Complex complexes

Okay, my race is done, so now I can get back to the weight room. Yay!

I’m exploring ways to mix some cardio in with my lifting, and came across the concept of "barbell complexes"– basically giant supersets done without letting go of the bar. Why not? I borrowed a complex from a website and gave it a try today, starting with 6 reps for the first set and decreasing each set to finish at just 1 rep for the last set.

Romanian deadlift
Bentover row
Power clean
Front squat
Overhead press
Back squat

It was interesting. There is a widely varying range of what I can lift here, so I had to keep it light (sure I can DL 200+ for sets of 6 but I cannot OHP that much obviously!) Today, just the bar. I don’t do Romanian deadlifts or goodmornings very often, and I hate doing GMs heavy; that was probably what gave me the most trouble just from a twingey lower back perspective. Everything else was fine and I’d probably put a couple little plates on next time (and maybe skip GMs).

Today’s big mess of a workout was 5 minutes running warmup, that complex thing, bicep curls, assisted dips and pullups, ball crunches, and 10 minutes on the elliptical. Sounds like enough for one day…

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2 Responses to Complex complexes

  1. ebay313 says:

    That’s the complex I usually use :) I’ve also tried one that had an overhead squat in it, which is nice because it’s not a movement I typically do in my workouts. … but I couldn’t manage all the reps with even an empty bar on that one lol.
    I want to find some that are the same concept but use dumbbells or kettlebells to mix things up a bit.
    Complexes are hard imo. Doing all the lifts back to back wears me out.

    haha, ok, this inspired me to go back and reread some stuff on complexes. This has 4 complexes listed I usually don’t like the writing on t-nation but I did reread the whole thing and I feel like much less awful about how much my last complex kicked my ass. It mentions that for a lot of folks who lift heavy, but don’t have the high cardio conditioning (he phrases it differently of course) an empty bar, or even less, will be killer. That’s me for sure. I also did a 90s rest between and thought I was using a high rest time, I thought it was supposed to be only 30s rest but I knew that wasn’t enough for me. So seeing that 90s actually was the prescribed rest time, I’m not so terribly out of shape as I thought lol.

    Now I’m off to google to see if I can find any complexes that use kettlebells, because that sounds fun. “fun”.

    • G says:

      I think I stole the complex from that t-nation page (sometimes there’s useful stuff on there, if you can get past all the gendered bro-shit). I’ve decided to stick with this one but skip the GMs, because my low back don’t need none of that.

      I’m in decent cardio shape, I guess– maybe the 4-rep set kicks my butt, but 6 and 5 I’m sort of warming up, and less than 3 are so short. Now if only my hands would cooperate…

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