Part 3 of 5: Save Time with the Barbell Complex

Hey everyone! This is part 3 of my 5 part series on ways to effectively workout while saving time. In this article, I will be explaining a technique called the Barbell Complex. I will not lie and say this is easy, but it is VERY effective and saves a lot of time.  I have many of my clients do these because of their effectiveness, even when we are not trying to save time.

Basically the barbell complex is 4 exercises super-setted together, which means that you perform each exercise right after another without resting.  It is almost identical to circuits, which were the topic of the last article. Except with the barbell complex you are using the same weight for every exercise and are not letting go of the bar besides changing your grip. So there is really NO resting in between exercises.  That being said you use a weight that is a little lighter than you would normally use. For example, if you could shoulder press 50 pounds 10 times you would want to use 35 pounds so you can get through the entire complex. You will need to test out different weights and see what you can handle. Always start lighter and progress to heavier weights.

I like to use 4-5 exercises with my clients that really hit every single muscle group. Also feel free to use 3 or 4 exercises first and work your way up to 5. For all exercises it is 10 reps. After an entire cycle you rest 2-3 minutes and do it again 2-3 more times. It is a full body workout and intense! Here are my favorite 5 exercises for this, however you can pick and choose whatever you would like.

Shoulder Press

Front Squats

Bent over Row

Straight-legged Deadlift


So you would do shoulder press 10 reps,  no rest, front squats 10 reps, no rest, etc… until you get to curls and once you complete 10 reps you rest for 2 minutes.

So there you have it, a great technique to implement in your training program to save some time and give you amazing results. I would also add some cardio or supplemental weight training to it to get even better results.

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