The King Of Cardio Strength Training

What was going on in the story above, you ask? Well, I was getting ready to start my complex workout for the day. Three sets of 10 repetitions of a series of eight exercise movements all performed in a back-to-back fashion, 80 repetitions per set, 90 seconds' rest between sets. The previous scenario happens every single time I am getting ready to perform any complex workout. Even the fact that I will be actually "working" for a mere 6 minutes total in this session doesn't soothe my mind. The discomfort is tremendous, the anguish almost unbearable, the results unmatched. One of my favorite books is The New Toughness Training for Sport by Jim Loehr, EdD. In this book, Loehr talks about the concept that if there is no personal confrontation, there is no progress. Simply put, if you are not doubting yourself or not thinking of other things that you could be doing instead of the task at hand, you're probably not working hard enough on your complexes. I said it from the very beginning: Nothing worth accomplishing is going to be easy. Complexes are far from easy, but because of this they get my personal stamp of approval as the KING of all cardio strength training methods.

The Concept behind Complexes

The roots of complexes are often confusing, but the undisputed father of complexes is Istvan Javorek, a former Romanian weight-lifting coach who brought these concepts over to the United States. Are complexes really that tough? Well, there is a reason one of Coach Javorek's nicknames is "Coach Javorkian"!

The setup for a complex is pretty simple. Chose two or more exercises using the same implement and load (i.e. barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, cable, etc.), then choose your number of repetitions, sets, and load. Your exercises are then performed in a back-to-back fashion. For example, if you choose to perform a barbell front squat and a push press for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, you would perform all 10 reps of your front squats, then immediately transition to 10 repetitions of the push press. This would be l set. I generally like to prescribe at least three exercises in a complex, and the number of repetitions per set depends on the load that you will be using. A few simple rules need to be adhered to when performing complexes:

• Exercises should follow a smooth transition pattern.

• You cannot put down the implement until the set is completed.

• You need to determine your load based on your weakest exercise movement. By

As the father of dumbbell and barbell complexes, I am the biggest believer in these exercises. When I invented the original Javorek Complex I and Complex II in the 1970s, I was looking for something that would improve coordination, increase the workout's load, intensity, and cardiovascular quality, and in general make a program more dynamic and efficient. Over the past decades, many athletes in all sports around the world have used my complexes as a part of a complete conditioning plan.

Istvan "Steve" Javorek, undisputed creator of complexes concept www. is t vanja vo rek. co m this I mean if you are going to choose something like a barbell hang snatch, overhead squat, Romanian deadlift, and bent-over row as your complex, you would most likely choose your load based on how much you can handle on your overhead squats.

You can choose to go heavy on your complexes depending on the number of exercises you choose. I personally like to stay in the 8- to lo-repetition range per set as you are really trying to tax and overload the metabolic system to cause as much metabolic disturbance as possible. In simple terms, you want to choose the number of reps that will elicit the greatest response, and then results, from your muscles. Remember that you want to push the pace so that you are unable to perform more reps at the end of your set. Choosing your loads really comes down to trial and error, once you get a feel for the movements and how long the sets take. For example, you should not have a hard time choosing the amount of weight you should use. I often tell people, "Give me a 65-pound barbell and about 5 minutes, and I guarantee I can break you."

I use a progression when prescribing complexes. We will start with fewer repetitions per set, fewer sets, and longer rest periods. Then we will progress to more sets, more repetitions, and shorter rest periods as we start to adapt and get in shape. This progression is outlined in more detail later in this chapter. Remember, this is a progressive training protocol. You cannot expect to jump into the advanced sets and complexes right away. Be patient; fitness is a journey, not a destination!

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