Complexes are one of the best training tools in my humble training opinion. They save a ton of time, they can be done with just 1-2 pieces of equipment and they bring together the fat burning combination of strength training and metabolic work.
I have written about complexes before and although I’m a huge fan of barbell complexes, they can be a little tougher to master due to some differences in technique, particularly on a Barbell Clean. For most people, a set of dumbbells or kettlebells will do the trick. In fact, they may be even better, because you can move the weight faster, which is one of the goals of a complex.
What Is A Complex?
Before we get into the actual workout, you might be asking: What is a complex?
A complex is simply a sequence of exercises that are done back to back without putting the weight down in between. This is different from a superset or a circuit, because you are using the same weight for every exercise and you won’t have any rest in between the exercises.
You can have a complex of as little as 2 exercises or as many as 10. I like to typically program 4 to 6 exercises. When it comes to reps, that just depends on the number of exercises you are doing and also what your goal is. For most of us, fat loss and muscle definition are the top two, so you will want to program between 5 and 8 reps per exercise.
Select a weight that’s heavy enough that you are taxed at the end, but not so heavy that you can’t move it quickly. The goal of a complex is to move the weight fast but to be challenged both strength-wise and in your work rate as well.
Killer Kettlebell Complex
Here is a great kettlebell complex for you to try. If you don’t happen to have two kettlebells of matching size, a set of dumbbells will also work great. Here are the exercises:
A1. Bent Over KB Row x 6
A2. KB Clean & Press x 6
A3. KB Front Squat x 6
A4. KB Push Press x 6
A5. Double KB Swing x 6
How To: Perform the complex without putting the kettlebells down. So, you’ll complete all 6 KB Rows then move on to the Clean & Press, then the Front Squat and so on. Once you finish that complex one time through, you will rest 2 minutes and then repeat the complex. Depending on your fitness level, you should aim for 3-6 sets.
Give this complex a try and leave a comment below on how it went for you, or if you have any questions.