Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Complexes are HUGE!!!

Performing complexes should be HUGE tool in your workout repertoire, whether you're using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. For an athlete, this can really accentuate the use of one's explosiveness with certain movements, help build up muscle endurance, and even speed up fat loss. Will running ten miles help you do all that? No way!!!

Essentially, the concept of the "complex" is to perform a set amount of movements for a set amount of repetitions in succession without placing the weight apparatus down for a rest. For example, performing six to ten exercises at six to ten reps at a time. You must make sure you are using the appropriate amount of weight so you can finish this gigantic of a set or "complex". This will vary with each individual athlete. If you can't finish out the complex, then you may want to lessen the weight. If you complete the complex fairly easily, you may increase the weight. You may also add or subtract the number of movements or repetitions. If you are familiar with the terms "superset" or "tri-set", think of that but three to four more times INTENSE!! Performing complexes will definitely get your bodies' attention big time!! Be ready to "UP" your intensity and appreciate new gains to your musculature and improved body conditioning!!

Below is an example of a barbell complex that I personally like to use.

6 movements for 6 reps at 135 lbs all in succession, from start to finish

Start with barbell on the floor and in front of you.

  • Bent Over Row - Bend knees slightly and bend over bar with back straight, feet approximately shoulder width. Grasp bar with wide overhand grip. Pull bar to upper waist. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat until reps are completed.
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts - While still holding the barbell in front of you, stand with feet shoulder width or narrower stance. With knees straight or just slightly bent, lower bar toward top of feet (with weights stopping just slightly above the floor) by bending at hips. Lift bar by extending waist and hips until standing upright. Pull shoulders back slightly if rounded. Repeat until reps are completed.
  • Hang Clean - Stand with barbell in front of your body with overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend knees and hips so barbell touches mid-thigh; shoulders over bar with back arched. Arms are straight with elbows pointed along bar. Jump upward extending body. Shrug shoulders and pull barbell upward with arms allowing elbows to flex out to sides, keeping bar close to body. Aggressively pull body under bar, rotating elbows around bar. Catch bar on shoulders. Bend knees and hips slightly, explosively extend body upward while lifting the weights off the shoulders, and lower the weights in a controlled manner to mid-thigh. Repeat until reps are completed.
  • Push Press - With overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width, position barbell chest high with torso tight. Retract head back. Dip body by bending knees, hips and ankles slightly. Explosively drive upward with legs, driving barbell up off shoulders, vigorously extending arms overhead. Return to shoulders and repeat until reps are completed.
  • Good Morning - Push press the barbell over head to position it on back of shoulders; keeping hands grasped to sides; feet set at shoulder width or slighty past. Keeping back straight and knees just slightly bent, bend hips to lower torso forward until parallel to floor. Raise torso until hips are extended. Repeat until reps are completed. (Note: Do not lower weight beyond mild stretch through hamstrings. Full range of motion will vary from person to person depending on flexibility.)
  • Sumo Squat - Position barbell on back of shoulders and grasp bar to sides. Position feet with wide stance and toes pointing out diagonally. Bend knees forward while allowing hips to bend back behind, keeping back straight and knees pointed same direction as feet. Descend until thighs are parallel to the floor. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight or with a slight bend. Return and repeat until reps are completed.

Set the barbell down slowly, my friend! Cuz' I know you are TOAST!

There are various ways you can implement this type of training using many different movements. The true method of "complex" conditioning is attributed to Istvan "Steve" Javorek. I have studied a lot of his methods and have found them to be absolutely beneficial in reaching ULTIMATE FITNESS!

Please comment about the contents of this post. It would be greatly appreciated!


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