Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:

COMPLEX TRAINING MADE EASY

If you're tired of spending hours on your cardio trying to sculpt a perfect
physique, TRAIN might have the solution.

3 Benefits Of Weightlifting Complexes And 3 Sample Complexes!

Busting through plateaus can be frustrating, but this article makes complexes seem simple. Burn fat in a hurry and expedite your progress!

The hottest topic on most people's lips is fat loss, whether they're getting back in shape for the New Year, getting ready for spring break, or getting into that old dress or their favorite pair of jeans. This is the perfect time to recalibrate, refocus, and recommit to your fat-loss program.

One of the best training methods in my arsenal is complex or matrix-style training. These methods work extremely well after the strength-boosting component of your program, when you've already made a concerted effort to build some muscle.

I first learned about complexes back in the late 1990s when I was just getting started in the iron game. Istvan Javorek is widely regarded as the pioneer of complexes, and while he used them to improve the Olympic lifts, I feel as though they're great as a workout finisher as well.

But before we dive head first into a few sample complexes or matrices, let's first discuss why you might choose to include them in your workouts.

Complex or matrix-style training work extremely well after you've already made a concerted effort to build some muscle.

BENEFITS OF COMPLEXES

Complexes and matrices have quite a few benefits, but here are just a few that spring to mind:

1
They're Fat Loss Friendly

This is an obvious benefit for long duration, low intensity cardio targets such as improved cardiovascular function and parasympathetic tone etc.—but not maximal fat loss. Anaerobic intervals in the 1:1-1:3 work:rest ratio are some of the best ways to shed body fat. You don't want to use them all year round, but if you want an all-out assault on body fat, they're the real deal.

2
They're Fast

If you're looking to get lean, more training volume isn't always better. In fact, this is the ideal time to use faster, more high intensity methods. Complexes are fast and brutally effective, which gets you in and out of the gym quicker.

3
They Efficiently Use Space and Equipment

One of the big issues when it comes to fat loss training is equipment and/or space. Not everyone has sleds, prowlers or a hill in the backyard to train with. Complexes and matrices are not only space efficient—they can often be done in a small area—but theyrequire minimal equipment as well. With only one barbell, a sandbag or even just your bodyweight you can knock out an intense workout.

THE BASICS

When performing complexes, I typically prescribe 24 total reps. My favorite options are either four exercises with six repetitions each, or six exercises with four repetitions each. You'll perform each exercise for the allotted number of repetitions, and then move immediately into the next exercise. Go through the entire series of exercises, and then rest for the same period of time, or at the most, twice as long as it took you to go through the series.

As your conditioning improves, work to decrease the rest period so that you adhere to a 1:1 work:rest ratio.

SAMPLE COMPLEXES AND MATRICES

Now that we've covered the basics, let's look at a couple of sample complexes you can take to the gym and start performing today!

The Basic Barbell Complex

This is a super-efficient complex that even the most seasoned iron veteran will enjoy. All the big lifts are tied into one awesome series!

Front Squat

Week 1: 3 complexes
Week 2: 4 complexes
Week 3: 5 complexes
Week 4: 6 complexes

Complex
  • Romanian Deadlift: 4 reps
  • Bent-Over Row: 4 reps
  • Front Squat: 4 reps
  • Push Press: 4 reps
  • Good Morning: 4 reps
  • Back Squat: 4 reps



Bodyweight Leg Matrix

If you struggle with body fat in the legs, this lower-body matrix will help you blowtorch it like no other!

Lunge

Week 1: 2 matrices
Week 2: 3 matrices
Week 3: 3 matrices
Week 4: 4 matrices

Matrix
  • Vertical Jump: 6 reps
  • Squat: 6 reps
  • Step-Up: 6 reps
  • Lunge: 6 reps



Sandbag Complex

Last but not least, if you want something a bit different, give this sandbag complex a shot. It's not only fun, but the sandbag also creates some unique challenges due to its non-conforming nature.

Overhead Press

Week 1: 3 complexes
Week 2: 4 complexes
Week 3: 5 complexes
Week 4: 6 complexes

Complex
  • Sandbag Shouldering: 6 reps
  • Bent-Over Row: 6 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift: 6 reps
  • Overhead Press: 6 reps


SUMMARY

As you can see, fat loss training doesn't have to be complex (pun intended). Instead, basic exercises performed in series at a breakneck pace can absolutely help you achieve your goals quickly.

For the next month, finish at least one, if not two, of your workouts with one of the complexes or matrices outlined above. I guarantee it's going to fast track your fat loss progress, and get you on your way to the lean, sculpted physique you've been looking for!


Recommended For You

5 Muscle Misconceptions That May Stall Your Muscle Growth

Even if you're all about frying fat this time of year, sooner or later you're going to want to add size. Make sure you do it right.

Boot Camp Fit: Grenade's Rhino CrossFit Boot Camp Workout

Think you've got what it takes to hang with the ripped athletes of Team Grenade? Test yourself with this grueling boot camp workout!

Sculpt Your Six-Pack Now: Early Summer Abs Workout

The weather outside may be frightful, but soon it will be delightful! Kick-start your summer six-pack with this awesome abs plan.

Related Articles

About The Author

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
7

Out of 10
Good
7 Ratings

4

Comments

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
BigJax21

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
BigJax21

Hooray, Train puts out another horrible article.

Mar 4, 2014 4:31am | report
 
Requitor

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Requitor

"If you struggle with body fat in the legs, this lower-body matrix will help you blowtorch it like no other! "

Are they really saying you can target fat loss???? Wow, just wow. No wonder I don't see this mag on any of the stands.

Mar 4, 2014 6:55am | report
 
mattadams87

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
mattadams87

This. And even if you could, I highly doubt that would be nearly enough volume to "torch it right off".

Mar 4, 2014 3:22pm | report
chemo29

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
chemo29

just came here to see what was in the bag

Mar 4, 2014 3:54pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com