One of the hardest parts about keeping a fitness routine is usually not the actual workout program, but the time it takes to complete those workouts. Let’s face it, we are all really busy. We have work, family, friends, and in such a stressful world, we also need down time to just relax and do nothing. So where does the fitness routine fall?
While health and exercise needs to be a priority, and ideally you’re able to carve out an hour 3-5 times per week to make that happen, we’re all very aware that isn’t always possible. Even with the best of intentions, things come up and it just doesn’t work out according to plan.
Times like these are the perfect moments to use the phrase, “something is better than nothing.” Maybe you can’t get a full strength and cardio workout done, but what if there was a way to get both aspects of your training in, and to do it in under 10 minutes?
Enter: Complexes. Complexes, which can be done with a barbell or a set of dumbbells, are a series of exercises you do back to back without setting the weights down. You’re essentially stringing together anywhere from 3-8 exercises and making them into one big exercise set: a complex.
We’ve put together 6 different complexes that you can do using only a barbell or a set of dumbbells. These can be done on their own (for the days you’re in a time crunch) or they can be added to the front or back end of a workout. For example, you could use lighter weights and use this as a great warm-up, or you could tag it on the end of a workout for a nice little burnout to finish strong. You could even use this in place of your regular HIIT routine. The options are endless!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Choose the complex you’d like to do
- Find a weight(s) that allows you to perform 6-8 reps of each exercise that’s called for in the complex.
- Once you pick up the barbell or dumbbells, go through each exercise in order without setting the barbell or dumbbells down.
- When you’ve completed 6-8 reps of each exercise, rest for 1 minute before repeating.
- Repeat for 3-5 rounds
Note: If you do 8 reps of each and find that it’s too easy, increase the weights. If you’re not able to complete 6 reps of each exercise, you’ll want to use less weight for the next set.
All exercise demos are at the bottom of the page. Here are video examples of what a barbell and dumbbell complex will look like with all exercises strung together:
Barbell Complex Example
Dumbbell Complex Example
Barbell Complex #1
Barbell Complex #2
Barbell Complex #3
Dumbbell Complex #1
Dumbbell Complex #2
Dumbbell Complex #3
Barbell Bent Over Row
Barbell Hang Clean
Barbell Push Press
Barbell Back Squat
Barbell Good Morning
Barbell Front Loaded Reverse Lunge
Dumbbell Single Leg RDL
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
Dumbbell Biceps Curl to Press
Dumbbell Forward Lunge
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
Dumbbell Biceps Curl
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Dumbbell Front Squat
Want more articles like this? Check out Which of These 7 Squat Variations is Best for Your Body Type?
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