As the Holidays draw closer and closer and the days get shorter and shorter, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to find time to workout. If you’re running low on time and need a quick, high intensity workout, but aren’t sure what to do, try a complex!
What is a complex?
A complex is a series of exercises, using the same piece of equipment with the same amount of weight (or resistance), consecutively until all of the repetitions are complete. Complexes can be completed with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, cable machines, medicine balls, or any modality that you wish to.
What exercises can you do with a complex?
One of the best parts about a complex is that you have the freedom to choose from any exercise you would like to; granted, a good complex usually hits every major muscle group in the body (chest, back, glutes, hamstrings, quadiceps).
How do you perform a complex?
To begin a complex, first select the exercises you want to perform. It should be at least 5. Then, you’ll select how many reps of each exercise you want to do. This is the tricky part. Because the weight should be the same throughout each exercise, the complex is limited by your weakest lift or body part. This means that some exercises will be very difficult and some very easy. Usually complexes work from the top down or from the bottom up. To show this, I’ll give an example:
Exercises: Shoulder press, deadlift, Barbell rows, back squat, push ups
For this particular complex, you would begin with the deadlifts (bottom) and then work your way up to the top (shoulder press) before setting down the barbell and performing push ups. The order would be deadlifts, barbell row, shoulder press, back squat, and push ups. Once you completed your 8 deadlifts, you would then go immediately into your barbell rows, and follow suit for the rest of the exercises in that fashion.
How long should your rest time be?
A good rest time for complexes is a 1:1 work:rest ration. This means that however long it takes you to complete 1 set of the complex is how long you should take as rest time. For example, if the complex above takes about 3 minutes to complete, you would have up to 3 minutes to rest before beginning the next set.
What does a complex do?
Complexes are a great way to workout the entire body in a very short amount of time. Because it is a form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a method of weight training, and has a cardiorespiratory effect on the body, it is a fantastic way to get a huge calorie burn in a short amount of time. The complex above would only take about 30 minutes to complete! Additionally, since both strength training and HIIT have been proven to burn fat for up to 2 hours post-exercise, its an excellent way to burn off some Holiday food!
I hope you all enjoyed this exercise tip! If you have a complex that you enjoy doing or would like any exercise tips in the future, please leave a comment in the section below or on any of our social media sites!