T Nation

5/3/1 + BB Complexes for Conditioning

Currently running 5/3/1, third cycle. I don’t have access to a prowler, sled, etc. and I don’t want to run, cycle, erg. Thoughts on adding barbell complexes to the end of some of my workouts? I obviously don’t want it to take away from my recovery, so I would keep the weight pretty light and focus on working as quickly as possible through various movements like front squat, clean, press.

Has anyone tried this or currently doing so? I’m trying to get an idea of what weight to use (%), set/rep scheme, exercises selection (and number of exercises) and how often to perform such conditioning. I often “do too much” in the gym so I don’t want to crush my recovery and impact my big lifts.


Personally, I’ve found doing very light power cleans to be a great way to jack up your heart rate really quick. It doesn’t really fatigue your muscles because of how light the weight is, so it shouldn’t impact recovery negatively.

For anyone interested, after my 5/3/1 Power Clean, Front Squat + leg workout, I did the Beast Complex with 65 pounds. http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/brutal_complexes

Weight was easy, but pushing through the entire complex (pyramid 1 to 5 to 1) in about 16 minutes was killer.