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HYBRID STRENGTH TRAINING Q & A Part II - Five More Questions

Danny Kavadlo Muscle Up Hybrid Strength 1280
Hello friends. Thanks for all the emails, DMs and messages about the results you’ve gotten from HYBRID STRENGTH TRAINING. Keep those progress reports coming! Also, be sure to join the Hybrid Strength Training Users Group on Facebook for lots of additional information.

Last week, we discussed some of the most important and frequently asked questions I’ve received over the last few months. You can read that article HERE. This week, we examine five more questions. Some of the text has been edited for clarity and brevity. Let’s Gooooo!

1. Is it ever appropriate to alter which days I train?

Yes. There are many reasons one would make an alteration. The most obvious being non-negotiable work or family obligations. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to plan for the unexpected. In a perfect world, perhaps one would do any program exactly as written to the letter, but it’s not a perfect world and there are other considerations. That is part of the reason that the workouts in HYBRID STRENGTH TRAINING are broken down into "Day One, Day Two, Day Three, etc. instead of Mon, Tues, Wed.

That said, regardless of any changes, the workouts have to get done. You can change the "when" to a degree, but you can’t change the "how."

It’s a slippery slope between switching when you train, and letting the workouts fall to the wayside. We make the time for that which we prioritize. We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

2. So can I add a day?

Yes, but this is highly subjective to the individual and the program. The main reason I would suggest adding a day is to get better at a specific exercise or skill. Let’s say you are not progressing as quickly at push-ups, for example, as you are at the other exercises. In a case like this, I would definitely suggest adding a day of push-ups and nothing (or very little) else.

3. How do I retain muscle mass while fasting?

This is my specialty.

There are a lot of fakers out there when it comes to fasting. People on the internet speak of "fasting" for 12 or 16 hours and the amazing results they’ve gotten. I’m certain they have, as eating less food is good for weight loss. At the same time, I’d like to be clear about something: skipping a meal is not fasting, even if it helps you slim down. For that matter, the three hours in between breakfast and lunch are not fasting either. Sure, you are temporarily going without food (because you’re full), but in a true fast, the 50 feet of cable in your gut — your intestines — is truly empty or at least darn close. And the benefits go far beyond weight loss.

I’ve written extensively about fasting before. I’m also known for replying with extremely long, detailed emails to everyone who inquires about it. So for the purpose of this article, I will stick explicitly to the question. Anyone who wants to contact me about how to go about a proper fast should. Ok, back to the question:

You maintain muscle mass when fasting by working out hard every day. When you go without food for an extended period of time, your body will break down its fatty and muscle tissues for energy. (A lot more happens during a fast, but that’s the subject for a whole other book. Hmmmm…)

For the record, it is almost impossible to burn only fat and not lose any muscle, but by working out hard, you signal to your body’s internal systems that it needs that muscle to survive its daily processes. Your body is very adaptable.

Depending on your energy levels, you may not be able to do a long, sustained workout. That is why it is important to keep your workout intensity high, even if the duration is short.

Last year, in January, 2021, I did a 31-day fast. Many days, all I had was about 2 gallons of water and 12 ounces of black coffee. Other days, I drank green/herb juice, classic carrot/spinach and watermelon juice. (I leave the rind on the watermelon for protein.) I worked out for about 30-45 minutes for 28 of the 31 days. It’s the best I ever felt in my life.
Danny Kavadlo Hybrid Strength Selfie
31 days of no food. I kept my mass

4. Where do I place my hands for a muscle-up?

Every exercise begins with our contact with the environment. Right from the beginning, the way we approach the bar is very important. You’ll need to position your hands only slightly wider than the width of your shoulders, which is narrower than you would typically place them for a pull-up. Keeping your hands closer together will help you bring the bar lower down on your body, and help enable you to move around the bar, when you initiate the movement.

This movement around the bar — the transition phase — is sometimes difficult for practitioners who are used to performing pull-ups. Because a muscle-up is a different movement pattern (like an "S"-shape around the bar, rather than a straight pull), re-programming your body can be difficult. It takes time and practice. You must pitch your chest forward and move you’re his back to move around the bar.

An exaggerated overhand grip, with the hands cocked over the bar and the backs of the hands facing straight up at the sky, is helpful. This is sometimes referred to as a "false" grip, and can ease the transition from pulling yourself up, to pressing yourself over the bar.

5. What about my legs

While ideally, we want to maintain perfectly straight legs when performing a muscle-up, sometimes we need to employ some "hidden steps." While I am never one to advocate questionable form, I’ll be the first to admit that the first few muscle ups you perform may be a little sloppier than what you see on Youtube.

If you need to kick your legs in order to help generate momentum that is fine at the beginning. Do what you must to get explosive. But understand that ultimately, you want to keep your legs straight. Even with straight legs it will be necessary to extend your legs slightly in front of you to help maneuver around the bar.

It’s a practice. Refer back to HYBRID STRENGTH TRAINING and review the section on Single Bar Dips and Explosive Pulls (p.84) for more info.

If you have any other questions regarding Hybrid Strength Training, whether about a specific exercise, program, or simply want to share your journey, then join the HST Users Group on facebook and let us know!

Keep the Dream alive, -DK