Whether you prefer strength programs, cardio, or metcon (metabolic conditioning) workouts, this barbell complex ticks every box.
It only takes 20 minutes and these five moves build strength and power in your back, chest, shoulders, core and leg muscles.
If you are looking for an effective workout to increase calorie burning, increase heart rate, and strengthen muscles overall, this is it Eric Kite (opens in a new tab) fits the bill perfectly.
The barbell complex is a sweaty metabolic conditioning torcher based on metcon training principles combining power, endurance, strength and aerobic exercise. Known as the Primal Swoledier to his dedicated following, Leija’s creation will test your strength and endurance, while also improving how your body uses energy.
According to Leija, this routine will get your whole body feeling worked out while also torching calories. “Make sure you perform every rep with quality form to get the most out of this session,” he says. “I’ve also included mobility warm-ups and decompression cooldowns that are optional. It will make your workout 25-30 minutes long, but you’ll feel much better if you invest the extra 5-10 minutes. Let’s go!”
You heard the man. Get one of the best yoga mats for stretching, and give it a go.
Check out Eric Leija’s 20 minute full body barbell complex
It’s fair to say that Leija is a bit of a legend. Training out of the renowned Onnit Academy based in Texas, he shares regular fitness content with over 1 million followers on various social media platforms. This barbell complex is a winner, using an AMRAP of five compound exercise movements that work several major muscle groups and joints in one 20-minute session.
While a single session will undoubtedly burn calories and leave your body feeling worked out, you need to train consistently to see improvements in strength, power and muscle mass. If you don’t have a barbell on hand, we recommend the best adjustable dumbbells on the market as a substitute. Each movement could also be performed with two dumbbells, so if you do a workout at home in a small space, this barbell complex is transferable – and just as effective.
Barbell Deadlifts x5
Barbell rows x5
Barbell Front Squats x5
Barbell Push Press x5
Barbell reverse side lunges
“Set the clock to 20 minutes and complete five reps of each move back to back, resting as needed in between rounds,” says Leija (once means doing five reps of each movement). “Once the clock hits the 14-minute mark, finish the round you’re in and then work on putting each movement together in a barbell flow – a repetition of each movement back to back until the time is up.
For example, start by doing a deadlift. Then, from the floor position, row once. From your row, clean your barbell or dumbbells into a front rack position and perform a front squat with your elbows raised and pointed forward. Move straight from the squat to a push press, then from the above position, put your weight behind the neck on his upper back, and perform a reverse leg lunge.
If you are unsure, Leija takes you through each exercise with a full explanation of the session and even guides you through warm-up and cool-down exercises. Try to hit three times of the flow without rest before adding anything, where necessary.
Need a little more guidance? Tom’s Guide covers how to deadlift, proper form for barbell rows, and how to do a dip with variations.
The optional mobility warm-up includes one round of 10 reps per exercise, hitting exercises such as side reaches, hip circles, and thoracic rotations to mobilize the body before the complex barbell workout. The same applies to decompression exercises, which include popular moves like child’s pose with arm rotations, kneeling arm twists, and (one of my favorites) the alternating scorpion of the floor (see below). During the cool-down, perform each stretch for one minute, for a total of five minutes.
When performing the five barbell exercises, imagine squeezing and contracting as many muscles as possible. For example, the push press requires a quick push from the lower body to drive the weight up, so keep your core nice and tight, push through your legs, and squeeze your chest, a shoulders and shoulders in the above position. Create a solid shelf for your weight by sitting on a slightly bent head across your arms and closing your arms overhead, pulling your shoulders back and down.
If you experience pain during exercise, stop immediately and talk to a personal trainer or medical professional. I swear by these too 5 back stretches relieve pain and build strength, and 3 assisted stretches develop flexibility and strength without equipment. When practiced regularly, stretching and mobility exercises can help prevent the development of an injury.