Chalk Talk #11 – Barbell Complex

Barbell complexes are merely using a light weight for moderate to high reps in several exercises in a row without rest. In this video, I demonstrate a simple complex of ordinary barbell exercises as well as explain the benefits of complexes. They include building muscle, a low to medium systemic total body stress, a decent workout when strapped for time, and decent conditioning work.

8 thoughts on “Chalk Talk #11 – Barbell Complex

  1. “Barbell Complexes: They are nice” For some reason that made me LOL.

    I love doing these if I’m ever strapped for time. I do an equivalent type of workout with dumbbells whenever I have to travel for work and only have access to a shitty hotel gym. For instance, I like doing one-handed dumbbell snatches instead of power cleans, Bulgarian lunges instead of squats, etc.

    Do you ever incorporate your gardening tools into your workouts? Pitch Fork lifts?

  2. Questions about how to organize the complex order. I would think that you would want the most challenging part first and easiest last for the weight. Example rows/press first dead lifts last? Or should the weight be set so that it shouldn’t matter?

  3. Justin I’m looking to start your Olympic lifting program, I’ve already been working on high bar squatting working with sets of 5. Is there a way you’d program the squats to work on a Texas method cycle on your program? Texas method got me up to 365×5 on low bar and I’m trying to use it for high bar right now at about 315×5.

    • You can always TM squatting, especially on a Olympic weightlifting program. You have a volume day, a front squat day, then an intensity day after doing snatch/CJ (or some variation thereof).

  4. I love these chalk talks Justin, please keep em’ up!

    I have a pretty banged up knee (pathology, meniscus and cartilage) so I can only box squat.

    I was thinking about employing kettlebells as a part of my training in the end instead of barbell complexes, whats your thoughts on this? My logic tells me yes, but I’d like your opinion.

  5. Would the stress/volume of something like this be too much to add into an LP or TM setup for an intermediate lifter who is already squatting, bench/pressing, and doing chins & such? I love barbell complexes but I haven’t done them in a long time since I started trying not to suck so hard at the olympic lifts and also get my press and squat up.

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