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Weightlifting Complexes

Today we’re looking at… how to use Complexes!

521 - Jerk - Top Position

Weightlifting Complexes

Complexes are quite similar to HIIT training, but differ in their goals, in that the goal of a complex might be stamina, or work-rate with medium loads, or even pressure proofing a specific movement by placing it at the end of a complex so that it’s done in a fatigued state. HIIT training is about maintaining the highest intensity possible for a given length of time to use the most resources possible. For this reason it’s usually done with less complex movements where attention to form is not as highly prioritized.

Complexes are groups of movements (usually 4-6) that are done back to back, so you can see how it is similar to HIIT training. One difference worth mentioning is that complexes (like the famous Javorek) are usually composed of loaded movements that focus more on the production of power as opposed to pure speed/intensity which HIIT generally advocates.


Example Routines:

Barbell Row -> Barbell Cleans -> Barbell Push Press -> Barbell Squat Press -> Barbell High Pulls
(This is a pretty tough complex and will work up a sweat with just the bar, especially if you’re doing multiple sets)

Dumbbell swings -> Dumbbell side-raises -> Dumbbell Bent Over Row -> Dumbbell Clean & Press

Reps = 10
Rest Between Complexes = 1-2 minutes depending on conditioning 
No. of Complexes = 3

Try one of these for 10 minutes at the end of every workout for a week and see how you feel!


*Other Useful Exercises:

Posterior Chain: Yates Row / Single Leg Deadlift / Suitcase Deadlift / Good Morning

Shoulder: Behind The Neck Press / Bradford Press / Military Press / Klokov Press

Legs: Front Squat / Back Squat / Overhead Squat / Lunges / Snatches / Box Jumps

Core: Zercher Situps / Pull-Overs / Medicine Ball Drills / Prowler


Check out our next post in the Effective Exercise series, on DEADLIFT VARIATIONS! Or, if you need a refresher, take a look at our LUNGE MATRIX post!

For more information check out our HIIT page, Calisthenics page, and if you’re really interested in getting in shape, take a look at our personal training programmes!

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