KB Complexes: Breaking it down “Barney Style”

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Topics:   Fat Loss, Fitness Tips

Breaking it down “Barney Style” – the act of simplifying an activity, or procedure into several, easy to follow steps. Thank the United States Marine Corps for that one ;)

NO fuckery here today, no foreplay. Today I want to introduce you to one of the most POTENT fat burners and muscle builders you have at your fingertips: Kettlebell Complexes.

What is a Kettlebell Complex you ask? Simply put it is a series of movements that flow together. They work the entire body, allowing you to move for a greater amount of time overall because the stress is constantly shifting around your body. One move may work your legs, the next works the shoulders, and the last may torch everything. You can count on this though, it all, every last bit, works your lungs. This is why complexes are so terrifically effective.

Kettlebell Complexes are a perfect recipe for incinerating fat and building lean muscle. We have big compound movements, a good deal of time under tension for the muscles, and you are moving quickly and explosively. The kettlebell is a more “fitting” tool for most than a barbell when it comes to complexes. Why? Because we are imperfect beings, and kettlebells allow for that, at least more than a barbell does.

Let me list off why I choose to use them.

1. Time efficient. Your complex can certainly BE the meat & potatoes of your workout. Say each set takes 1-2 minutes, you do 5 sets, that’s only 10 minutes. BUT, it’s A LOT of work done in that time window. You won’t be sitting around on machines chatting with your buddies about the new girl in the gym, and how she must have 30 pairs of FAB yoga pants. Get in, get out, get lean, and get jacked.

2. That Kettlebell Flow. You will see once you try them, the kettlebell flows very well from movement to movement, without much awkwardness in the transitions. It will not be like prom night junior year, when you didn’t know what or where the clitoris is/was.

3. Portability. It’s portable, and you only need 1-2 (KB’s). Thinking you are going to hit the gym 5 times a week indefinitely is a pipe dream. Honestly, you would get sick of seeing the same walls, and people anyway. All you need is a patch of open space, and a couple of Bells to get a solid workout in. So, when you only have 10 min, a kettlebell, and a dream, you can’t excuse not kicking your ass into shape.

4. Comfort Zone (or lack thereof). Not for the faint of heart. Complexes are uncomfortable. There is no way around that, and that is why I think they are perfect. Our society is entirely too focused on being comfortable at all times – not hurting feelings – and I get too much of that. I know YOU get too much. So in order to bring things back into balance, we need some pain, discomfort, and we need to test our grit. On your 5th set, you will likely see exactly what I’m talking about. You can keep going, but your body will tell you to stop, you stay focused, and keep telling yourself you are going to take the hard way. The hard way builds character. NO one has ever achieved anything great by staying in their comfort zone.

Let’s talk practical application. How do we assemble a complex, and what do they look like?

Movements. Think big movement, small/medium movements, big movement, when you order your drills. The big movement starts things off with a bang, the small movement needs to be done before you are gassed, and the last big movement is saved because it can be done as long as you have the grit.

One example
Swing, Clean, Press, Squat
BIG MED SML BIG

Order. In the complex above, if you put the press at the end that would be a mistake. You will be limited in the complex by your WEAKEST movement, which you would never want to appear last.

How much? Here is one of my favorite ways to structure your complexes.

Ladders. Ladders are fucking smart. Think about it. You start at 1, move to 2, 3, 4, 5 rung of the ladder; then it really sucks. BUT, when you get back on the bell to start your next set, all you have to line up for is 1 rep of each movement! It’s much easier to talk yourself into that, than doing a pyramid, where you go 1,2,3,4,5 (OUCH, 4,3,2,1.) Fuck that. Likely your form will suffer as well because you haven’t managed your fatigue appropriately. As a coach, I can’t stand shitty reps.

Sample Complex:

Set: 1,2,3,4,5 reps of each x 3-5 sets

(With 1 KB) This will look like:

(right) 1 Swing, 1 Clean, 1 Press, 1 Front Squat, switch

(left) 1 Swing, 1 Clean, 1 Press, 1 Front Squat, rest (while partner goes)

Next set

(r) 2 swings, 2 cleans, 2 presses, 2 front squats, switch

(l) 2 swings, 2 cleans, 2 presses, 2 front squats, rest (while partner suffers)

Make sense? You have so many options available to you that will get you to where you want to be. Whether you want to burn fat, or build muscle, you can use complexes for that. All you need to do is dial in the loading, and the movements you use. Luckily for you, I have lots of practice, and I’m gonna hook you up with more to come in my next article on KB Complexes for Fat Burning & Muscle Building.
If you are motivated to launch your skills and build, to ninja status, click the link below to APPLY for my Online Coaching Program.

http://www.krisfreemanpt.trainerize.com/contact.aspx?ref=newuser

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