Pete McCall by Pete McCall

Up until about 40 years ago, most athletes were told to avoid resistance training because the misperception was that strength training would actually reduce their athletic performance. Of course, we now know that a proper strength and conditioning program is essential for athletes who want to reduce their risk of injury and enhance their performance. 

Athletic performance is based on a number of skills that can be developed through a sports conditioning program. This particular program focuses on improving both muscular strength and power using a technique called post-activation potentiation (PAP), also commonly referred to as complex training. 

Complex training combines strength exercises from the load phase of the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model and power exercises from the performance phase to improve both muscle force production (strength) and the rate of force production (power). A complex training set involves performing two exercises back to back, with a brief rest period in between. The first exercise is a strength exercise using a heavy weight for four to six repetitions (ideally fatiguing by the final rep). The second exercise is a power exercise focusing on explosive movement for five to eight repetitions. There should be a 30- to 45-second rest interval between the strength and power exercises and a 90- to 120-second minute rest interval after both exercises. 

It is important to perform a number of mobility exercises for a proper dynamic warm-up before attempting a high-intensity training program. There are two ways to do a complex workout: Complete all complex sets of one exercise before moving on to the next, or combine the exercises into a circuit. Circuit training allows you to reduce the rest time between complex sets, which increases the challenge of the workout.

Complex Training Program




Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swings

Pull Ups

pull up

Medicine Ball Slams

medicine ball slam

Split-Leg Goblet Squats

split-leg goblet squat

Lateral Bounds (Ice Skaters)

lateral bounds

Dumbbell Thrusters

dumbbell thrusters




Medicine Ball Lift with Hip Rotation

Medicine ball lift

Fast Rotations

medicine ball rotations

Dumbbell Incline Press

dumbbell incline press

Explosive Push Ups

Explosive push-ups