Posted by: pointlenana | June 1, 2016

Exercise Of The Month: June 2016 – Barbell Complex

There’s a lot going on right now, so I’m going to cheat this month and go with an exercise that there’s a great video for.

I used to spend a lot of time looking at the Mountain Athlete site, which I’d describe as 1) like CrossFit in terms of exercise variety 2) better than CrossFit because the workouts are programmed to make sense in a given day and over time 3) harder than CrossFit because the workouts last an hour or more vs. the ~15 minute workout I did when I went to CrossFit once.  Mountain Athlete has evolved (new name, related programs, and most importantly you pay to see the workouts now aside from some samples).  But there are still some good free videos out there of the exercises they do.

One full-body exercise I like (and my Marine son likes) is the Mountain Athlete Barbell Complex.  Get the right weight on a barbell, and do the following:

  • 6 deadlifts
  • 6 bent over rows
  • 6 hang power cleans
  • 6 front squats
  • 6 push presses
  • 6 back squats
  • drop the bar and do 6 pushups

This Mountain Athlete video shows the sequence. 

(The instep stretch at the end is a new addition since I did it – I’ve never done it that way.)

6 reps each of 7 exercises.  That’s one set.

Here’s a killer workout: 10 sets of the barbell complex in 20 minutes, starting each set on 2 minute intervals.  For each set, do the complex and then rest until 2 minutes comes around.  The key to making this a difficult-but-good workout is getting the right weight.  Too light and you end up with too much rest, too heavy and you can’t complete 10 rounds.  If the weight is right, each set will take 60-75 seconds, you’ll be hating life by the 6th or 7th round, but you’ll be able to finish.  It might take doing this workout 2 or 3 times to settle on a good weight.  I’m weak, so ~55 lbs is plenty challenging.   I think the guy in the video might have 95 lbs or more.

Have fun!



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