Complex Training

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

What is complex training?


First off let’s describe what complex training is not. It is not picking up a barbell, dumbbell or a kettlebell and doing a set of squats followed by a set of shoulder presses followed by a set of rows - you get the idea.


Complex training is a workout where you train a muscle for say 3 sets then follow it up with 3 sets of plyometric exercises. So for example you could do 3 set of squats then 3 set of box jumps or alternately you could bench press for 3 sets then follow it with a 3 sets of clapping press ups. It is designed to improve explosive power in athletes and martial artists.


This kind of training is taxing on the CNS and as such should only be done by conditioned athletes who have gained a reasonable level of strength. For lower body it is recommended that the athlete should be able to squat 1.5x body weight and for upper body bench 1x body weight.

This type of training programme should only be used for roughly 6 weeks with 2 to 3 sessions a week with the intensity of 70% 1-RM and above.

So how can you pair the exercises together in order to benefit from complex training?



Squats and jumping squats

Bench press and medicine ball throw

Lat pull down and overhead football throws

Shoulder press and medicine ball toss into the air

So if you want to improve your power and you meet the criteria, give it a go. I personally used it very successfully last year to improve my punching and kicking abilities

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