Bear Complex Workout?

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Fallen_Horse
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Bear Complex Workout?

#1 Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:56 am

Hi all. Gorilla just posted in his exercise journal about an exercise routine called the Bear Complex, and I was wondering if anyone here had heard of it or what everyone's thoughts are. It seems like a legitimate way to get your power-lifting exercises done. Any drawbacks?

Gorilla wrote:....I'm talking about the bear complex:
http://noscrolls.com/wiki/Bear%20Complex.
"The bear complex is a sequence of barbell movements that flow together in a natural progression.
The movements are (in order):
power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, and another push press.
... all resting and re-gripping must be done with the barbell off the ground."

there are loads of videos of the Bear complex out there.
here's one of them - he does an extra push press before the back squat on one of reps but generally it's a good video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Laa7BJHJWrw&feature=related

All I want to do is train, focusing on these complex movements! ... :naka:

There's also the super bear complex:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVbbI7MiQMA&NR=1
His form isn't perfect on the overhead squat.
He does Romanian Deadlifts as well, which I also do ....
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MaryStella
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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#2 Postby MaryStella » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:25 pm

I've done this workout a few times and honestly it is great one. I recommend going for it. Just don't go to heavy to start out and it gets pretty tough by the end. good luck!

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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#3 Postby el_flaco » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:18 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:It seems like a legitimate way to get your power-lifting exercises done. Any drawbacks?
MaryStella wrote:Just don't go to heavy

I think that answers your question. I don't see complexes are replacing the powerlifting in your weekly routine, they're just a (decent) form of conditioning.

In that particular complex most people will be so limited by the overhead press that they wont get much out of the squats.

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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#4 Postby Fallen_Horse » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:23 pm

"Most people" perhaps, but not me! I prefer bodyweight squats and heavy overhead press :D

I want my girlfriend to try this out as well, just for funsies, but she is not strong enough to even do the routine with the 45lb bar. Thoughts?
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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#5 Postby VeganEssentials » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:36 pm

Complexes are great for conditioning, but to rely on them for increasing max strength would be pretty limiting.

One thing to consider is, you'll be sucking wind long before you actually achieve muscular fatigue in most of the exercises, which means you won't be doing the most you can for each group. If your conditioning fails on the 4th round and you had aimed to get 6 rounds in for your set, you can see how that would be less than ideal for taxing muscles for size or strength gains. Then, most people find that they need to drop the weight to allow for being able to complete their sets, in turn using less resistance for less that will actually stimulate gains.

Complexes are fun and a good kick in the pants for strength-based conditioning, but I don't know anyone who could consistently use them as grounds for making progress stregth-wise as the basis for their training. Most I know who do them train for max strength AND do conditioning as well, and they'll often test themselves by trying "challenge" complexes to see how well they fare. But again, never head of anyone using complexes as an optimal way to progress for strength and/or size gains.

If your girlfriend finds that a regular bar is too heavy, see if your gym has one of those 20-25 lb. straight bars for doing curls, that will work well enough. An EZ curl bar is a last resort, but can work in a pinch. Otherwise, if your gym has any of those Body Bar things with the short bar encased in foam rubber, that'd be decent as they usually seem to go in range from 5-20 lbs. for the ones I've seen.
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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#6 Postby Fallen_Horse » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:06 pm

Ok I have a question! I just finished my first Bear Complex but I had to cut out the front squats because they were tearing up my wrists. The bar pretty much just sits on my bent-back wrists and not on my body at all. Is this right? Is there anything I can do to prevent this wrist strain?

My girl tried the routine as well, but they only have EZ-curl bars, so the grip patterning on the metal was hurting her hands. Guess it's time to get her some lifting gloves! :D
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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#7 Postby bronco » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:23 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:Ok I have a question! I just finished my first Bear Complex but I had to cut out the front squats because they were tearing up my wrists. The bar pretty much just sits on my bent-back wrists and not on my body at all. Is this right? Is there anything I can do to prevent this wrist strain?

No this is not right, the bar should rest on the shoulders, and to achieve this you need to push your elbows up. To get a feeling for the position you want to achieve you could try some zombie squats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU9niyRHLH8 (funny hat not mandatory) .

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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#8 Postby Fallen_Horse » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Ah I see now, I was afraid of letting all the weight settle on my shoulders because I thought the barbell needed to be in my grip the whole time!

This is more correct, yes?

Image
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Re: Bear Complex Workout?

#9 Postby VeganEssentials » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:47 pm

Correct!

I personally have crappy wrist flexibility so I can never get into that position well. I usually do the arms-crossed style like this:

Image

Also, if you have a pair of lifting straps, you can also try this technique:

Image

Some people swear by it, I don't find it to work well for me, but I know a few who only will front squat with straps as it's the only comfortable way for them to keep the bar racked properly.
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