Barbell Complexes for Strength, Conditioning, and Fat Loss

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Fitness
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cardio…some people love it and some people dread it. While I’m not a huge proponent of hours and hours of cardio, some is usually necessary for fat loss, conditioning, or contest prep.

So, do you have to plod along on the treadmill or spin your wheels on a bicycle all the time? Absolutely not! I get bored easily, so doing the same type of cardio day in and day out gets old FAST!

I prefer weights over cardio any day of the week, so, why not combine them?!  And no, I don’t mean ‘lift weights faster’ to get your cardio in. Enter, barbell complexes…

In a nutshell, barbell complexes are a series of exercises performed in a sequence, with the same weighted barbell, without rest.  You will typically use 4-6 movements that transition easily from one exercise to the next.  Each movement will generally have 3-8 reps.  Now, for the greatest benefit, you will want to choose full-body or compound movements.  Once you’ve completed one full sequence, you then take a short rest before performing the next sequence.  Here are some examples:

Barbell Complex #1

  • Front Squat
  • Push-Press
  • Romanian or Stiff-legged deadlift
  • Upright Row or High Pull
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row

Barbell Complex #2

  • Power Clean or Hang Clean
  • Deadlift
  • Thrusters
  • Back squat

Choose a weight that will be light enough so that you can complete the sequence without resting but heavy enough to be tough.  If you’ve never done complexes before, its best to choose a really light weight (even just the barbell (45#)) and make sure that your form is good.  Never perform a movement if you’re not sure how to do it safely (i.e. Snatch, Power Clean, etc.).  You can mix and match any exercises that you want – just use your imagination, make sure the movements flow together, and that the weight is appropriate for all movements!

You can either add a short barbell complex workout to the end of your regular workout (should only be 15 minutes or so to complete) or you can perform these during a separate session.  I have added these as a cardio session once per week as a separate session from my workout:  I warm-up for 5 minutes, perform the complex, and cool down for another 5 minutes for a total of a 20-30 minute session.  Now, my only dilemma is which of Top Secret Nutrition’s Pre-Workout Formulas to use:  Cardio Igniter or Pump Igniter??

Comments
  1. John says:

    Great one kris I’ve done this with a friend of mine while he was getting ready for a show, great w/o good Sweater and Heart Rate raiser!!!

  2. […] I’ve previously written a blog on Barbell Complexes for fat loss and you can read it here:  https://fitgirlkris.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/barbell-complexes-for-strength-conditioning-and-fat-loss… .  There is a huge variety of other “finishers” that you can tack onto the end of a […]

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