As you may well know, the barbell is a fantastic tool for developing strength. The ability to load greater resistance means we must produce large amounts of force. Compound lifts develop strength, power and coordination. However, the barbell can do SO much more for you. I recently met with a client for a Personal Training Session in Hurst Park, Hampton. The only piece of equipment I took was a 15kg barbell. At first they were sceptical, as a long distance athlete they didn’t think they should be moving heavy weights. In contrast, by the end of the hour they were asking me where they could buy a barbell! Try these 3 Barbell complexes if you’re still on the fence!


The Bear Complex

Common in CrossFit, the bear complex is often seen as a strength based circuit. However, tweak a few reps and sets and you have a kill full body endurance task ahead of you.

I want you to do this with an Empty bar to start.

20 Rounds of the following (1 rep of each):

What’s the catch? Try not to let go of the bar or rest on the ground at any point. If you do, complete a penally of a 30second plank.


Posterior Punisher

The posterior muscles make up the longest chain in our body. Give them a workout to remember with this complex.

Continue as far as possible:

  • 1 Deadlift
  • 1 Bent Over Row
  • Add 1 rep to each exercise every round.

Loading depends on the goal! Heavier = strength/strength endurance, lighter = hypertrophy/muscular endurance.


All The Snatches

Please only complete this if you are competent and confident in your technique. Alternatively, start with just the barbell and concentrate on positioning and timings.

5 Sets of the following:

  • 1 Snatch Deadlift
  • 1 High Hang Snatch
  • 2 Hang Snatch
  • 3 Over Head Squats

As before, the loading depends on the goal. If you are relatively new, then stick to the barbell by itself. These complexes can be great for developing technique in addition to strength, endurance, power etc.