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The Grueling Compound-Exercise Circuit for Serious Strength

Low-volume compound movements can help make you strong in just six minutes.

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  • 6 min

  • 3

  • Yes

Barbell Front Squat
Per Bernal
Barbell Front Squat
Per Bernal

Provoking physical change is simple: You impose stress on the body, such as moving weight or executing lots of reps. In turn, the body responds by adapting and growing. And while higher reps will fill your muscles with blood so they get bigger, this month’s six-minute circuit is aimed at taxing your central nervous system—your body’s control center—to elicit strength gains.

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That means more compound movements that target both your upper and lower body (read: no kickbacks), and lifting heavier weights for fewer reps. That said, six minutes isn’t a long time, especially when you consider that most strength athletes log hours upon hours in the gym, so your intensity needs to be through the roof. Good news: This workout combines both elements by having you perform compound exercises with a nonstop, timed protocol. Prepare to be dry heaving by the end. But more important, prepare to be strong as hell.

Directions: Set a timer for six minutes and aim to complete five consecutive rounds, six if you’re a beast. If you’re a sadist and want more, simply add time.

Routine

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Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 3

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
--
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 3

Barbell Push Press

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

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
6
Rest
--
If you don’t have access to a pullup bar, simply perform bentover rows after your push press.
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