The Barbell Complex: A Simple Method For A Superior Workout

2 Complexes To Try

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

I first discovered the concept of the barbell complex a few years ago, but I wish I’d done it sooner. They are quick, intense, and can easily be scaled from easy to hard based on your level of fitness. These can be done at the end of your regular workout, or as a workout on their own. If you choose to do one as a stand-alone workout, you can go heavier than if you’re doing it to finish a workout.

The idea is simple, take a standard Olympic barbell, load with the appropriate weight, and rip through your exercises without letting go of the barbell until the circuit is over. Rest and repeat until thoroughly exhausted. Let’s have a look at a couple of versions.

The Quad Killer: 5 reps of each with a 30-second rest between sets, repeat for 5 sets. Rest break occurs after the static hold.

Thrusters (front squat into an overhead press)

Push Press

Back Squat

Reverse Lunges (5 each leg)

Back Squat Static Hold For 10 seconds (holding the bottom position of a squat with the barbell on your back)

Total Body Burner: 5 reps each with a 30-second rest after the pull-ups.

Romanian Deadlift

Hang Clean

Push Press

Back Squat

Reverse Lunges (5 each leg)

Over The Bar Burpees (place the bar on the floor, and do your jumps over the bar each time you do a burpee)

Pull-Ups

If you’ve never done a complex like this before I’d recommend starting on the lighter side and working your way up. Staring with just the barbell is a great idea, that way you can get used to the movements and the flow of the workout. For either of these complexes, the push press will most likely be your weakest link, so keep that in mind when selecting a weight to use.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store