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Barbell Complexes

What Are They?

A Barbell Complex refers to two or more barbell movements being done consecutively, requiring a certain number of reps to be finished before moving onto the next exercise. In a true barbell complex, the barbell stays in the athlete’s hands for the entire duration of the complex. This is the big reason that barbell complexes are so challenging, and ultimately so rewarding.

What Do They Do?

Barbell complexes are a great way to add strength-based endurance training to any routine. By forcing the athlete to hold on to the barbell for the entire duration of the complex, we can perform a large amount of volume in an extremely short period of time. Barbell complexes are a great way to tax the nervous system as well, which results from the extreme heart rate variability, and the extreme volume makes for a killer workout.

What Barbell Complex is Right For Me?

Another great component of barbell complexes is their inherent variety. There are dozens of barbell movements in existence, and any one of them can be put into a complex. When you take into account the differences in potential rep schemes, you start to see that there are endless amounts of barbell complexes that can be done, and the only limit is your imagination. Hybrid Fitness recently put together a video about this very subject, and as such we created two really effective barbell complexes. Give these a shot, and modify these complexes to precisely fit your needs/wants!

Complex #1 (5 reps each exercise, 3 total sets)

  1. RDL

  2. High Hang Pull

  3. Hang Cleam

  4. Hang High Pull

  5. RDL

Complex #2 (4 reps each exercise, 3 total sets)

  1. Bent Over Row

  2. Hang Clean

  3. Push Press

  4. Thruster

  5. Push Press

  6. Bent Over Row


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