The Dumbell Complex

While the origins of the dumbell complex could be easily debated, Istvan Javorek is a strength coach who has recently popularized the complex concept.  The dumbell complex is a great tool that can be used for anything from a warm-up to an entire workout. A ‘complex’, although a rather general term, is simply when you perform a back-to-back series of different exercises, typically using either dumbells or a barbell, one after another in circuit fashion without rest. Here’s an example:

Javorek’s Dumbbell Complex One

  • Dumbbell Upright Row X 6
  • Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6
  • Dumbbell Squat Push Press X 6
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Row X 6
  • Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6

Perform In A Non-Stop, Continuous Order As Listed Above.

Five Exercise X 6 Reps = 30 Reps/Set

Istvan Javorek may be responsible for popularizing the concept, but it’s actually very widely used in one form or another. One favorite CrossFit workout I’ve used myself and with clients in the past is called the ‘Dumbell Bear’:

  • Dumbell Deadlift x5
  • Dumbell Hang Clean x5
  • Dumbell Thruster x5

While there are quite a few variations of this complex that can be performed to ‘scale’ the intensity up or down, the standard way to perform it is to do the sequence starting on the minute each minute for twenty minutes. This one is no joke; try it for yourself to see what I mean!

These two workouts are just a couple examples of what a dumbell complex might look like; enjoy and let me know what you think -

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- Forest

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One Response to The Dumbell Complex

  1. Generally I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great post.

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