Get Off the Treadmill and Burn Fat with this Barbell Complex

Posted: April 29, 2013 in Training
Tags: , , ,

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s long distance running. Especially when it’s done on treadmills. There are myriad reasons for this, but the 3 biggest are:

1) It’s boring

2) It takes forever

3) It makes you weaker

At some point I’ll surely write an entire article about my disdain for treadmills, which are the #2 worst piece of exercise equipment (#1 is the Smith machine), but I’ll focus on just long distance running in general for the purposes of this article.



Most people who jog are doing it to lose weight and body fat and “get toned”. The rest are just lunatics who somehow do it for enjoyment. But jogging burns less calories and less body fat than higher intensity activities like sprinting, and jogging also has a catabolic effect on muscle tissue (it makes muscles shrink). So if it’s not effective for fat loss and it’s clearly no good for building lean muscle, why are we doing it?

"I dunno. I just like being bored, I guess."

“I dunno. I just really like being bored to death, I guess.”

If you want to really boost your metabolism and lose body fat, you should start doing barbell and dumbbell complexes instead. Complexes involve nothing more than picking up a barbell or dumbbells, and doing a bunch of exercises in a row. Compared to jogging, you will burn MORE calories in LESS time, while building total body strength, and your metabolism will be boosted, which will keep you burning calories for hours after you finish your workout.

Here’s a sample barbell complex to get you started:

Grab a barbell, and put an amount of weight on there that you know for a fact you can overhead press at least 5 times. Then, do these exercises all in a row:

1) Bent over row

2) RDL

3) Hang clean

4) Front squat

5) Reverse lunge

6) Overhead press

7) Pushup

8) Barbell rollout

In case that doesn’t really make sense, here’s a video of somebody else doing it:

Do 1 rep of each, and go through the complex until you’ve done 5 reps of each exercise. Ideally, you should try to get through the complex as quickly as possible. In the video, Chris’ tempo is pretty slow because he was already tired, so don’t feel any need to go that slow. Take a 2 minute rest after completing the whole thing, then go through the complex 3 more times. Try to do 4 total sets, with 2 minutes of rest in between. Fair warning: this is pretty brutal. But if you make it through, you’re on your way to being both leaner and stronger.

If you want, you can play around with the number of reps for each exercise. For example, if you want to do 5 pushups at a time, go for it. The “1 rep for set” rule is really just a guideline. If you feel like you want to add in some reps, have at it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s