By Nick Nilsson
Author of Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss
If you're not familiar with the term "barbell complex," it's pretty easy to grasp... it's a series of barbell exercises done without changing or removing your grip on the bar.
This is VERY good training, especially for fat loss or when you're short on time - it stimulates a tremendous amount of muscle mass (especially this posterior chain complex I'm going to show you) and really ramps up the metabolism.
It's not great for building muscle, though, because you'll be limited in the weight you use by the weakest exercise in the complex.
As far as the posterior chain goes, if you're not familiar with that term, it's basically a group name for all the muscles that run down the back of your body...traps, lats, spinal erectors, glutes, hams, calves.
So here's the exercise list you're going to:
1. Hang Clean & Press - hits shoulders and traps
2. Wide Grip Bent-Over Barbell - upper back (rhomboids, teres major, middle traps)
3. Stiff Legged Deadlift - hamstrings, glutes, lower back
4. Conventional Deadlift - pretty much everything!
You're going to use the same grip on every single exercise, starting with the hang clean and press. I usually set my index fingers on the smooth O rings on the Olympic bar. The rest of the exercises are done with that grip - even the conventional deadlifts.
As you can see, you're going from weakest to strongest lifts with this complex. It's going to work your grip strongly, too.
The video shows the whole run-through in sequence.
#1 Barbell Hang Clean & Press - Shoulders and Traps
#2 Wide Grip Barbell Rows - Upper Back
Make sure you keep an arch in your lower back and use tight form with this one. No bobbing up and down to get the weight up. A good trick I like to use is to think about forcing the chest DOWN as you pull the barbell UP.
#3 Stiff-Legged Deadlifts - Hamstrings, Glutes and Lower Back
The wider grip on this one (not quite a snatch grip) will give you a bit more range and a bit more stretch on the hams. Be sure to keep that arch in the lower back, too!
#4 Conventional Deadlift - Lower Back, Upper Back, Glutes, Hamstrings
This one really hits the whole body hard. As I mentioned above, it's a great metabolism booster while on a fat loss program or when short on time for training.
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