Jump to the routine

The Double-Complex Cardio Workout to Melt Fat

Leave the running shoes behind and hit the weights with these high-octane complexes.

Jump to the Routine
  • 60 min

  • 14

  • Yes

Keep it Complex to Crush Your Fat
Keep it Complex to Crush Your Fat

Conventional cardio is a bore. For many, the monotony of stepping, jogging, and biking have all the appeal of a root canal performed by Freddy Kruger. Whether it’s the disheartening digital disses of calories burned (45 minutes on this thing and I’ve burned what amounts to a twinkie?), or the pre-workout dread of slogging around in the freezing cold, something has to give. Training should be an enjoyable endorphin blast of movement and stimulation, not a misery-infused mire of endless steps, miles and pedals.

Enter this complex: a calorie-crushing, heartrate hammering, mobility-enhancing alternative to steady state staleness. Fun, effective, and extremely efficient; complexes can be done with body weight or standard gym equipment. 

And they work. 

One study revealed that barbell complex-styled interval trainees burned nine times more fat for every calorie burned than those who participate in long, slow distance cardio. So stash the road shoes in the closet, leave the ellipticals to the skinny cardio bots and try a complex out. Fry fat, move better, and cut your cardio time in half with these options.

Barbell Complex: The Sinister Seven

Bent-Over Row

For this series of moves we will use a barbell loaded with a weight that allows you to maintain form but also will jack up your heartrate. This weight should be 25-30 percent of your one rep max (1RM) on a deadlift. Form may break down slightly through the movements, but remember, the intent is fatigue. Be conscious of not having your spine out of proper alignment. Try not to put the bar down through this entire series. As always, if there is pain: stop. Work-to-rest ratio should fall somewhere in the 1:3 or 1:4 zone. If the complex takes one minute to complete, rest for three to four minutes before trying again. I personally like trying to beat my best time from round to round, keeping a log and trying to set records. Start slow, keep track of your heartrate — that should be between 120 and 220 — and try to either beat your time or reduce your rest between sessions.

Dumbell Devastation Complex

dumbbell lunge

The main difference in this sequence of movements is that dumbbells allow you to do more ground-based work. Like the preceding complex, you will hold the dumbbells the entire time. Keep the work-to-rest ratio at 1:3 or 1:4, take notes on your performance, and have fun!

Routine

Want a copy on the go?
Print

Barbell Complex: The Sinister Seven

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 14

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 14

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 14

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 14

Barbell High Pull

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 14

Clean

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 14

Barbell Push Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 14

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
1
Reps
6
Rest
3-4 min

Dumbbell Devastation Complex

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 8 of 14

Renegade Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 10 of 14

Dumbbell Pushup

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 14

Dumbbell Mountain Climber

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
10 each
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 14

Dumbbell Swing

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
10 each
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 14

Dumbbell Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
5 each
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 14

Dumbbell Curl to Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
10
Rest
3-4 min
See all of our tutorials