Hammer How To: The Barbell Complex

If you’ve only got a limited amount of time the Barbell Complex is one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck sessions that you can do.

What is a Barbell Complex?

A barbell complex is a series of lifts combined in a nonstop, continuous movement using the same piece of equipment. The workout itself is a form of Energy System Training (EST) which incorporate a variety of energy systems in one all-out session. It challenges the body on a variety of fronts as it confuses the system creating a high intensity session that requires a massive EPOC response, but because there is some weight bearing as well it also produces some muscle damage and therefore some minimal muscle gain. With minor muscle mass gains a higher resting metabolic rate (more calorie burning) is achieved, so this, combined with the high EPOC response makes these sessions the most effective sessions for weight loss and fitness gains.

All you need for this intense workout is an Olympic barbell and plates, a pair of sturdy collars to keep the weights secure, oh and perfect exercise technique. If you don’t have the required pieces of equipment you can pop down to Hammer Athleteic during one of our Open Gym time slots.

Here’s how it works…

There are 4 rounds.

You will Perform a descending set: 10 reps of everything in round 1, then 9 reps for round 2, 8 reps for round 3 then finally, 7 reps for round 4.

Always perform a 500m row on an ergo at the end of every circuit.

RULE: if you drop the bar before you get to the roll outs in each round it is a 5 burpee penalty and must be done before you start the rower.

[cro_accordionstart] [cro_accordionitem title=”A1 Barbell Romanian Deadlifts” item=”active” ]Maintain the shoulder-width grip and drive your hips back until your trunk is nearly parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward to return to the start.

Romanian Deadlift[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionitem title=”A2 Barbell Bent Over Row” item=”” ]Keeping a natural arch in your spine, drive your hips back until your trunk is nearly parallel to the floor. Pull the bar to your belly button, hold, and return to start.

Bent Row[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionitem title=”A3 Barbell Thrusters” item=”” ] Start from the standing position, with the barbell held against your shoulders. Drop into the squat position while keeping the barbell at shoulder level. Hold the barbell with your palms facing up and your elbows extended out. Return to the standing position while hoisting the weight over your head. Bring the barbell back down to your shoulders and drop into another squat.

Barbell Thruster[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionitem title=”A4 Barbell Reverse Lunges” item=”” ]Position bar on back of shoulders and grasp barbell to sides. Step back with one leg while bending supporting leg. Plant forefoot far back on floor. Lower body by flexing knee and hip of supporting leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Return to original standing position by extending hip and knee of forward supporting leg and return rear leg next to supporting leg. Repeat movement with opposite legs alternating between sides.

Starting Position[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionitem title=”A5 Barbell Roll Outs” item=”” ]Hold the loaded barbell and kneel on the floor. Now place the barbell on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees (as in a kneeling push up position). This will be your starting position. Slowly roll the barbell straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Tip: Go down as far as you can without touching the floor with your body. Breathe in during this portion of the movement. After a second pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Tip: Go slowly and keep your abs tight at all times.

Roll Out[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionitem title=”A6 500m Row” item=”” ]A few tips for ergo rowing: 1. Don’t grip too hard – Don’t hold on so hard to the handle. Keep enough grip to not lose the handle, but also not so much that you wear out your hands, have achy forearms, and tear up your palms. 2. Drive with your legs – Rowing is mostly about your legs. Despite your natural instincts, your legs are far stronger than your arms and should be doing the vast majority of the work. Your quads and booty should be toasted after a hard rowing workout. 3. Imagine you’re doing a clean – If you don’t know how to perform this lift properly, don’t imagine this. Imagining doing a clean won’t help in that case. 4. Legs, hips, arms, arms, hips, legs – This is the sequence of rowing. If you reorganize this list, it doesn’t work. 5. Drive straight back – If you feel yourself lift off the seat, or tragically, you pop off the seat and land on the rail, it is because you are pushing UP instead of back. Push straight back.[/cro_accordionitem] [cro_accordionend]

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