T Nation

Complexes. They Are Good


#1

It has just come to my attention that complexes are awesome.


#2

I concur


#3

Are complexes the same thing as giant sets?


#4

I’m not familiar with the phrase, but think something like doing a
deadlift, a snatch, a press, and a squat in succession without stopping.
Count that as one rep.


#5

Not exactly then…

Giant Sets would be like super setting all those exercises


#6

Gin martinis are good too. I had my first just the other day.


#7

Uh, that’s not really it. Complexes are a series of exercises done using the same piece of equipment and the same load for each lift, but it’s not just one rep of each movement.

It’d be something more like using grabbing a 95-pound bar and doing 5 deadlifts then right into 5 snatches then right into 5 presses then right into 5 squats… that’s one set.(but that example a pretty funky complex with poor exercise setup.)

A giant set would be similar-but-different in that each exercise is treated individually and uses its own weight and/or a different equipment. Like, deadlift 225x5, then snatch 155x5, dumbbell press 60x5, hack squat 230x5.

Tons of coaches have articles talk about complexes, what they are, and how to program them:
Alwyn Cosgrove
Dan John
Ben Bruno
Wil Fleming
Wil Fleming, again
TC
John Romaniello
Everyone else

But yeah, complexes are ball-busters for conditioning. If you’re self-conscious about collapsing in a sweaty, panting heap after using “only” 45-65 pounds, reconsider. A while back, I ran Cosgrove’s complexes for fat loss. Last set starts around 10:05…


#8

Complex or no complex? What if I do multiple “sets” with short rest?


#9

For sure that’s a complex in the video. I was a little over-generalized when I said complexes “are not just one rep.” They’re typically not just one rep because they’re often used for conditioning.

The second Wil Fleming article I linked above talks all about using heavy low-rep complexes for strength. It’s a common and old school method in Olympic lifting.


#10

You gon get Tetanus lol


#11

That was part of my fat loss master plan. First the tetanus, then the lockjaw to make cutting calories easier.


#12

You could probably sell the eBook on Amazon. I’m not sure it can compete with the Predator Diet, though.