Complexes are when you do all the reps of one exercise before moving onto the next—without putting the weight down until all the reps are complete. That counts as one set. You’ll take a brief rest and repeat for the recommended number of sets. So, if you were to perform a complex workout it might look something like this:
First exercise: Something explosive like a jump or throw.
Second exercise: Usually one of the big 3 strength exercises (squat, bench or deadlift).
Third and forth exercise: Assisted exercises for the squat, bench or deadlift.
Fifth and sixth exercise: Usually some sort of pump work and abs.
Last Exercise: Complex
This typical program used to take me between 60-75 minutes to complete. However, I now have less time to workout, so I decided to go against the grain when it came to my weight training and use complexes as additional work. Here's what I now do to cut my workout time practically in half.
New Complex Approach
First and second exercise: Explosive and strength exercises paired together—also known as contrast training.
Third exercise: Complex
That’s it. I’m done and dusted in about 30 minutes. Because the complex builds muscle, burns fat, and improves conditioning, I don’t see the point in doing it the old way. A complex is a great way to build muscle because of the greater muscle time under tension. So next time you’re at the gym, do your couple sets of deadlifts or bench, and then move straight into a complex. You can give any of the following complex routines a go for a fast and effective workout.