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Hit This 15-Minute Barbell 'Bear Complex' Workout for Full-body Strength

·2-min read
Photo credit: takoburito - Getty Images
Photo credit: takoburito - Getty Images

While strongman-esque odd objects such as sandbags, stones and balls may have more carryover into real-world functions, the barbell still has its place for building brute strength.

The ‘bear complex’ tests your entire body, moving a barbell through a series of movements, from ground to overhead and back again, whilst also testing both your grip and grit.

You’ve got five movements to work through, challenging every muscle you can imagine. Flowing through each one, once, the full sequence equals one rep. Perform 5 ‘reps’ for each round.

Start a 15-minute countdown, begin with an empty barbell and add weight each round. Your goal? Go as heavy as you can for five reps, without letting go of the barbell.

How heavy will you be able to load the bar before you can’t go the distance?

1. POWER CLEAN x 1

Squat down and grasp a barbell, hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Tightly lock your arms and back (A). Explode up, extending your knees and hips to power the bar to your shoulders. Flip your wrists to land it above your chest with a bend in your knees (B). Stand up straight.

2. FRONT SQUAT x 1

Stand tall, lift your elbows high to secure the bar on your shoulders (A). Maintain an upright torso and push your hips back, bending your knees until your thighs pass parallel to the floor (B). Stand back up to the start position. Don’t fly out too hard – you’ve got a way to go

3. PUSH PRESS x 1

Stand up from your squat, take a breath and brace your core. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your barbell overhead. Lower under control to the back of your neck, into your squat position

4. BACK SQUAT X 1

Get the bar comfortable across the top of your back (A). Maintain an upright torso and push your hips back, bending your knees until your thighs pass parallel to the floor (B). Stand back up to the start position.

5. BEHIND THE NECK PUSH PRESS X1

Stand up from your squat, take a breath and brace your core. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your barbell overhead. Lower under control this time to the front of your body, and to the floor, thats one rep. 4 more to go.

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