This One Complex Builds a Bigger Chest, Wider Back and Harder Core

·2-min read
Photo credit: PeopleImages - Getty Images
Photo credit: PeopleImages - Getty Images

We’ve all heard of circuits before — take a few exercises, perform them back to back and reap the metabolism-boosting benefits of simple, hard work with little rest. Well, a ‘complex’ is the circuit pared down to its simplest (and most sinister) form: one piece of kit, a selection of muscle-searing movements, performed one rep at a time with no reprieve. Rinse and repeat.

This particular complex requires only two dumbbells, but targets your chest, back, core and legs, while also spiking your heart rate and sending your metabolism into overdrive. In just three quick moves you’ll build a stronger, harder upper body and an explosive set of wheels, while torching calories and seriously levelling up your fitness.

To implement this triple threat body-builder as efficiently as possible we’re going to employ the ‘Death By…’ format. You’ll start a running clock and work EMOM (every minute on the minute), beginning with one rep of the full, three-part complex, resting for the remainder of the minute. At the top of minute two you’ll perform the entire complex again, this time twice through. Each minute you’ll perform an additional complex, climbing the ladder one minute at a time (ie. one complex in the first minute, two in the second minute, three in the third etc…) until you can either no longer fit the prescribed reps into the minute, or you give up.

Which comes first? That’s on you.

Make a note of your finishing minute and attempt to go one step further on subsequent attempts.

1. Press-up on Dumbbell x 1

Drop into a plank position, with your core tight and hands on your dumbbells (A). Bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you press back up explosively.

2. Renegade Row x 1 (each arm)

Next, keep both hands on your dumbbells (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control. Repeat on your left side (left+right equals one rep).

3. Dumbbell Burpee x 1

After your rows remain in your plank position (A). Now, hop your legs forward and jump up explosively (B), landing softly with your knees slightly bent. Hop your legs back into the top of your press-up position and begin another round.

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