In a previous article we discussed the use of complex training systems as an effective tool to elicit maximal performance gains in athletes.  Complex training combines a resistance exercise with plyometric exercise to utilize postactivation potentiation.  Postactivation potentiation refers to …“the enhancement of muscle function following a high force activity”.  This enhancement increases muscle twitch properties and can increase muscle performance.  More research investigating postactivation potentiation and complex training methods are being published.  


Researchers in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research recently published a study examining the effects of hang cleans and/or squats paired with counter movement vertical jumping. Researchers evaluated the counter movement vertical jump performance in 19 female collegiate athletes.  The athletes were placed in 3 trials; 1. counter movement jumps only, 2. heavy back squats paired with counter movement jumps, and 3. hang cleans paired with counter movement jumps.  Researchers evaluated the athletes counter movement jump vertical displacement with 3 attempts measured on video. Overall, researchers found that the best complex training protocol was the counter movement vertical jump paired with the weighted hang cleans.

Future research regarding complex training systems is necessary to evaluate the true scope of these training protocols.  Examining a wider demographic of athletes and non athletes, and using varying loads, volumes, and recovery durations would provide guidance for strength and conditioning coaches. Strength and Conditioning coaches can utilize and experiment these complex training systems with a variety of movements that best help their athletes training and performance.