Nelson, J., & Termizan, D. (2006). The effect of complex training in the strength phase: College football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1613.

"Complex training has been developed to encompass two different training mechanisms for the body, utilizing muscular contractions against large resistances at relatively slow velocities of movement, followed by contractions with relatively small resistances at fast velocities of movement". Ss (N = 45) were divided into two groups: a complex training group and a non-complex training group. Each group completed a two-week base phase to establish some base strength as well as hone techniques for power clean, parallel squat, and bench press. During the strength phase, the complex (treatment) group supplemented the workout with plyometric exercises while the non-complex (control) group had an extra set added to maintain an equal training volume. The complex group performed the plyometric exercises after each high intensity (>80% 1 RM) lifting set with minimal recovery, while the non-complex group completed the extra set after all the high intensity sets were completed.

There were no significant effects of training group in power clean, parallel squat, bench press, or vertical jump. Significant increases were seen in the average parallel squat and power clean over time for both training groups.

Implication. Both complex and non-complex strength training regimens improve strength performance in the activities used for training. There is no justification in this study to conclude that the strength gains exhibited would be transferred to actual sporting-performance activities.

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