T Nation

Superhero Strength and Hypertrophy

Hey CT,

Of all the many workouts I have done I think your Superhero Complexes were some of my favorite because I liked the minimalist whole body nature of the Press/Squat and Bench/Dead layout. I liked the frequency as I found squatting 3x a week to be a bit much on other programs I tried.

I was wondering if there is a way to design a program that keeps this layout but adjusts the parameters for strength and growth, rather than max metabolic effect.

Something like

Monday: Press/Squat 5x5 (double progression)
Tuesday: Bench/Dead 5x5 (double progression)

Thursday: Press/Squat body-builder style work
Friday: Bench/Dead body-builder work

I actually might be moving more towards a home gym layout soon, so I’m looking for ways to stay minimalist that dont involve lots of dumb bells, machines, KB’s, etc…

Bench press
Chinese row (chest supported barbell row)

Military press (or push press)
Chin-ups (or high pulls)

The first time you do a workout you use a 3-5 double progression model (for 4-5 sets)

The second time I would use a “long cluster triples”… using 70-75% of your max… 30 total reps in 6 minutes or less (for each exercise). When you can complete the 30 reps in less than 6 minutes you add 5-10lbs… if you need more than 6 minutes, keep the same weight next time.

Thanks CT

Original superhero/star complex had 5 movements across strength-speed curve. Is this format still kept or replaced by 5x5 double profession?

I really like this style too. Minimalist whole body powerful stuff

The way I just understood it was reducing it to a single movement (So its not a complex anymore), switching the focus from metabolic effect to strength.


Bench 5x5
Deadlift 5x5
Chinese Row 5x5


Press 5x5
Squat 5x5
Pull Ups 5x5


Bench 30 reps with 70-75%, increase weight when you complete it in under 6 minute
Dead, same
Chinese Row, same


Press/Squat/Pullup, same protocol as above