Tag archive

eric bach fitness

Complex Pair Training: PAP Explained

I’m officially half of a Complex Pair– married, tan, and still awful at Spanish…which didn’t work out well with the taxi drivers in Mexico. All in all I was in Mexico and Minneapolis for the better part of two weeks getting married and honeymooning. Everything was great as I used the time to enjoy time with my wife, refresh my mind, and rest my body with cheese-cake, push-ups, and cervezas.

Note: (As a result, I felt like a ball of fail and was kindly greeted by double leg cramps during squats today.)

complex pair, pap, Complex Pair training

Fitness is an industry…

filled with trends and troughs. Some fancy-pants method pops into the limelight and becomes THE magical way to rapid results and then magically disappears overnight. Only the time-tried and best methods last long-term.

Case in point, Complex pair training.

Also known as Post Activation Potentiation (P.A.P.), complex pair training is an advanced method that utilizes a light, explosive movement (i.e. speed: Jumping) paired with a heavy movement ( heavy squat, >80% 1-RM) to increase nervous system activation, strength, and total power.

Sounds pretty badass, right? It is, but it’s also very advanced; requiring planning and some beastmode skills to maximize it.

post-activation potentiation, PAP, complex pairs, Complex Pair training
Still some power in those hops!

Today I’m sharing my own spectacular iteration on complex pair training on Elitefts. For advanced athletes complex training provides a great recipe to shatter plateaus in athletic, strength, and muscular development. Plus, there’s a bomb-diggity complex pair workout program included.

Complex Pair Training: What you need to know:

  1. Post-Activation Potentiation is the driving force behind the benefits of complex pair training.
  2. Complex-pair training can improve power and rate of force development (RFD).
  3. Complex training works best in trained, advanced level athletes. Unless you can move a decent amount of weight, this isn’t for you. If this is you, then stop watching Miley Cyrus twerkin’ it, go pick up heavy stuff, and raid the fridge.
  4. Adding five pounds to the bar each workout might work when you’re a rookie, but not once you’ve advanced as a trainee.

Long-term gains aren’t achieved solely by linear workouts. Soon, your linear periodization and small to medium T-shirts no longer get the job done.

You’ve hit the dreaded plateau…

Luckily, there are numerous strategies to bust through your current levels of strength, power, and muscular development. The time has come to add strategically designed training to stimulate new gains.

Enter complex-pair training—an advanced training strategy to add spring to your static training, produce new slabs of muscle, and develop a powerful physique.

This advanced strategy combines a high-intensity strength training exercise followed by an explosive exercise that mimics the biomechanics of the strength training exercise, such as a deadlift and a broad jump. The driving force behind complex training is a phenomenon known as post-activation potentiation.


What Is Post-Activation Potentiation? Click me and Find out 🙂

The 3-2-1 Back Cure: Countdown Dumbbell Rows

I’m off to get hitched and take off to Puerto Vallarta….giggity. 

I’m marrying my girlfriend/fiancé of six years Lauren this upcoming week then hoppin’ a jet plane down to the beach to sip Mai Tai’s, snorkel, and not get kidnapped by drug cartels. In all seriousness, I’m looking forward to tons of time on the beach, tequila, seeing family/friends, and spending time with my best friend and wife. It’s seems crazy to type that, but if you get the right one, don’t mess it up :). countdown dumbbell rows

Photocredit: Houseoftravel.net


Anyways, I’ve had tons of guest posts lately on T-Nation, Bodybuilding.com, and now, JMAX Fitness with the 3-2-1 Back Cure. Thank you to all of you for your support by reading, sharing, and commenting on the articles, they’re all written to help you get strong, shredded, and more athletic with high quality information.

Stay up to date on the Bach Performance Facebook Page as I have posts and knowledge bombs scheduled while I’m away.

Dumbbell Rows are a Commonly Butchered Exercise

Nowadays when you enter a gym you see a painful blend of instability “functional” exercises, overzealous loading and rep schemes, and chants of “one more bro” within the first five minutes. Similarly, it’s impossible to scan your newsfeed for longer than three minutes without a post about a gym P.R. or a brand spankin’ new way to perform an exercise.

And you know what?
Today I’m sharing my own favorite way to perform an awesome exercise: countdown dumbbell rows. (Except mine is awesome)

Few Exercises Build Muscle like Rows

Rows are a great exercise and there are many variations: Dumbbell rows, barbell rows, Kroc rows, chest supported rows, TRX rows, cross-eyed single arm barbell rows while playing Clash of Clans rows, inverted rows, and Pendlay rows, to name a few.

Problem is many of these rows are performed haphazardly with an over-emphasis on weight over proper form and execution. I’ve been there too– shotty-form to heave weight for a certain number of sets and reps takes precedent. Unfortunately, this limits results and wastes time in the gym.

This is a shame as One-arm dumbbell rows performed with optimal technique and volume are among the best “bang for your buck” exercises for building strength, muscle, and athleticism. Dumbbell rows involve an anti-rotation, anti-flexion position and scapular retraction and depression under significant training load, a fantastic combination for total body training and performance when done correctly. The tool of the trade is only as good as it’s implementation, and it’s time to use the row correctly. It’s time to reap the muscle, strength, postural control benefits of the dumbbell row.

There’s a balance between weight, volume, and execution, as usual, the best balance lies in the middle of these factors. To address my ego need to move big weights and my knowledge of optimal form I found a middle ground with the countdown method. You’ll improve your rep quality, get plenty of volume to build muscle, and use potentially heavier weights for greater overload with countdown dumbbell rows.

It’s a solid read (Or so I heard).  You should check it out.

Click Me Baby One More Time.

Go to Top