Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Thoughtful Thursday…Stay lean and strong this holiday season and into the new year with this potent


Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.

Atomic Habits

As the wind howled and swirled snow upon the ice, I retreated to my basement. Instead of driving the wintery road to the gym, I used my basement for an epic workout. It didn’t take long to get the heart pumping and fat burning with this exercise I’m really digging lately.

Let’s discover this potent training method.

This type of exercise works all major muscle groups, conditions the cardiovascular system, and burns fat. It’s called complexes. The definition of this type of exercise is rather broad which is good as it provides an opportunity to do a variety of moves but simply stated, complexes are an array of exercises designed to be completed in one continuous set at a fast pace.

Let’s however, give credit where credit is do. Istvan Javorek’s website reads that he was the first in the world to develop dumbbell and bar bell complex exercises and to call new complexes “Variations to Javorek’s Complex Exercises.” Very well sir, these are some variations of your exercises.

Complex Example

A good example is my “Thailand Exercise” which you learned about in detail here. I used the same set of dumbbells to complete multiple exercises without stopping nor setting the dumbbells down. A barbell, kettle bell, or sand bag could also be used. From Romanian Deadlifts, to bent over rows, to a push-press, to alternating reverse lunges, all done as one continuous exercise for fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning.

Complex Benefits

  • As explained by Experience Life, “Because you flow the movements by using the same weight throughout each one, complexes boost muscular endurance, which means you’re training muscles to repeatedly exert force against resistance.”

  • Doesn’t require much time to complete - a complex training circuit could be done in 20 - 30 minutes

  • Increased fat loss

Key Points

Use a weight that you can use with good form for each of the exercises within the complex while moving at a fast pace. So say for example, you may be able to perform a bent over row with 25 pound dumbbells but aren’t able to press that weight overhead. Instead of switching dumbbells for the overhead press use the same weight, in this case 15 pound dumbbells may be more appropriate.

To choose your weight for each complex, you’ll need to figure out a weight you can feasibly use for the prescribed number of reps of your weakest lift. That will be your weight for the entire complex. Do not drop the weight until a full round of complex is complete.

The number of reps and sets can be of your choosing. I suggest three to four rounds of eight to ten repetitions or, as I the case of my Thailand Exercise, one rep for each exercise done ten times in one round. See below for more details.

More Examples

Let’s look at some more examples of complex exercises that you can easily incorporate into your training. You can use these as a workout in themselves or as a finisher at the end of your regular workout. Either way complexes are effective and if need be, won’t take much time.

Complex A - 3 Rounds

  • Upright row - 8x

  • Front squat - 8x

  • Overhead press - 8x

  • Alternating reverse lunge - 8x

  • Bicep curls - 8x

Complex B - 3 Rounds

  • Power curl - 8x

  • Front squat - 8x

  • Push-press - 8x

  • Bent over rows - 8x

  • Alternating forward lunges - 8x

Thailand Complex - 4 Rounds, 10x

  • Romanian deadlifts - 1x

  • Bent over rows - 1x

  • Curls - 1x

  • Push-press - 1x

  • Alternating reverse lunge with dumbbells on shoulders - 1x

Note in the above examples, Complex A & B perform multiple repetitions of one exercise before moving to the next one while the Thailand Complex does one repetition of each exercise but goes through the complex ten times before completing one round. Either variation will work well. Mix it up. Try the complex with different weights, reps, and rounds. Just remember to choose an appropriate weight you can do with good form at a fast pace.

There you have it. A “complex” but easy way to stay lean and strong through the holidays and into the new year.

Have fun!

Enjoy your journey,

Lisa Schaffer

GreenNote Fitness

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