I’m a Complex Person: Two Complex Workouts

Posted byLori Posted onMarch 3, 2011 Comments16

I feel like I’m the guinea pig for fitness trends sometimes. I have tried pretty much anything and everything in the exercise world:

  • Running
  • Spinning
  • MMA Kickboxing
  • MMA Bootcamp
  • Zumba
  • Body Pump
  • P90X
  • Yoga
  • CrossFit
  • TRX
  • Weight lifting

You name it, I’ve probably tried it at one point. Not to mention the random hiking, cycling, swimming (but not so much), walking, etc I have done/do.

I heart my TRX

Like most of you, I have a huge passion for fitness and exercise and I love each minute of a workout… but I also want to have a life outside of the gym. For me, upon all of my trials, tribulations, and long hours of exercising (4 hours of running during a marathon takes up a lot of time, right?!), I have found some of the best workouts that really rev up heart rate, fat burn, and make sure you get a kick-ass incredible workout- in less time.

Sounds like something that just might be too good to be true? When done correctly, it’s better than too good to be true. And I can prove it (in a minute…) but first, let’s see a high intensity, high calorie burning, metabolism booster workout.

Enter the Complex:

Complex workouts are functional training, meaning they tap into many different, real life movements. They get your heart rate up, hit a ton of muscle at one time, and give you an overall wonderful workout in less time (than normal). Plus, they’re kinda fun. Sort of like a circuit, complex series’ are done straight through a movement to the next without a break. You can use your own body weight, barbells, dumbbells, or whatever else you’d like.

Put together a few exercises that you can do back to back. I usually chose 4-5, like deadlifts, squats, push-press, and lunges. Next, you’ll pick a weight that you can use for all of the moves without resting- the weight may be much lighter than your used to for some of the movements but that’s ok. Now you can put a sequence together- usually mixing the exercises with movements that start with the weight from top to bottom, or bottom to top (deadlift to lunges- bar or weights on your shoulders). Make sense? Well, here are some examples to help.

Complex Example 1:

  • Deadlift x 8 reps
  • Squat x 8
  • Push-press x 8
  • Lunge x 8 each leg
  • (repeat sequence 3-4 times, resting 90 seconds each time through)

In this example, if you’re using a barbell, you would do 8 deadlifts, then clean the bar onto your shoulders for squats, then do 8 push-presses, and finish with 8 lunges with each leg (barbell back on your shoulders).

Complex Example 2:

  • Push-ups x 10
  • Body weight squats x 20
  • Chin-ups (assisted or not) x8
  • (repeat sequence 5 times)

Simple complex without any added weight. Trust me, after 5 rounds, you’ll feel it. 😉

You can literally put together anything you’d like with complex workouts. Just keep in mind, you probably won’t be going SUPER heavy on these. You’ll still gain muscle and definitely up your stamina though.

So, onto some evidence these workouts really… well… work.


Holy shit, right?! That’s pretty much my reaction when I synced up my Bodymedia and saw this.

Being a complex person, that I am, this is where Complex’s come in quite handy. Take a look at the target and actual calories burned for Saturday. My jaw dropped when I saw this. My average METS for the day was hiked up all the way to 2.33! And this high calorie burn day was due to me doing only 15 minutes of a high intensity cardio session (HIIT to be exact) and one hour of heavy weight lifting. Yes, I walked more than usual being that it was the weekend but nothing, NOTHING, beats lifting weight (well and a SHORT burst of cardio here and there) to really get your metabolism going.

And just so it’s out there, I have never had a high metabolism. I also average about 2200 calories burned on days I do not workout. I know this was not the case before I started lifting weights. More reasons I love lifting weights!

But to be honest, as much as I love weight training, I know that it’s something I love not necessarily the type of exercise you love. And isn’t that really the point? Exercise is “work”, just like going to a job/career, but doing something you love really isn’t work, is it? Finding what takes the work out of exercise is more important that how many calories you burn or how sweaty you can get. 😉

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting some great workouts that I have been doing lately… along with a guilt-free banana bread recipe, to fuel those workouts. 😉

What is your favorite type of workout?

What is your passion? For me, obviously it’s fitness and food. What’s yours?!



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16 People reacted on this

  1. You undoubtedly help it become look simple using your presentation but I locate this matter to get really another thing which i believe that I’d personally in no way have an understanding of. Seems like very intricate and really extensive to me. Now i am impatient as part of your subsequent distribute, I am going to try to get the cling than me!

  2. I have discovered BODYROCK.tv for exercising and I LOVE it. Check it out, I know you’ll be hooked just like me! Very intense and just a few minutes a day.

  3. I workout in a very similar way! I basically have one speed- all out! On anything, running, cross-training, biking. I love my TRX too! I always lift in curcuits becuase (1) you get so much more done and (2) I don’t have the patience not to!

    Thanks for the example complexs, I’ll try out out tomorrow.

    What program do you use to track all that stuff?

  4. haha we have tried all types of workouts too, and we just HIIT! We love the variety it gives, not doing the same thing all the time. It is just want my body likes right now 🙂

  5. Daaaaaaaaaamn girl, getcha some!! My favorite workout is yoga, hands down. Preferably hatha style. I love the centering as well as the toning! And my passion is massage and providing positive touch to those around me… positive touch reaps positive results, as my instructor likes to say! 🙂

  6. I just bookmarked this post. I LOVE it. I am going to try both these workouts. I totally agree with you – changing your body is NOT about hours put in. Its about EFFORT and HEAT! Im going to do weights in half an hour, ill be thinking of you! inspiration 🙂

  7. I’m all over with favorite workout. It changes often, which I like. Lately I’m enjoying Spinning, which is new to me. I’m also a fan of yoga and, last week, tried Bikram for the first time (holla Groupon).

    I’m passionate about my family, my food and my faith. And hot tea. 🙂

  8. i think crossfit is pretty awesome. i like getting the workouts done quickly, but they’re still hard core! ive never tried TRX that looks pretty fun. the complex exercises sound pretty good too. kinda like crossfit-just pushing it big time, but shorter workouts. ill have to try it out!

  9. I just did a HIIT workout for the first time yesterday..it was a 20minute workout and it was honestly..so much fun! It was freakin’ intense, but fun (never thought i’d say that about a workout). I love your long lists of exercises you’ve tried! I’ve tried out a lot of different workouts and exercises too 🙂

  10. oh my lady, you have no idea how badly i would love to be passionate about fitness…aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

    stressing myself out…because other than walking jackson for about an hour a day, i can’t bring myself to ANYTHING!!!!

    anyhoohoo…if you didn’t already know, you’re my hero!


  11. So going to try this out!! I am all for trying new kinds of workouts. I havent lifted or done anything active for that matter since Sunday since I am SUPER sick. I mean usually I just push through it, but my body aches so badly from the constant shivers Ive been battling. I think the fever FINALLY broke though, so today I am going to go on a little walk and do a light weight session. Not doing anything for the past few days has been driving me INSANE!

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