This week’s Workout Challenge Wednesday is the Grenade Fitness Barbell Complex #1. There are 3 barbell complexes that we use throughout many of our training cycles. Barbell complexes are a good way to add some moderate intensity to your workouts, in a very controlled way. For this particular complex, you’ll perform 6 reps of all three exercises without letting go of the bar. Once you finish, you’ll get one minute of rest before completing the remaining 4 rounds. There is a total of 5 rounds in this complex.
Romanian deadlifts (RDL) are first on the list. These are great for hamstring strength but need to be performed correctly. Since we are still working on getting our exercise archive up and running, I suggest you check out a video on YouTube by Mark Rippetoe. He does a good job explaining the mechanics of the RDL. Essentially, the RDL begins at the top of the movement and while contracting the lats you will lower the weight to the point where the back begins to round. This is the end of your hamstring length and the point where you need to stop. Lift the weight back to the starting position. If you can reach the ground, that’s great! But the point of this exercise is to challenge the strength and position of the back and hamstrings. Most people will get to mid shin before they need to lift the weight back up!
Next up is the Pendlay row which is named after the famed Olympic lifting coach, Glenn Pendlay. The Pendlay row is a bent over barbell row, except it’s VERY bent over. If you’re using bumper plates or full size 45# plates, they will contact the ground on each rep. The goal here is to keep the back flat and the hamstrings hating you! There is also a good video of Glenn explaining this lift on YouTube.
The final exercise in this complex is the back squat thruster. Most people who have seen or done CrossFit know the thruster which is a front squat straight into a push press. This is a similar movement, but the bar is racked on the back rather than the front. Try a few of these before you get going with the complex to make sure you know how to do them right. Be careful re-racking the bar behind the head!
Final decision…how much weight should you use. You’ve got a minute rest which is enough time to add some weight between rounds IF NEEDED. You want a challenging weight, but this isn’t an absolute strength workout. This is conditioning and local muscular endurance mainly, so don’t go too heavy. The last time I did these, I started at 95# and ended up at 135# added 10# each round. But you can stay at the same weight if you want. It’s all up to you!
Good luck! Don’t forget to like, share, and post your results!