Barbell and dumbell complexes were a big part of my training routine in my pro football days.
I have gotten away from them over the last few years, but a fitness expert friend of mine (Shawna Kaminski – you remember her, right?) came out with a new program that has given me a ton of new ideas to use in both my own workouts, and with my boot campers.
Here is a sample barbell complex workout from the Challenge Complex program for you to try:
Choose a weight that you can use for ALL exercises. Try not to put the bar down throughout the set. Rest up to one minute between sets.
6 reps of each:
- Bent over row (hinge at the hips, keep that back flat!!)
- RDL (stands for Romanian Deadlift – back flat again, drive the butt back and load up those hamstrings)
- High pull (same hip hinge motion but make sure to keep the bar close to the body and snap the hips to get it up)
- Front squat (elbows up!!)
- Push press (hip drive to get that bar off the collar bone – you shouldn’t have to start pressing ’till the bar is past your eyes!)
- Burpee with push up (hands on OR off the bar for this one)
Do 4 to 6 rounds total.
A barbell complex like that can be used:
- to replace HIIT with amazing strength building workouts
- to perfect lifting technique while burning fat
- to maintain and improve your strength
- as a stand-alone workout OR to incorporate into your program as “cardio” on your day off
AND another thing I like about the sample complex above – and all of the complexes in Shawna’s program for that matter- is that they do NOT rely on Olympic lifts.
The Olympic lifts are great, but they are relatively hard to learn. And if you try and go at them at a high intensity too quickly, you risk injury.
SO complexes like the one above keep it fairly basic but give you many of the same benefits.
Great stuff. I hope you liked that sample barbell complex challenge workout. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!
Keep training hard, and talk soon -
PS - Learn more about Shawna’s Challenge Complexes program and grab your copy (on sale this week) HERE