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Barbell Complex Trial Run for Fat Loss and Hypertrophy

Posted Feb 18 2009 12:11pm
In a previous post I explained the concept and benefits of Complexes. Simply put a complex is a series of drills done in a row without putting down the weight. The were developed by Istan Javorek and are now used by all kinds of great strength and conditioning coaches world wide.

After reading Dan John's article in T-Nation about complexes, then researching them on Javorek's site, I decided to give them a try.

Friday was Javorek's Complex number 1, and Saturday was Complex number 2. As this was my first time doing complexes I decided to keep the weight light at only 95 lbs and the reps high. I did the Complex number 1 for 4 sets of 8 reps. Do all the reps of the first drill, then all the reps of the second and so on.
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Row
  • High Pull
  • Military Press
  • Overhead Squat
  • Good Morning

As you can see this is a pretty sadistic complex. Each drill is a full body move that will get you leaking on it's own. Do all six together and you will be trying not to lose your lunch. After each set I required about 2-3 minutes to recover, and needed a towel to wipe face off. The metabolic effect from these complexes is incredible! When the four sets were completed I did some light posterior chain and ab work, but was essential finished. Let's just say I slept well that night!

Complex number 2 was done the next day. I was a little sore after Friday's session despite the ridiculously light weight. Again I chose to use 95lbs and do 4 sets of 8. I could use more weight but why rush it? It is better to learn to do these properly than to hurt myself trying to be a hero!

Javorek's Complex number 2:

  • Barbell Upright Row
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch
  • Barbell Behind the Head Squat Push Press
  • Barbell Behind the Head Good Morning
  • Barbell Bent Over Row

This complex was even more brutal than the last one! The High Pull Snatch had me gassing out on the 3rd rep. I don't think I made 8 reps on that drill one time this workout! What a tough workout, I just stood by the platform leaning against the wall gasping for air and trying to regain my balance for about 5 minutes. I thought I was in great shape with all the kettlebell workout I do, but this is a whole new beast. After the complex session I did a few sets of chins and pull-ups but again was pretty much smoked. That night I was so hungry it was insane. I can't even begin to tell you how much I ate after this workout.

Javorek Complexes definitely have an incredible metabolic effect. Do them a few days in a row, if you can, and the effect is multiplied exponentially. My plan is to do them twice per week, sticking with the 3 or 4 sets of 8 until I have done all 6 Barbell Complexes, gradually increasing the weight. Once I have done all 6 complexes I will start mixing up the set and rep ranges as suggested by Javorek.

Here are the other Javorek Barbell Complexes with his recommend set/rep scheme:

Javorek Complex number 3:

  • Barbell Regular (Supinated) Curls x 6
  • Barbell Upright Row x 6
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch From Hip x 6
  • Barbell Behind The Head Press x 6
  • Barbell Bent Over Row x 8
  • Barbell Behind The Head Squat Push Press or x 6
  • Barbell Behind The Head Seated Press x 6
  • Barbell Behind The Head Good Morning x 10
  • Barbell Behind The Head Quarter Squat x 10
  • Barbell In Front Of Thighs Special Good Morning x 10

Javorek Complex number 4:

  • Barbell Regular (Supinated) Curls x 3
  • Barbell Upright Row x 3
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch From Hip x 3
  • Barbell Behind The Head Press x 3
  • Barbell Bent Over Row x 3
  • Barbell Behind The Head Squat Push Press x 3 or
  • Barbell Behind The Head Seated Press x 3
  • Barbell Behind The Head Good Morning x 5
  • Barbell Behind The Head Quarter Squat x 5
  • Barbell In Front Of Thighs Special Good Morning x 5

Javorek Complex number 5:

  • Barbell Upright Row Medium Grip x 6
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch Medium Grip x 4
  • Barbell Back Squat Push Press x 4
  • Barbell Alternate Leg Step Up On Box x 8+8
  • Barbell Upright Row Medium Grip x 6
  • Barbell Bent Over Row Medium Grip x 8
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch Medium Grip x 4
  • Barbell Behind The Head Quarter Squat x 10
  • Barbell Good Morning x 16
  • Barbell Back Squat Jump x 6

Javorek Complex number 6:

  • Barbell Upright Row Medium Grip x 3
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch Medium Grip x 2
  • Barbell Back Squat Push Press x 3
  • Barbell Alternate Leg Step Up On Box x 3+3
  • Barbell Upright Row Medium Grip x 3
  • Barbell Bent Over Row Medium Grip x 3
  • Barbell High Pull Snatch Medium Grip x 2
  • Barbell Behind The Head Quarter Squat x 4
  • Barbell Good Morning x 4
  • Barbell Back Squat Jump x 2

As you can see there is a ton of variety here, six amazing workouts that will turn you into a machine! Start manipulating the set/rep schemes and you have endless variations. This is only the barbell complexes too, Javorek has 8 dumbbell complexes also! It looks my hypertrophy sessions are booked up for the year!

Here is a video I found of a teenage athlete using a Javorek Barbell Complex:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKFGeW9lrew
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