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Saturday, March 2, 2024
HomeBody Building SupplementsTwo Minutes to Strength, Size, and Conditioning - T NATION+ - COMMUNITY

Two Minutes to Strength, Size, and Conditioning – T NATION+ – COMMUNITY


Comprehensive training for all benefits

Complexes are a great way to challenge yourself with new things and get closer to any goals you may have. Try these five!


A complex is a set of exercises performed in succession. Use the same weight throughout and don’t rest until you complete the set.

Compound exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, or whatever weights are available. Compounds are versatile. You can program them to increase brute strength, build new muscles, or improve fitness.

Here’s how to design an effective complex, along with some examples:

How to design a complex

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Usually 2-5 sets are enough. The rep range depends on your goals. Use a variety of set and rep schemes and work your way through the entire range from low to high.

Exercise choice is more important. Emphasize major compound movements. Certain exercises are the limiting factor in weight selection when designing complexes. For example, the press is the limiting factor in the front squat, RDL, and press compound movements. You can do front squats and RDLs instead of over training them. So choose your weight based on the “weakest” movement in the complex.

Five Composite Samples to Try

Punching bags are great for complexes because your grip and torso strength are always challenged. Because of the chaotic nature of sandbags, each exercise requires full-body strength.

Full Body Sandbag Complex – 3-5 sets

  • Good morning bear hug x 4-8 times
  • Shoulder carry x 2 – 4 reps on each side
  • Squats – weight on shoulders x 2-4 reps per side
  • bear hugs for as long as possible

Landmine Squat Complex – 3-5 sets

The freedom of movement of the mines allows you to create a unique, natural flow throughout the series. The example below emphasizes the squat. Doing the full range of exercises—double-leg, single-leg, lateral, and isometric—will do a great job of working your lower body.

  • Squat × 10
  • Split squat x 5 reps each side
  • Side squat x 5 times each side
  • Isometric squat x 10

Simple Barbell Complex – 3-5 sets

This simple yet effective comprehensive exercise uses exercises that build upon each other, with each exercise allowing an efficient transition to the next.

  • RDL x 5
  • Powerful Shrug x 5
  • Front squat x 5
  • Hanging cleaning x 5
  • push x 5

Drop Dumbbell Complex – 5 sets

Dumbbells offer a variety of options. As the number of sets continues, the number of repetitions of the complex gradually decreases. This is an interesting terminator.

  • Squat Jump x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Alternate Overhead Press x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 each side
  • Front squat x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  • Walking lunges x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 each side
  • Alternate bent over rows x 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 each side

Kettlebell Total Body Complex Workout – 3-5 Sets

The concentrated weight of the kettlebell requires more core engagement. Hitting all key modes throughout the complex ensures you have all your bases covered. Kettlebells are also great for adding some unilateral training.

  • RDL x 12
  • Swing × 12
  • One-arm bent over row x 6 times each side
  • Single Arm Rack Squat Press x 6 reps per side
  • Single Arm Reverse Lunge x 6 reps each side

When to Compound Training

Perform compound training at the beginning or end of your workout. While there’s nothing wrong with putting them in the middle, I’ve found that when you’re energized and motivated, you have more success initially. They can also be used as solid finishes.

Make any workout better. Cheers to it.

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