Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

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RobertB
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Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by RobertB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:21 pm

Hi guys,

Having "completed" Stronglifts 5x5 and coming to my last week of an 8 week stint of German volume training I have been eyeing up Barbell complexes for fat loss. GVT's intensity especially 10x10 squatting has really suprised me by dropping 2.5% body fat off me too, and to be perfectly honest some vanity has kicked in, normally I'd be worried about the weight going down but I've actually - either through diet, the routine, or luck, added a few lbs too.

So now that I've seen myself go from 16.5 aprox to 14% I have set a goal of 11% before I start up my real attempt at a big block of an intermediate routine (5/3/1), and not to undersell my ability/diet commitment (since they are decent) I suspect that when I up the cals to do 5/3/1 right it will be good to have some body fat breathing room without returning to the high teens.

My question is though, looking at a BB complex, I'm still not clear if this is intended to supplement a routine or if it is standalone

Do I simply say now, before my 5/3/1 adventure, its time for an 8 week block of M/W/F complexes lasting about 30 minutes (do you even rest between sets? I would have thought that was practical for a 30 minute session :wink: ) - or do I look at complexes like I would a few sessions of HIIT... essentially a drain on a strength routine (but a bennefit to fat loss/endurance).

I mean I could write out a schedule which involved the big five, then add an extra day for, essentially, more time in the gym to make room, but trim the top end off a strength routine (i.e. don't go crazy, would have to reign in the big lifts or I'd just end up exhausted/fatigued doing both)...

it just strikes me as a bit ... cardio... and wouldn't want to neglect the original goal of pressing bodyweight (OHP/bench) and squatting x1.5/deadlifting x2 for the sake of a few % body fat.

Any pointers here would be appreciated

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by TimD » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:23 pm

You could always do them alone, say maybe 3 X a week or so, BUT, although I've never done the 5/3/1 per se, I did a lot of coach Rut's stuff where they start off with a large compound focus lift, rest about 5 mins or so, then go into some GPP work, which were mostly something very similar to complexes for 10 - 15 mins. My .02 on the subject would be to add some complexes in to the 5/3/1 a couple of times per week in the assistance work category. For example, say you're doing a DL focus day in 5/3/1, then a follow up in the assistance category with Javorek's BB or DBI would fit in nicely.
Tim

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by pdellorto » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:51 pm

You could always combine 5/3/1 and complexes, ala Dan John:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ade_simple" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by RobertB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:08 pm

Thankyou both,

That link seems so hilariously scary but definately fun - I can't comprehend the stress of 3x8 complex involving back squats, then a heavy 5/3/1 front, then 30 rep back squat haha erg the horror... It's just screaming "YOU WILL GET A COLD" - infact, I might have to ADD calories to stop myself burning out. Although GVT leg day is bad news too, so I guess its a nice bridge.

Got a lot of numbers to plug into this set up :frown: but it seems like an assault from all angles.

Oh, edit... Im reasonably confident but need some more experienced reassurance ;)

Wendler would have you do accessory , and I see you pointed that out Tim (that the complex would be accessory) so that means replace the lunges/dips etc with the complexes, so when filling out a full 5/3/1 template I need to A: condense 4 days schedule into two B: remove ALL accessory and replace it with a complex C: Add a middle day which could be used for sensible accessories outside of complexes? my ab pulls and .. hmm... pullups would be nice.

Im just wondering, since im not exactly a 6-7 year trainee, I worry that simply saying "oh well 5/3/1 on wendlers template is 4 days but hey, I have a great solution, do it in two instead" y'know... will I have to play around witht the percentages of 1RM to make it overall lighter work, or.. what variable would you taper in here to stop it being so absurd, I can grasp the concept of replacing one lot of accessories with complexes, but not the idea of simply doubling up the big 4 for two days... Jim doesn't give you four lifts over 4 days for nothing, it's going to kill me :eek:

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:57 pm

I feel like I have a front seat to RobertB's train of thought...

choo choo!

:bounce:

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by Velcropop » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:50 am

I was actually just thinking last week that I might migrate to a 5/3/1+complex hybrid program. Up until now I've been focusing on BigLift/BodyweightAccessory/MajorAccessory/MinorAccessory/CoreExercise.

So, for example, Bench day would look like this:
Bench
Dips
Incline DB Press
Tri Pushdown
Pallof Press

Now I'm thinking of cutting out the accessory lifts, laddering the bodyweight exercises for volume, and finishing my workouts with complexes (and HIIT).

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by RobertB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:41 am

Oscar_Actuary wrote:I feel like I have a front seat to RobertB's train of thought...

choo choo!

:bounce:
Haha I can get carried away with it, but if you spend 5 hours picking it apart there are questions in there :) Mainly

"what variable would you taper in here to stop it being so absurd, I can grasp the concept of replacing one lot of accessories with complexes, but not the idea of simply doubling up the big 4 for two days"

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by pdellorto » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:02 am

Well, I was just suggesting that you could do complexes as a warmup to 5/3/1 ala Dan John, followed by some accessory work. Don't forget his goal is getting bigger college kids, not leaning out.


Besides, 2 days a week 5/3/1 with 2 main lifts on each day is fine - Jim Wendler outlines it in the book, so it's neither crazy nor unprecedented. And I've run cycles with one lift per day for 2 days a week, and that works fine, too.

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by Wouter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:53 am

There's a new article on t-nation about complexes, it's written by Thibaudeau, so it's definitely worth trying.

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by TimD » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:34 pm

Robert B wrote
Wendler would have you do accessory , and I see you pointed that out Tim (that the complex would be accessory) so that means replace the lunges/dips etc with the complexes, so when filling out a full 5/3/1 template I need to A: condense 4 days schedule into two B: remove ALL accessory and replace it with a complex C: Add a middle day which could be used for sensible accessories outside of complexes? my ab pulls and .. hmm... pullups would be nice. End

Well, you could keep the big 4 or 3 into anywhere from 2-4 sessions. Pete put some posts up to Wendler's way of putting changes in, but just use your own needs. As to complexes vs assistance, there's no way you can't combine them. I gave you a way of putting in Javorek's w/ the DL, but it could easily be used with any of the others. Now, crossfit has plenty of metcom (metabolic type of trisets) that would work nicely. For instance, a good combination might be after benching, do a triset/complex of P bar dips, pullups, bodyweight squats or some other lighter squat or DL move, done for anywhere from 3-5 rounds, 10 reps each with minimal rest. Your imagination is the only limit, and remember, the assistance stuff in Wendlers are also moderate weight, quick paced based on metabolic use. One of the other guys on the board does something similar. I think it's a guy from AUS, where he does a focus, then follows up with bodyweight metabolic work. Might want to browse over his logs for ideas as well. An interesting complex based on what you could comine for upper body work would be DB's, high pull, hammer curls, see saw press with palms facing, bent over DB rows, squat push press for 8-10 reps each.
Tim

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by RobertB » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:05 am

Yea I guess I tend to be a little too analytical - I don't like to adapt programs much due to fear that, three weeks in, I'll notice I've added something that overlaps - but I guess your right, as long as the lifts are involved, I have the time for it, and can add complexes - everything else is flexible.

Cheers (and the last line for dbs sounds good Tim)

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by pdellorto » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:15 am

Wouter wrote:There's a new article on t-nation about complexes, it's written by Thibaudeau, so it's definitely worth trying.
He's really blurring the line between barbell complexes, complex training (aka contrast training - one speed/power + one strength exercise), and circuits. As if they weren't all blurry already . . . but I think I'd label his strength/power circuits to avoid confusion. I think he prefers the "what you know is wrong" title but it's hard enough to explain circuits vs. complexes without circuits being called complexes.

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by Stefan 93 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:19 am

What's a circle? :smile:

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by wilburburns » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:41 am

pdellorto wrote:
Wouter wrote:There's a new article on t-nation about complexes, it's written by Thibaudeau, so it's definitely worth trying.
He's really blurring the line between barbell complexes, complex training (aka contrast training - one speed/power + one strength exercise), and circuits. As if they weren't all blurry already . . . but I think I'd label his strength/power circuits to avoid confusion. I think he prefers the "what you know is wrong" title but it's hard enough to explain circuits vs. complexes without circuits being called complexes.
I would agree, that does seem more like a circuit than a complex to me.

I watched the videos and it looks brutal though.

Cliff

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Re: Barbell complexes - supplementary ?

Post by robertscott » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:16 am

wilburburns wrote:
pdellorto wrote:
Wouter wrote:There's a new article on t-nation about complexes, it's written by Thibaudeau, so it's definitely worth trying.
He's really blurring the line between barbell complexes, complex training (aka contrast training - one speed/power + one strength exercise), and circuits. As if they weren't all blurry already . . . but I think I'd label his strength/power circuits to avoid confusion. I think he prefers the "what you know is wrong" title but it's hard enough to explain circuits vs. complexes without circuits being called complexes.
I would agree, that does seem more like a circuit than a complex to me.

I watched the videos and it looks brutal though.

Cliff
I didnt' watch the vide but I read the article. It does look like a good workout but I doubt I'd be able to do it in my gym, couldn't justify using so much equipment

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