Complexes for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain?

I am getting ready to start working out again after a long layoff and have been reading about complexes. My question is do they really work? Has anyone had success with them stripping the fat off and adding some muscle?

They work, just read the archives. So many top names wouldn’t be using them if they didn’t. All else fails try them and see.

More so for muscle maintenance while sripping fat, not neccesarily building muscle

works way better than cardio for the same time. They are brutal though, so if you feel like they’re too easy, you either need challenging exercises in it, or up the weight.

They work for fat loss or cardio-replacement.

They are not meant for strength gains, mass gains, or anything else except simply skyrocketing your heartrate and EPOC.

If you do it right, they work wonders. Doesn’t matter what type whether it’s a barbell, dumbbell, body weight, or kettlebell.

Generally when I’ve done a complex it’s something like this:

1st set: This is easy, I should have picked heavier weight
2nd set: Ok, this could really turn out to be a proper weight
3rd set: Where did my minute of rest go? I blinked and it’s time to work again. I don’t want to do another set
4th set: Crap. I’m finished. I’ll do a 5th next time, I can’t catch my breath.

thanks Guys. I thought I read from Dan John his guys were getting strong off of them as well.

I think they were getting stronger from their strength training program, rather than the complexes added as “cardio” or fat loss.

Many people do complexes as finishers after completing their workout.

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Cool I will run 5-3-1 first then finish up with 3-5 rounds of complexes.

Here is the article by Dan John if you would like to look at.

Here is the original article from Dan John

While he uses what he calls complexes, they aren’t complexes in the conditioning sense. Each athlete would work in groups of 4. The first person would perform there set of 8 in the power clean, then their partner would perform 8 reps and so on until the group finished. The first person would then perform 6 reps of the set and so on.

I love complexes more now because I don’t have the luxury of my home gym anymore and instead rely on a public gym with its usual equipment, space, resource issues, etc. Obviously they are excellent for fat loss/mass maintenance while trying to shed some lard. But they are also useful if you are unable to work at full capacity, i.e. through injury.
Since nursing a shoulder problem, I’ve been prevented from heavy upper body work. However, I’ve devised a complex which works for fat loss/mass maintenance while not irritating the recovering shoulder:

A1) Deadlift
A2) Romanian Deadlift
A3) Row
A4) Power Clean
A5) Back Squat
I may add in an A6 by racking the BB after the squats and doing push-ups shoulder fitness permitting.

Generally I do 6 reps on all except the squat where I do 8 reps. Rest 60secs between rounds. Can usually hammer out 5-6 rounds, although reps drop on the cleans midway and usually a 6th round is incomplete. I’ll take the heart rate monitor with me next time and report my top reading.

I’ve also tried the heavier weight, reduce the reps per round method (as favoured by Alwyn Cosgrove). But I prefer the above version because I think the additional TUT works better for me.

Form is a bit of an issue with complexes, even despite the low loads. I have to frequently correct myself in later rounds when I’m gasping for breath and throwing the bar up just to get through it. I also try to adopt the Poliquin squat method of not locking out and keeping the quads pumping throughout for maximum lactic acid accumulation - but that requires as much discipline!

The workout above takes approx. 9mins!