Workout Wednesday | Don’t drop the bar!

Barbell Complex

This is one of my favourite ways to get in a bit of cardio at the end of sessions, my clients also have a love/hate relationship with it!

A barbell complex is essentially doing a few exercises back to back without dropping the bar. The aim isn’t to go as heavy as possible, but rather to complete the circuit and get your heart rate up and bring about a cardio effect. I love it as it doesn’t feel l like you are performing ‘traditional’ cardio such as running or cycling.

Pick your weights, rep ranges and exercises wisely.

You want to make sure that you are able to perform all exercises (with good form) using the same weight. I know you can probably squat more than you can shoulder press, but for this complex choose the lightest weight which you can perform the hardest exercise at.

You can vary your reps within the circuit or just use the same for each exercise. Ie perform every exercise back to back for 10 reps, or you could, shoulder press x 8, row x 10, squat x12 for example.

I always choose exercises which flow on from one another in order to make the complex as efficient as possible. You don’t want to be back squatting, then performing a deadlift and then going back to lunges. Try and set it up so one exercise seamlessly jumps to the next.

You could set a timer and go for as many rounds as possible in 10  minutes, or you could set a number of rounds as a target to hit.

Rest as needed. Don’t go absolutely hell for leather and sacrifice form and therefore risk injury in the process, if you need to take time out then do so; but it should be hard so don’t use it as an excuse to wimp out!!

Here is one of my current favourites!

Set a timer for 10-15minutes and try and perform as many rounds as possible within that time. Choose a weight which you would be able to perform the hardest exercise at (here it is likely to be the shoulder press) and then go for it! Challenge a friend and see who triumphs!

Romanian Deadlift x 10
Bentover Barbell Row x 10
Front Squat x 10
Shoulder Press x 10
Back Squat x 10
Mountain Climbers x 10


Give this complex a whirl next time you are in the gym and see how you get on! Tag me and let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 11/31

Leave a Reply