How to Build a Better Complex

A 1998 study in the International Journal of Sports  Nutrition had a group of participants do 45 minutes  of cardio per day, 5 days per week.

They followed this protocol for 3 months. cardio fail

Get this: They lost NO more weight than those who dieted alone.

Talk about a big waste of time.

And how about this 2007 study in the Journal of Obesity,  which revealed that doing 60 minutes of cardio, 6 days per week, only resulted in an average of 3.5 pounds of total weight loss after an entire year.


That adds up to 312 hours of cardio in a single year.

So unless you’re doing steady state cardio in a very limited and strategic way, it’s a total waste of time.

Now of course, you know I recommend intervals and weight training instead, which is obviously better than your standard

…But it can be very time consuming and confusing to many  folks because of the endless options and information overload.


That’s where complexes come in. They are fantastic for fat loss – but it’s really important to structure the circuit correctly to be effective. You want’ll maximal calorie burn and over the top conditioning with complexes when done correctly. Your goal is to do as much work as possible in a short time period. You need to focus on form and density and I’ll share my secrets with you.

You need to be intelligent when making a complex. Throwing random exercises together is a recipe for disaster. The complex will be like a flop in the kitchen (I’m no stranger there). As well, you risk injuring yourself.

Let’s define a complex: Simply put, it’s a series of exercises performed using the same resistance, without rest or putting the weight down between exercises. You perform all prescribed reps of one exercise before moving onto the next.

When done RIGHT, complexes are brilliant as a fat loss tool and you’ll even build muscle at the same time.

=> Get the best complexes EVER here

Why Complexes Work….

Here are my top 3 reasons:

1. There is NO EXCUSE for not being able to do a complex workout. You only need one weighted resistance implement and a small space. You can use a barbell, a set of DB’s or a kettlebell and a small space. They can be done in the corner of a gym or in your living room. You don’t need a ton of weight either. The nature of complexes are such that you can limit the load and work on form and volume to ensure your workout is plenty intense.

2. Complexes are FAST and effective. You’ll get a kick a$$ workout in 20  minutes or less.  Adding complexes to your favorite fat loss program will take your conditioning to the next level, without adding hours onto your session.

3. Complexes are fun. They are athletic and keep your mind fresh. There’s nothing worse than mind numbing cardio. You will reduce overuse injuries, you won’t wait for equipment and you’ll hit your entire body in one go. Boom!

Get 27 Done-For-You Challenge Complexes here

A Recipe to Build a Better Complex

For the most part, my cooking skills can be summed up in two words: epic failure. But I can cook up some epic complexes. I’ll just go with my strengths and share this with you. While you won’t like my recipes for dinner, you will like this recipe for your workout.

Keep in mind that complexes are very advanced, so beginners, take care. You might want to try a complex, but you need to use a very light load, even a broomstick for starters and ‘go through the motions’, perfecting form on every move before adding load.

Step One: Compound Movements are in! workingout2

Choose 3 + compound exercises that are varied and reflect big movement patterns. Push, pull, power…Think about moves that use MANY body parts, not just one isolated one. So forget about anything like a bicep curl or tricep kick back.

Step Two: Put em Together!

This step is really important as it can make or break your complex.

  • Do the MOST difficult and highly skilled exercises first when you are fresh.
  • Limit or avoid Olympic lifts unless you’re confident or have had some solid coaching with these.
  • Put exercises in a non-competing order using opposing muscle groups.
  • Grip strength will be a limiting factor so give your grip a rest, this can be achieved by doing some pushing movements or something like a squat or a lunge.
  • Arrange exercises so they flow from one to the next without awkward re-positioning.

Step Three: Load it Up Right!

The biggest mistake is to ‘go too heavy’ in a complex. Remember that the work really adds up in this type of workout so err on the light side for starters. Typically, you’ll choose a weight that you can press overhead for 10-12 reps, as this movement is usually your weakness in the complex.

Step Four: Sets and Rest

challenge workoutA timer is often your best friend in a complex. It will hold you accountable. Sometimes I create a complex with a seemingly impossible set to rest ratio. I often will gut it out but sometimes I need to make adjustments. (The cool thing is that I’ve got this all planned out for you here so you don’t have to make the gut wrenching mistakes that I did.)

Typically you’ll allow for some rest in your complex. Remember the key is not FASTER! in a complex, the key is to add more load with a steady pace.



Step Five: When do I fit complexes into my plan?

You have two choices:

  • You can do complexes as off day metabolic conditioning: use a complex as your entire workout. All done in no more than 15-20 minutes.
  • These can be done as a stand alone program. You’ll get a full body balanced workout that is DONE in no time flat.

There you have it. These are the secrets to putting a killer complex together. Of course if you want complexes already done for you, then just grab mine. They all follow these five steps, they are safe and effective.

==> Get 27 Done-For-You Challenge Complexes here