When you watch most people trying to lose fat at gyms across the country, what you will witness is hours upon hours of mundane, repetitive and boring exercises being performed on treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines. I'm not saying that you can't work hard on these pieces of equipment, but there is a far more productive way to lose fat and all it takes is 10 minutes! The only catch is that you are going to have to work very hard, but of course if you want results that should be obvious. The people in the gym going for 60 minutes on a stationary bike without a sweat drop in sight are not the ones who are going to reach their goals. If you want to torch body fat, or what to get in to serious shape for your sport, then read on.
The answer is complexes - a series of exercises performed with one implement (barbell, dumbbells, kettle bells etc) done back to back, with no rest. You don't need much space and you don't need fancy equipment, all you need is a mind ready to work. For example, with a barbell you could perform 8 power cleans, 8 front squats, 8 push presses, 8 dead lifts and 8 rows all with no rest in between. That's one set. Complexes are hard work, no way around that. They require focus, discipline hard work and a tiny bit of insanity.
After one sessions using complexes, as you lie on the ground huffing and puffing, you will see how complexes blow traditional long duration cardio clean out of the water.
So what are complexes used for?
- A more effective replacement for boring cardio during fat loss training.
-Good conditioning for athletes in sports.
-An 'all round' workout you can do if you really want to train but have already done all your scheduled training in the week.
All it takes is a few sets of complexes 1-3 times a week to see amazing improvements in body composition and fitness. As the total time of the complexes last roughly 10 minutes each, its just 30 minutes of hard work a week! Complexes can be done after a normal weight training session, or as a full workout on a conditioning day.
When building a complex there are several points you must follow.
1.Choose the right exercises - We are talking about big movements here - squats, cleans, dead lifts, presses. Big lifts means that the larger muscles of the body will be working, and that means more calories burned. Triceps kickbacks and curls have no place here.
2.Choose the right order of exercises - Exercise order should be determined by how demanding each exercise is. The most high skill and challenging lifts should be performed first, followed by less challenging exercises. For example power cleans would be performed before squats. The reason for this is fatigue, once you get tried (and you will!) your technique will suffer, and this can be dangerous when performing high skill exercises such as the Olympic lifts.
3.Alternate working muscles - During the complex, try to alternate the muscle groups that are working i.e alternate between a pull and a press or an upper body/lower body lift. The benefit of this is simple, when one muscle is working, the others are resting = more work!
4.Pick the right weight - You are going to have to select the weight based on your weakest lift in the complex. For example if you are performing power cleans, push press, front squats, rows and dead lifts, the weakest lift will most likely be the clean. The heaviest you can go (safely and for the amount of reps you want) in the power clean will be the weight used for the complex.
5.Work had and fast - This one is simple, the harder and faster you work, the more calories you will burn and the better conditioned you will get. The second point (speed) is interesting to note when choosing exercises for you complex. The faster our muscles work, the more calories we burn. So choosing exercises where you HAVE to move fast (in order to properly do the movement) such as cleans, snatches, jumps (weighted or not) are ideal. With these you cannot simply 'go through the motions' you have to really accelerate yourself or the weight to do the movement, and that means more fat lost, more fitness gained.
6.Variation - Complexes can be varied is so many different ways. Always doing the same number of exercises with the same number of reps each is boring and unnecessary. Reps, weight, exercise order, rest periods, number of sets are just some of the ways you can vary the way you perform and improve on your complexes.
Here are some more examples.
1. Descending rep Barbell complex -select the weight you can do 8 good reps with on power cleans and perform without rest -
6 power cleans
6 front squats
6 push press
6 back squat
6 dead lifts
Rest 90 seconds after the first complex, then perform 5 reps of each in the next complex; rest 90 seconds, 4 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, 3 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, 2 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, and then do 1 rep of each. This complex won't take long and it will challenge you both physically and mentally.
2. Dumbbell complex
Reverse Lunges, 6 reps on each leg
Romanian Deadlift, 12 reps
Good Morning, 12 reps
Front Squat, 6 reps
Military Press, 6 reps
Bent over Row, 6 reps
Floor Press, 12 reps
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 3 times.
3. Ascending/descending rep complex
Taking 60-90 seconds rest between sets, perform 11 sets. The reps for the first set are 6, the second is 5. Go all the way down to one, and then back up. (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). This one is an absolute killer. Good luck!
So now you have a simple, fast and effective way to torch fat and get in sick shape. All you have to do is put the work in.