Get Ripped With This Unconventional Barbell Workout

Mike Over STACK

Tired of hopping on a treadmill or elliptical every time you feel the need to burn some additional calories?

Aren’t we all?

Most people find traditional cardio boring, yet that extra physical activity can be key to getting and staying in shape.

For clients who want that lean, athletic look, I tend to recommend a body fat percentage of 18% or under for women and 10% or under for men.

I’m not a big fan of the traditional cardio machines. Instead, I find complexes to be a more effective, efficient and entertaining tool for enhancing body composition.

As I explain in this article, complexes are a type of resistance training that involve moving from one exercise to another with no rest between while using a set piece of equipment and a set amount of weight. You can rest only once the entire complex is complete.

In many cases, the complexes I use with my clients involve a barbell and 3-8 reps per movement. The exact amount of weight we use will depend on the individual’s strength and the movements/volume included in the complex.

The key for efficient complexes is to order the exercises in a way that they can smoothly “flow” from one into the next.

Complexes can be a really fantastic way to push yourself. Below is a barbell complex that combines some unique moves for a punishing workout.
  1. Clean-Reverse Lunge Combo x 3 reps per leg
  2. Sumo Deadlift High Pulls x 5 reps
  3. Barbell Thrusters x 7 reps
  4. Bent Over Row with 2-Second Iso Hold x 5 Reps
  5. Barbell Rollouts to Kneeling Clean & Press x 3 reps
  6. Front Squats x 5 reps
  7. Pause RDLs x 7 reps

Perform exercises 1-7 one after the next with little to no rest. Once you complete the full round, rest for 90-120 seconds before starting the next round. Aim to achieve 4-6 total rounds!

Feel free to tweak this complex as needed to achieve your best results.

Next time you feel like you’re in need of a “cardio” day to burn some extra calories, ditch the boring stuff and give this a try!

For more challenging workouts, follow me at @MJO_OAF on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Srdjan Randjelovic/iStock