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Circuit training is great. It’s a time-efficient way to get in as much muscle-swelling, stamina-building work as possible. But let’s face it, traipsing around the gym from one piece of kit to the next just isn’t an option for most of us.
Enter the barbell complex, a series of movements strung together with nothing but a single barbell, into one long muscle-building, calorie-sapping set
This complex targets your chest, back, shoulders and legs, while also smashing your core and ramping up your heart rate – creating a huge demand on your metabolism.
After a thorough warm-up, load a barbell up to a weight that you could press overhead no more than ten times and work your way through 10 rounds of the following moves, as quickly as possible.
Rest only as necessary to maintain good form. For maximum effect, once you start a round try not to put the bar down.
1. Push-ups on Barbell x 5
Drop into a plank position, with your core tight and hands on your barbell (A). Bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively.
2. Bent-over Rows x 5
Press-ups complete, deadlift your barbell and hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor and your barbell is hanging at your shins (A). Maintaining a flat back, row the bar towards your hips (B), squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower under control to the start before repeating. Control the bar and avoid moving your torso, but keep the pulls explosive.
3. Hang Power Cleans x 5
After your final row, stand tall with your barbell. Hinge at the hips to lower the bar to your knees (A). Stand back up with a slight jump, using the momentum to pull the bar on to your shoulders (B). Stand up straight, then lower back to your hips and repeat.
4. Push Press x 5
Use your fifth clean to secure the bar across your shoulders. Take a breath and brace your core (A). Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your barbell overhead. Lower under control to your shoulders and repeat.
5. Front Squat x 5
Bar still across your shoulders, lift your elbows high to secure the bar (A). Maintain an upright torso — push your hips back, bending your knees until your thighs pass parallel to the floor (B). Stand back up to the start position.
6. Reverse Lunge x 5 (per leg)
Finally, keeping your chest up at all times, take a step backward with one leg, bending your front knee until the back knee touches the ground (B). Stand up explosively, pause and repeat with the other leg. Complete 10 total reps.