The Best Workout for When You Have Zero Time and Zero Space
Combine cardio principles with weightlifting for a super-efficient workout.
There are many ways to combine cardio and lifting into the same workout, and each has its own advantages. If you’re pressed for time and limited with space and equipment, complexes are the best of these options.
“A complex is a group of exercises done using one piece of fitness equipment,” says NYC-based trainer Joe Dowdell. A barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, or a suspension trainer could all be used in a complex. The movements are performed back to back. You don’t rest until you’ve finished all your reps for every lift.
“Complexes are very time-efficient, and are great for fat loss,” says Dowdell, “because you perform a high volume of work in a short period of time — 15 to 30 minutes.”
Use this advice:
Choose lifts that feed into one another. For example, performing a hang clean brings the barbell to your shoulders. This then allows you to do a front squat seamlessly. Then, from the top of the front squat, you can easily perform an overhead press.
Connect four to eight exercises and do five to seven reps for each. Do all the reps for one move and then go on to the next. Recover for 45 to 90 seconds after one round — or until your heart rate returns to 60 to 65 percent of its max. Repeat for four to six rounds.
Use the same weight for every exercise in the series. The lift that your weakest in will ultimately determine the load that you use. For example, you can certainly front squat more weight than you can overhead press, but you’ll have to use your pressing weight for the whole series. That’s okay, as complexes are for conditioning, not maximum muscle gains—the weight is just a means of getting your heart rate up. “It’s best to start with a light weight,” says Dowdell, “sometimes just the bar itself, and slowly build up.”
Article by: Sean Hyson
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