This upper-body workout utilises the power of complex training to combine multiple movements for double the benefits.
By training with complexes – simply combining two or more movements into a single exercise – you don’t over-rely on movement patterns within a workout; instead you balance your training, reduce your injury risk and enjoy better results overall.
This approach takes the volume and intensity of the superset method from bodybuilding and combines it with a movement-based approach often seen in weightlifting and functional fitness programmes.
Like any workout, you can manipulate all of the standard variables here. The weights you use, the sets, the reps and the rest periods are all adjustable to help you achieve your fitness goals.
The Upper-Body Complex Workout
- Each exercise complex is one rep – so in the case of Press-Up to Squat Thrust, you perform a press-up, then a squat thrust, and that’s 1 rep.
- Do 10 reps of each complex exercise.
- Rest 60 secs once your 10 reps are up, then move onto the next exercise.
- Complete 4 rounds in total.
1a. Hang Clean to Overhead Press
- (Swap the bar for a pair of dumbbells if working out from home)
- Start with the bar hanging at knee height.
- Drive your hips forward and pull the bar to your chest, with elbows underneath the bar.
- From here, press overhead.
1b. Press-Up to Squat Thrust
- Assume the press-up position.
- Perform a full rep, then jump your knees into your chest and back out again, returning to the press-up position.
1c. Dumbbell Curl into Palms-Facing Shoulder Press
- With the dumbbells by your sides, curl the weights fully up to your shoulders.
- From here, press them overhead.
- Reverse the movement with control.
1d. Pull-Up into Hanging Leg Raise
- Perform a pull-up.
- Once you’ve returned to the start position, stay stable (don’t swing) and lift your legs up so they’re parallel to the floor, before lowering back down.
1e. TRX Atomic Press-Up
- Assume a press-up position with your feet in the TRX stirrups.
- Your feet should be off the floor.
- Perform a press-up, bring your knees into your chest, then extend back out before performing another press up.
Words: Steve Hoyles
Illustrations: Peter Liddiard