It’s the “buzz” word of the day in the fitness industry. You might be intrigued and I can’t blame you. Any time you can “shake things up” to keep you motivated, I’m all for it.
Complexes can remove fat from your body like a banana peel…
Yet way too many times I see folks posting them on the book of face (slang for Facebook) and I’m thinking… “why?”.
The complexes I see are either destroying their shoulders by doing one kind of press after another or they are using a weight way too heavy for a “Complex”.
So, gather round in a big circle. We’re going to get the “Cliff Notes” on how to rock Complexes with a few rules you need to remember as well as a sample Finisher Complex.
That way, you can crush fat using Complexes to make room for those Christmas morning cinnamon rolls… and sausage balls… and those weird green things made from glorious corn syrup and corn flakes.
Why did I bold that entire paragraph? I don’t know.
Rule #1 – Weight Selection
This is really simple. Take a look at your complex. You are following a structured complex, right? If not, we need to talk.
What’s your weakest exercise in the complex?
Choose a weight in which you can lift for 4-6 reps MORE than what is prescribed for your weakest exercise.
So if your weakest exercise in the complex is the Military Press and the Complex calls for 6 reps, you would choose a weight that you can lift for 10 – 12 reps for that exercise.
This is your Complex weight selection for the entire circuit.
The idea of a complex is to NEVER put the weight down for the entire circuit. Burn the fatzzz with no rest.
Rule #2 – The Toughest Exercise Should Be First (in most cases)
In other words, you don’t do a Plank and then into a Front Squat.
The hardest exercise is typically at the beginning when you’re fresh. You want to give that exercise your best and it “flows” into the rest of the complex since your nervous system is lit up.
Mmmmm, undercooked cinnamon rolls. <= This sentence is directly from my imagination and I apologize.
Rule #3 – Total Body Complexes are Best
Your lower body can take on more than your upper body. That’s why it’s best to use your entire body with complexes. You definitely want to “sprinkle” in upper body work, but definitely NOT do too many Upper Body Complexes week after week. Your shoulders will ache and you’re asking for an injury.
a) Alternate between lower body and total body moves or…
b) Alternate between lower body and upper body moves or…
c) Alternate between lower body and core moves
Finally, you can use Complexes during your training, but don’t do more than 3 complexes a week (4 is pushing it even for advanced folks).
They are a great tool to use at the end of your workout to burn extra calories with the excess food you might be eating during the holiday season.
And as stand alone workouts?
You bet. If you’re crunched for time, Complexes are a great “go-to” because they are short (but intense!) as well as easy to remember.
“Hey Mikey, this is great. But do you have a sample complex as a finisher?”
You know what make-believe person I’ve decided to call “Henry”? I sure do. Let’s rock it…
First, if you’re using this as your full workout and you’re not warmed up, just knock this out first…
Do the following circuit 2 times, resting for 30 seconds between circuits:
Jumping Jacks (10)
Bodyweight Squats (10)
Close-Grip Pushups (10)
Total Body Extensions (10)
Now here’s a Complex Finisher…
Do the following circuit 4 times, resting for 30 seconds between circuits.
DB Front Squat (10)
DB Snatch (10/side)
DB Renegade Row (10/side)
Need ZERO equipment options? I have you covered:
Bodyweight Squat (10)
Total Body Extension (10)
Hand Walk-Outs (10)
Here’s how to do the Hand Walk-outs (these are tougher than they look):
So what did we learn?
1) The rules of Complexes so you do them right
2) Complexes are a great “go-to” when you’re busy or need to drop fat faster
3) They should be used as a conditioning tool and for 3 days a week at most… 4 if you’re really advanced.
Keep an eye on your inbox this week. I’ll tell you how to get your hands on everything Complexes… Bodyweight Complexes, DB/KB Complexes, BB Complexes and more…
… and how you can get my Finisher Complexes Manual.
Have a great week!
Mikey Whitfield, Master CTT