Complexes and Why They’re Important

Complexes are the Olympic weightlifter’s cardio. When we combine multiple different movements in one set, we’re not only taxed physically, we’re challenged mentally!

Because there isn’t a wide array of weightlifting movements, it’s easy to get complacent and sort of “go through the motions” during training. Complexes force us to step outside of our comfort zone and force our body to combine exercises in lots of different ways. 

To get the most out of a complex, it’s important to understand the WHY behind each exercise that is programed. Let’s take the following complex and break down each segment:

Power snatch + Snatch Balance + Snatch.

The Power snatch is a great exercise used  to reinforce snappiness through explosive leg drive. It also helps to teach athletes the proper timing of meeting the barbell where it’s at in space.

The Snatch balance is an amazing confidence booster. It’s used to practice punching your body down into your overhead squat. Timing the lift to lock out the arms while your feet hit the ground earns you major brownie points.

Last we have the snatch. Our legs are fatigued, so we’re forced to remember the purpose of the power snatch and snatch balance and utilize our proficient technique to bring the whole complex together beautifully. Don’t fuck this part up or else you literally did all that work for nothing. 

The next time you have a complex programmed, take a minute to write out the purpose behind each movement along with a few cues that you can focus on during each individual exercise. 

Be mindful and move with purpose and don’t be afraid to go a little lighter in load to ensure you’re getting the most out of this skill work!

Sage Burgener