys have awakened my passion.
    keep up the great work,
    all the best guys from justin in south wales


  63. Ron
    September 30, 2010
    5:51 pm

    This was a great read;its cool to see the powerlifters getting thinner,showing you dont have to be huge to be strong;PS Matt doen’t look like a powerlifter but he sure is strong.Please,keep these articals coming,they are great.Thanks again,Ron.


  64. sarah
    September 30, 2010
    7:21 pm

    It’s nice to see someone talk sense! Fat to be strong? Since when did fat count as active tissue?

    I work at the other end of the spectrum – getting women to grasp that they will NOT look like Schwartzenegger because they lift a dumbbell heavier than 3 pounds – or even 5. It gets frustrating some days :)


  65. wrestler strength
    November 12, 2010
    7:18 pm

    VERY in-depth post. Thanks for all of this great info!


  66. JT
    December 14, 2010
    11:59 pm

    So if I choose to do the farmer’s walk, how long or hoe much of that excersize should I do?


  67. sudoku
    February 10, 2011
    2:20 am

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