Complexes are several exercises performed in a row, with no break in between. Complexes are really just extended super-sets where you don’t put down the bar or DB’s until you are through. A short example would be a row – clean – press – squat… 2 x 8, where you’d do 8 reps of rows, then 8 reps of cleans, then 8 reps of presses, then 8 reps of squats. Take a short break (1-3 min.+/-), and then repeat for set #2.
Barbell (BB) or Dumbbell (DB) complexes can be used to increase work capacity, improve total-body and core strength, and blast fat off of your entire body. Complexes might also make you feel like you’ll puke, and they for SURE will improve your athleticism. You don’t need a ton of weight to get a good effect, and you can use just about anything to do a complex with. General guidelines for weights to use would be 35 – 75 lbs. for ladies and 65- 105 lbs. for guys, and you can obviously adjust this up or down as needed. You can do complexes with a BB or DB’s, with a med ball, with a 45 lb. plate, or even with a suitcase or a cinder block! Whatever is available can work.
One of the keys to complexes, as with any resistance work, is to continually progress… so add weight, add reps, decrease rest between sets, and/or move faster through the complex in order to continually progress! Complexes are meant to be a hard effort, so if it feels easy, add progression(s)!!
At the end of a workout 1 or 2 complexes are plenty, and if complexes are your main workout, 4 to 6 total sets are the norm. Doing 6 or more complexes in a single workout is hard. Some example sets are listed below, and by all means, be creative and make up some of your own sets. And remember, you won’t be putting the bar down if you do these correctly, so a little chalk might be a good idea.
UFC Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
WWF Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
Swim Complex – 8 to 10 reps each
Track Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
Jumpers Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
Legs & Shoulders Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
Pull Better Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
Speed Complex – 6 to 8 reps each
|Now be creative and make up some of your own below.|
- by John Coffman, FasterSwimming.com Contributing Writer