Big 5 Barbell Workout Circuit

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc.

Creator, Turbulence Training Transformation Contest

You're about to discover the Big 5 Barbell circuit workout that will help you burn fat and build muscle at the same time. This is great for fat loss, but it's also really good for conditioning yourself for Mixed Martial Arts training. So, we will do a Barbell Complex - where you do a bunch of exercises back-to-back-to-back, with each exercise being done for 15 repetitions.

One of each

The type of exercises used in the Big 5 circuit include a squat, a pushing movement, a pulling movement, a single leg exercise, and a total body abdominal exercise. For each of these circuits, you will complete all of the exercises without any rest in between, and then rest one minute and repeat for a total of 3 times through the circuit.

Start out with a barbell, however, if you are a bit weaker or are a female, then use a 25 pound EZ curl bar. If you find that that is still too difficult, then use a broomstick or just your bodyweight. In contrast, if you are super-fit, then you can go up to 55-65 pounds.

The first exercise to do is the squat. For 15 repetitions push your hips back, squat down to parallel, keeping your back flat, and then up.

Next, move on to 15 push presses, making sure to really drive up on the way up.

After the push press exercise, you'll move on to 15 standing barbell rows. For proper form, bend over slightly, keep your back flat, and bring your shoulder blades together.

Once you have completed all the repetitions for the rows, you'll then go into 15 forward lunges per side, alternating sides. For this exercise you want to step out and drop your hips straight down, driving back up. Make sure to stop that forward movement once you've planted the lead foot.

To finish off the barbell circuit, you'll do mountain climbers. So, holding onto the barbell that is placed on the ground, bring your knee up to your chest, alternating sides for 15 times a side. At this point you will rest for one minute and then repeat the Big 5 Barbell Complex Circuit two more times.

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