Let Me Give You A Complex

When spring comes around, I encourage people to take advantage of the good weather and do their conditioning outdoors. Sure, there will be times when the weather does not cooperate. When that happens, here’s a training complex that you can do at home with a barbell. It gets the job done so well that it will have you praying for better weather next time!

The complex consists of 8 exercises done back to back without rest. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Bent-knee deadlift: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  2. Semi-stiff-leg deadlift: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  3. Bent-over row: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  4. Hang clean: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  5. Front squat: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  6. Push press: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  7. Back squat: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, no rest
  8. Good morning: 4 x 6 @ 1-0-X-0, 60-90s

This is how it works. Do 6 reps of the first exercise, then without rest do 6 reps of the second exercise, then without rest do 6 reps of the third exercise, and so on until you complete all 8 exercises. Rest 90 seconds at that point, and then repeat the process 3 more times for a total of 4 sets.

With every workout, decrease the rest interval between each complex series by 5 seconds until you reach 60 seconds. Once this is accomplished, increase the load slightly and repeat the process starting back at 90-second rest intervals.

The weight of the barbell will be determined by the weakest link in the sequence. In this particular complex, the push press tends to be the most challenging exercise and will dictate the load.

Quite a bit of work can be accomplished in a short period of time with this method of training. In fact, with just 95 pounds on the bar (i.e., a 25-pound plate on each side of an Olympic bar), you can achieve a total workload of over 18,000 pounds in less than 11 minutes of time! To see how the math works out, check out page 121 of The Elite Trainer.

This is a grueling fat loss complex that I picked up many years ago from fellow strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove. There are several ways that you can incorporate it into your training. One way is to insert the routine at the end of your weight training workouts. It’s quite effective to maintain body composition and work capacity during a maximum strength phase when volume of training is lower. Another way is to use it as a substitute for your outdoor conditioning session when the weather does not cooperate.

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