The 5-Minute Metabolic Complex You Can't Handle

Kettlebell Flow for Serious Lifters

This might just be the fastest, most effective metabolic conditioning complex in existence. And you get to lift weights. Check it out.

All-Around Metabolic Conditioning, Fast!

Well-rounded lifters and athletes are unstoppable animals… and their physiques reflect it. When it comes to energy systems, the seasoned lifter is competent in all three pathways:

  • Anaerobic Alactic (ATP-CP) Energy System
  • Anaerobic Lactic (Glycolytic) Energy System
  • Aerobic Energy System

Cardio, to use the super generic term, should be treated like the side dish, while weight training is the entree. But if you choose the right side dish, you’ll make the entree taste even better.

But standard cardio is boring, and boredom doesn’t result in consistency. The solution? Create “cardio” workouts that challenge you, leave you feeling accomplished, and give you a hit of dopamine.

Complexes do the trick. Use them to maximize all three energy systems while improving recovery, endurance, and stamina.

Wait, What’s a Complex?

A complex is a series of exercises using the same implement where you go from one to the next. Complexes are amazing for developing full-body strength and power while eliciting a massive metabolic overload. You can do them with a wide variety of training tools.

The magic behind the complex? The lack of rest between exercises. You go from one to the next until the end of the complex. Then you have the choice of resting and starting over again or ending it there. All you need is five minutes for the kettlebell complex below.

The Kettlebell Complex

Exercise Reps Rest
A1. Double Snatch 8-10
A2. Alternating Press 8-10 per arm
A3. Bear Stance Sliding Row 8-10 per side
A4. Plank Transfer 5 per side
A5. Dead Bug with Pullover 10
A6. Overhead Farmers Carry 50-100 meters


  1. When doing snatches, drive through the hips. Spear your hand through the kettlebell to slow the back end down at the top. Punch to the ceiling before flipping and returning back to the floor.
  2. Not sure how to do the bear stance sliding row? Check out these instructions.
  3. Know your “limiting factor” if you create your own complex. Most limiting factors are overhead/shoulder exercises. Be selective if you add them into a complex with a leg exercise.
  4. Don’t choose exercises where you have to get 20-plus reps to create tension. Instead, create tension using pauses, tempo manipulation, and unilateral variations.
  5. No kettlebells? Try plates.


  1. Häkkinen K et al. Effect of explosive type strength training on isometric force- and relaxation-time, electromyographic and muscle fibre characteristics of leg extensor muscles. Acta Physiol Scand. 1985 Dec;125(4):587-600. PubMed.
  2. Sale DG. Neural adaptations to strength training. In: Strength and Power in Sport. Komi P V, ed. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Science, 2003.
  3. Farrar RE et al. Oxygen cost of kettlebell swings. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1034-6. PubMed.
1 Like

Is there a weight you recommend for men to start with?