Using Complex Training to Enhance Performance and Keep You Healthy (Part 1 of 3)

By Collis Spann

The term complex training refers to the performance of a weighted exercise closely followed by a biomechanically similar plyometric exercise. For example, following the performance of a barbell squat, doing high knee tuck jumps between six consecutive hurdles elicits a post-activation potentiation (PAP): an acute increase in muscle force output immediately following the completion of a loaded exercise. 

This style of training has become a staple of the sports performance programming at HIT Training. With the supervision of an experienced coach, this method can be used to teach young athletes the proper jumping and landing mechanics that are vital to performance enhancement.

In addition to the obvious strength benefits offered by this methodology, with correct use, an increase in ligamentous durability in the lower body can lead to a reduction in the number of injuries suffered by an athlete. Furthermore, resistance training in young athletes has been linked to an increase in bone mineral density. Maintaining a healthy bone mineral density reading will lower an athlete’s risk of suffering fractures or other serious injuries to the skeletal system.

Complex training prevents injuries for athletes not only on the court or field, but also during simple activity of daily living. Through the use of complex training, athletes of all skill levels can see improvements in not only their power, speed and agility, but their health as well. 


  • Smith, C., Lyons, B., Hannon, J. C. (2014). A Pilot Study Involving the Effect of Two Different Complex Training Protocols on Lower Body Power. Human Movement, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p141 6p.
  • Starzynski, T., Sozanski, H. (1995). Explosive power and jumping ability for all sports: atlas of exercises. Island Pond, VT: Stadion Publishing Company, Inc. 

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