3 Strength Training Complexes For Rapid Fat Loss

We received some great feedback about the workouts featured in the January Workout of the Month on the Coaches Corner blog. So I decided to repost it for my blog readers.

It’s that time of year again! Yes, the New Year has many of us looking at our health a little closer. We have outcome goals to lose fat and improve our fitness. The problem for many of us is finding the time. Well, I have the solution for you. Strength training complexes! Implementing various complexes into your workout regimen is a great way to get a ton of work done in a short amount of time. As described by coach Dan John, “A complex is a series of lifts performed back to back where you finish the reps of one lift before moving onto the next lift. The bar, dumbbell, or kettlebell only leaves your hands or touches the floor after all of the lifts are completed.”

Here at State of Fitness we are utilizing various complexes in our member’s training programs to further enhance fat loss and conditioning. Here are three examples to get you started.

Complex #1 – Bear Complex 

The first one is a barbell complex that includes two types of squats and two types of presses. In this video I split up the squats and push presses instead of going right from the squat to the press like a thruster. I actually like both ways of doing it. To get used to the complex I would break up the movements and go slower. Start by cleaning the bar up to your chest. Perform a front squat, pause at the top and then perform a push press. Slowly bring the bar down behind your back and rest it comfortably on your traps. Then perform a back squat, pause at the top of the squat and then perform another push press. Lower the bar slowly to the chest and repeat for the desired amount of rounds and reps. Once you get the movements down you can speed up the complex.

How to Perform 

  • Front Squat
  • Press
  • Back Squat
  • Press
  • Repeat 4 more times.

That equals 1 set. Perform 5 sets if you are doing this as a stand alone workout. If you utilize this workout as a finisher perform 3 sets.

Complex #2 – State of Fitness Dumbbell Complex 

This complex is great for both newbies to learn basic movement patterns and for the advanced lifter for a great metabolic workout. This complex includes 5 of the major strength training movements. Another added benefit to this complex is that it is a unilateral based complex, making both sides of the body work individually.

How to Perform 

Once you get the movements down try and move as fast as possible with good form. DO NOT put down the dumbbells until you are done with the complex. Choose a demanding weight where you can just finish the complex.  Perform 5 sets if you are doing this as a stand alone workout. If you utilize this workout as a finisher perform 3 sets of each exercise.

  • Hang snatch 5 reps
  • Bent over row 8 reps
  • Reverse lunge 8 reps each side
  • Curl and push press 8 reps
  • 1-leg deadlift 8 reps each side

Complex #3 – State of Fitness Kettlebell Complex 

I have come up with many different kettlebell complexes and have also watched many others. This one has been my favorite since it includes most of the basic kettlebell movements. I also like doing it as a unilateral complex using one kettlebell.

How to Perform 

It starts with the snatch, bent over row, clean, push press and swing- all one arm for 5 reps. Perform 5 reps for each and then switch sides and repeat. I would get with a trainer that knows how to perform all of these moves since the snatch and the clean can be tricky if you have not been properly instructed on the movements. Perform 5 sets if you are doing this as a stand alone workout. If you utilize this workout as a finisher perform 3 sets.

  • 1-arm KB Snatch 5 each side
  • 1-arm KB Bent Over Row 5 reps each side
  • 1-arm KB Clean 5 reps each side
  • 1-arm KB Push Press 5 each side
  • 1-arm KB Swing 5 reps each side

Time to Get Complex! 

If you are wondering what you need to do for your workout, lifting weights is always the right answer. Utilizing complexes is a simple way to get in a ton of reps in a short amount of time, while building muscle and burning body fat.

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5 Responses to 3 Strength Training Complexes For Rapid Fat Loss

  1. Rob Daniel says:

    Thanks for the info. This should be very useful for someone who is trying to lose weight.

  2. Amelie says:

    thank you for such an information which is so helpful.

  3. Martin van Holland says:

    Dear Justin,
    As I am determined to loose fat (8 – 10 kg) I am looking for the best way to do that. Surfing the Internet I found your website that I find very educational. I am training for about 10 weeks now and lost about 5 kg (of which, I hope, includes 2 kg of fat). I also started to watch my food and learn as I go. I went through all the phases, like calorie counting (and reducing) and cardio (fast walking (not running) and cycling). I also started to go to the gym and took some training lessons, which are mostly about cardio. Regarding losing weight, I see that in the last couple of weeks I don’t lose any weight anymore, neither are my muscles growing. I plan to change my nutrition according your food shelf and e-book, but I still wonder what the best work-outs are to grow muscles and thus reducing fat and not necessarily weight. Now, I saw your 3 Strength Training Complexes For Rapid Fat Loss and I have a few hands-on questions:
    1. I don’t have a kettle bell. Is there a good substitute for it?
    2. What is the best warming-up before doing power exercises?
    3. Can I, as a beginner, with an absolutely untrained body (really, I manage to do 2 push-ups and that’s it) do all three of these complex exercises in one training session?
    4. How do I, as a starter, choose the right weight preventing injuries?
    5. I read that cardio breaks down the muscles that have been carefully built up by power exercises, again? Should I stop cycling (2x a week, 30 – 40 miles)? Or should I use a different approach to cycling?
    6. I also read somewhere on the Internet that if one want to burn fat with cardio the hart beat rate should be at 55% of the maximum. Any truth in there?
    7. What would be a good training schedule for me, including cycling 2x a week (I really enjoy cycling as it allows my wife to join in)?

    Some personal information about me:
    – I am 50 years old
    – I have an office job that is not too demanding (IT project manager)
    – I am 1.80 meters (5.9 Ft.)
    – I weigh about 80 kg (176 pounds)
    – I haven’t done any exercise or sports in over 25 years
    – Typically 80% of my fat is on my belly (measures 40 inch on my waste)

    5 years ago I weighed 235 pounds, which I managed to bring back to 187 pounds by just stop drinking alcoholic beverages and eating junk food and late night snacks.

    As I am a complete newbie on this subject, with the only thing going for me is my determination to achieve goals, I would very much appreciate any advice from you and, if you like, keep you posted with any progress I make using your approach on loosing fat and getting fit.

    Kind regards,
    Martin van Holland

    • Justin says:

      Thank you for the message. I wanted to respond right away, but don’t have time to answer in full right now. Could I get back to you? Thank you!

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