"It's medieval and unbelievable." That's how fitness expert David Jack describes this "barbell complex" -- five exercises strung together to create one serious fat-loss routine. "It's a metabolic nightmare for your body, but in a good way," says Jack, a Men’s Health advisor and director of fitness at TeamWorks in Acton, Massachusetts.
Here at Men's Health, we don't actually call it a complex. We call it the workout from Hell. Try it just once and you'll no doubt agree: It incinerates fat and lights your muscles on fire. It may even leave you begging for mercy. (And if you really like tough workouts, make sure to try The Ultimate Fitness Challenge.)
Here’s how it works: You first put weight on the barbell. That's normal. But once you pick the barbell up, you never put it down, using the same weight to perform 5 consecutive exercises: the deadlift, straight-leg deadlift, barbell row, jump shrug, and hang clean. Watch the video below to see exactly how to do the routine.
The key: Choose your weight for all the exercises based on what you use for either the barbell row or the hang clean. These are the exercises in which you'll be the weakest. While this may seem too light when you start the routine, you'll quickly understand how challenging it can be. Do 8 reps of each exercise, then rest for 90 seconds. That’s one round. Try doing three to four rounds. This can be a workout on its own, or you can use it as “cardio” training at the end of your regular weight workout. (For more super-simple, fat-loss routines, check out the Fastest Cardio Workouts Ever.)
And in case you're wondering, we certainly didn't invent this kind of fat torcher. (Or is it "torture"?) The credit for that goes to famed Romanian weightlifting coach Istvan Javorek. He's thought to have first brought "complex" routines to the U.S. back in the 1980s -- after he defected from Romania. Today, he's the professor of fitness at Johnson County Community College -- where he's known as "Coach Javorkian" -- which is a small school located in the Kansas City suburbs. Sound like an odd job for a guy whose athletes have medaled at the Olympics? We thought so, too. That's why we profiled this icon of fitness -- and his training methods -- in the Men’s Health feature, "Inside the Ab Labs." Enjoy.
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