Most of us are time strapped. We all find it hard to find the time in the day to fit physical activity into our life. With working hours seemingly going up at an endless rate and increasing commitments outside of work on the rise, we tend to place our health right at the bottom of our priorities.
This really isn’t the way to be thinking about what you value most in life. Your body and health are the most important thing of all. You only get one and the more you take care of it, the more it will take care of you. Increased physical activity has been linked to increases in happiness, wellbeing, productivity and a plethora of health related biomarkers.
This complex allows fitness to seamlessly drift into the background of your life, allowing you to carry on pursuing professional & personal goals without taking longer than 30 minutes total out of your week. This way fitness is now enhancing your life and not a dreaded slog that distracts you from your other priorities.
What is a barbell complex?
A barbell complex simply means performing a bunch of barbell movements with little to no rest in between in a circuit-like manner. My complex is a bit different to the usual offerings as it calls for a trio of supersets instead of a group of straight exercises. Trust me though, it’s not quite as complex as you might think.
Why is it so good for testosterone production?
Short bouts of high-effort training has been shown to skyrocket T-levels in multiple studies, leading to the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) craze of recent years. This craze is completely justified however, as HIIT can get you big results in little time. A lot of HIIT and circuit training revolves around cardio and bodyweight exercise, so by adding in a barbell to the mix, you are giving your body a better chance of building dense muscle and giving your cardiovascular system a massive kick up the backside.
You will be performing 3 supersets for this workout resting for 10 seconds between supersets and 1 and a half minutes between sets. Perform 5 rounds of 5 reps for each movement aiming to add a rep each time until you can perform 10 of each move. Once you hit 10 for every exercise of a superset then up the weight on the bar by 2.5kg (5lbs).
These two moves will be the big hitters of the circuit and are what you should be concentrating on the most. For this reason they are the first superset you perform each cycle so that you are fresh.
To perform this superset. start with the barbell on your back, squat down, then when you come back up, press the bar overhead, catching it on your back again on the way down. Rinse and repeat for your prescribed rep scheme for that workout.
Why the squat?
The squat is probably the king of exercises and stimulates the release of testosterone around the body, firing up your other muscles and elevating your heart rate right from the off – providing stimulus for fat loss, muscle growth and increased testosterone production.
How to do it
Why the press?
Along with dips, the shoulder press is definitely the upper body equivalent to the squat. It works the upper chest, shoulders and triceps extremely hard and will target the vast amount of androgen receptors in the trap/shoulder area. This stimulus can increase testosterone and anabolic hormones around the body massively and can help you achieve the ‘3-d’ look that enhanced lifters are able to gain.
How to do it
The row and the curl are your pulling portion of the complex and are two of the most effective mass building compound lifts about and will keep your musculature balanced as you progress on your fitness journey.
Why the row?
The row, deadlift and pull-up are the only 3 exercises you’ll ever need to build a huge back. Using the row means you’re employing the easiest of the three to master and load weight onto whilst still getting in the compound movement required to boost testosterone.
How to do it
Why the curl?
The curl is the daddy of arm exercises. The barbell curl puts a huge amount of stress on the biceps, almost forcing them to grow. This also ensures that you’re getting some direct work to satisfy you vainer gents out there.
How to do it
Two of the most basic movements you can learn to execute when it comes to fitness. The push up requires little skill to master and can yield brilliant gains. And whilst the clean is harder to master, you will thank yourself in the long run. Doing these together goves your body a push/pull/legs stimulus all at once which fires up your t-production, breaks down muscle tissue and elevates your heart rate to levels you never thought you’d reach.
Why the push-up?
Being the most basic of strength exercises, I simply had to include the push-up in this complex. Easy to master and with great rewards, adding 5 sets of this every other day will have your chest, triceps and shoulders blowing up in no time.
To make this exercise even harder you can try lots of different variations like incline push-ups, deficit push-ups (to get a deeper stretch), push-ups with your hands on the barbell, one-arm push-ups and even handstand push-ups if you’re a real show off.
How to do it?
Why the clean?
If I had to pick one exercise that could build power throughout every muscle in your body whilst stimulating huge releases of hormones, I’d pick the clean every day of the week.
Since you’re doing a good chunk of push work, the press at the end of the clean is not necessary. Doing cleans 3 times a week will certainly put a lot of stress on the central nervous system but since the weight isn’t as heavy as if you were doing 3 reps or less, you should be able to recover quickly providing you are foam rolling, stretching, eating and sleeping all in adequate amounts.
How to do it?
Here’s a list that illustrates what your workout will look like;
Squat/Press – 5 sets of 5-10 reps
Barbell Row/Curl – 5 sets of 5-10 reps
Push-up/Clean – 5 sets of 5-10 reps
Do this workout 3 days a week every other day and take the weekend off to recover and do some stretching/yoga to keep supple and prevent injuries. Increasing the weight over time will help you blitz fat and pack on muscle. Try this for 12 weeks and you’ll notice a big difference.