Keeping things simple is always appealing, especially when it gets results too.
If you look back on this page you’ll find workouts using only Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Bodyweight and more, however there is little in the way of Barbell exclusive workouts, keeping this in mind that is what we shall look at today.
How can you use only a barbell (plus weight plates, obviously), to achieve a great workout and even make a ton of progress?
When I say just a bar, I mean just a bar. Not squat rack, squat pins nothing, just a bar and plates.
Easy, you have a few options:
– A1/A2 Jump Sets
– One Lift a Day
Let’s break down each with some examples for you.
A barbell complex is like any other, it’s a series of movements performed back-to-back with a set number of reps for each movement before moving on to the next.
You can have a little as 3 exercises or as many as 8, possibly more if you’re a sadist.
A nice one to try is as follows:
RDL, Power Clean, Press, FS, Row – 5-10 reps for each.
This can be done with progressively heavier weights to a top set, it can be done at the same weight for as many rounds as possible for time, the options are endless. A great method for stripping fat, improving cardio and slapping on some lean muscle.
A1/A2 Jump Sets –
The classic pairing of two exercises is always good for helping shift some heavy poundages when performed in this way, this option is great if being big and strong is the goal.
It might look like this:
A1 – Deficit Snatch Grip DL – Rest 60 seconds
A2 – Floor Press – Rest 120 seconds
Repeat this sequence until desired sets/reps are hit, this could be 8×3, 5×5, 10×5
Depending on how many days per week you have to train you can alternate floor press with standing press and the deadlift with cleans etc.
Lastly we have the ever forgotten method known as…
One Lift a Day –
I’m sure you might be able to work this one out based on the name, it’s quite a good hint after all.
All you need do it pick one lift, just one and rep out for a solid 45min (this includes warm up as you can start off with some mobility then the bar and add weight to potentate until ready for working sets).
With this option you can either go for a high volume day, a high intensity day, a light pump day, the choices are yours depending on what you feel needs the most attention.
Here is an example of how you might structure a week:
1 – Snatch Grip Deadlift
2 – Press
3 – Row
4 – Off
5 – Clean
6 – Floor Press
7 – Off
Don’t forget old school exercises such was the bent press, side press, 2 hand any-how and other classics.
You can use any lift you choose of the the 45min block, this can even be skull crushers or curls if you fancy something like that. Its also worth noting that 45min is a guide, you could go for 30min or less if that’s all you have.
Each of the options above are easy on paper yet brutally hard when put in to practice, however that hard work will transfer in to progress and results, provided you give 100% and stick at it for longer than a week.
As a recommendation, wave the loading between Heavy-Light-Medium so that you can give you body some time to dissipate any accumulated fatigue. Go heavy as often as you can but don’t be afraid to have some easier workouts too.
Now the next time you find yourself in a pinch with only one a bar and some plates you’ll have some options.