This past week, the theme for my workouts is change. Well, I was looking for some variety and I found it. I had never heard of a barbell complex before. The idea behind it is pretty straightforward. Instead of doing one set of an exercise for X-number of repetition, you combine a several set of exercises together.
The one I tried involved the following (thanks to Men’s Health for the workout. If you click this link, you can find a video on how each of these exercises is performed):
- the deadlift
- straight-leg deadlift
- barbell row
- jump shrug
- hang clean
You do 8 repetitions of each and go to the next exercise without stopping so, you do the eight reps of the deadlift, without setting down the weight, go to the reps for the straight-leg deadlift and then go immediately to the barbell row and so on. The goal is to try to repeat the complex 3-4 times. You’ll want to choose a weight you can manage, particularly for the hang clean. While these can be a workout in and of themselves, it was suggested that these can be done as a follow-up to your normal workout to provide you with a cardio routine.
So, let me share my experience with this. At first, I thought I was wimping out on the weight. I can do deadlifts and shrugs with over twice that weight. But, I’m glad I didn’t let ego take over. I actually did 5 sets, which I think was not the best idea. I was good until my drive home. I thought I was going to throw up. I had to roll my windows down and kind of stick my head out of the window like a dog just to cool myself down enough to let the feeling subside a little. I felt this workout for the next 3 days.
With that being said, would I do it again? Absolutely. I’ll back it down to 3-4 sets of these complexes and maybe not do them as quickly as I did but, I can tell you that it was nice to have a workout that put me to the test.