Great Barbell Complex Workouts
I’m not sure about you, but my motivation, like everything in my life, comes in cycles. There are times when motivation is sky-high and when it’s a challenge to even think about getting to the gym or eating that “clean” meal. If you’re anything like me then there are a couple of things you struggle with. One of those things is the knowledge that whether you want to or not, fitting that bout of physical activity/workout/play/exercise into your day is a fundamental necessity. You know as well as I do that anything we let slide, fall by the wayside or otherwise procrastinate on is very likely to go undone until the last moment when you finally reach a point where you have to do it in order to avoid stressful situations – get fired, fail the class etc. The main difference with fitness is that fitness is not a term paper and it is not a business proposal. There really is no end date or “completion” aspect to fitness. Your level of fitness is either up or down depending on where you are and have been in your life. It started somewhere for you and hopefully it’ll continue to grow, evolve, improve and add to your life as long as you live. If that doesn’t happen, then it will waste away, wither and diminish over time and the consequences of that, whatever they may be, will be received as well. In the end, the choice is yours.
My main purpose in this article is just to give you a bit of information that I use when my motivation is rock-bottom. Having knowledge that a bout of physical activity still needs to take place makes me look for ways to get my exercise in and get the hell out of the gym as quickly as possible. What I do is pretend. Yes, I pretend. I fake motivation, I make it up from nothing. I tell myself that I can do anything for 20 minutes and that all I have to do is begin and I’ll be successful. Be honest with yourself, working out isn’t usually the challenge, it’s starting the workout that we so often let hold us back. So I basically fake motivation long enough to start the workout. From there the rest usually takes care of itself. But, since I know my motivation is sometimes limited, I want a very effective, quick workout that burns a lot of calories, places a great demand on my entire body and gives me the hormonal response to grow, build and flourish.
In situations like this I turn to an old method called the Barbell Complex.
It’s basically a complex of exercises – different exercises, that are done with the same barbell (in most cases) and typically are done one right after the other with little or no rest in between. These are awesome, tend to be the kind of multi-joint movements we know stimulate so many positive responses in our bodies and to be honest they can be a lot of fun. So without going to far into this topic, I just wanted to share a few of my favorite barbell complexes with you.
Keep in mind that all of these are not appropriate for everyone. My approach to barbell complexes is to warm-up very well and go crazy. Others approach them differently but I like to lift hard, let form relax a bit and just go – unless an olympic lift is being used. Always workout in a manner that your body is accustomed to doing. Enjoy the videos.
I kinda dig this Barbell Complex from Jason Ferruggia on YouTube. I’m sorry about the music Mom!
This is Workout #6 in my Dirty Fitness Training Program – Regression
This workout is intended for advanced exercisers and athletes and it has a couple uncommon movements especially a heavy reverse curl done with a cheating motion. Not easy, not something everyone should try. Proceed with caution as the rep ranges are not what I would traditionally recommend for some of these movements namely the front squat, but are in this particular workout as a means of conditioning and building stamina – still not something to attempt without training.
This is CrossFit’s Bear Complex – Pretty cool
The push press from the back squat is something I personally like a lot, but do not recommend for someone without experience pressing a barbell behind the neck.
I’m a bit hesitant to show this Barbell Complex from DeFranco’s Gym but what the hell, let’s lift!
This one is pretty darn good from Travis Stoetzel, I’m going to try this one soon! Nice rep assignments for each exercise.
And from my brother in fitness and all around cool guy, Michael Lloyd Billington’s recent posting of Matt Wichlinski’s innovative training method (well done sir). We’re boys and we like to have fun. This included lifting weights and drinking beer.
Have fun using one of these complexes, or making one of your own. They can be done in just about any manner and are not limited to barbells. You can do kettlebell complexes, dumbbell complexes, cable complexes, you’re only limited by your imagination.