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Fitness & Health

07th Jun 2018

Full-body barbell workout for super strength and fat loss

Build strength and burn fat with this barbell complex from strength coach Eric Leija

Alex Roberts

Build strength and burn fat with this full-body barbell complex from ONNIT Academy trainer Eric Leija

Compound exercises are such good value. Not only do they work multiple muscle groups at once, but performing them burns a shed load of calories in the process.

When you add them into a high-intensity circuit style of training, their fat loss properties are further enhanced. Pounding away on the treadmill is dull and unnecessary when you can get better results from a barbell.

This full-body complex starts from the floor up, working your legs first before going on to build your upper body.

  • 3 Deadlifts
  • 3 Cleans
  • 3 Front Squats
  • 3 Strict Presses
  • 3 Reverse Lunges (each leg)
  • 3 Push Presses
  • 3 Bent-Over Rows

Using a weight that is light enough for you to maintain optimal technique, repeat these lifts back-to-back, with no rest in between.

Once you complete the set, take one minute rest.

Repeat the complex for three to five sets. Try to make your transitions in between each of the lifts as smooth and as seamless as possible. Be mindful of your breathing, and focus on quality reps with good form.


Keep a straight back and neutral spine with your chest puffed out. Grab the barbell shoulder width apart with both hands. Keeping the barbell close to your shins, explosively pull the barbell, coming to a full hip lockout position by squeezing your butt. Try not to overextend your back at the top of the rep, keep your abs tight. Repeat by setting the weight down with control.


Starting from the floor, explosively pull the barbell up as you dip under the bar catching it in your racked position, keeping your elbows tight to your body and your wrists flexed. Keep your posture tall throughout the movement, maintaining a neutral spine. Bring the barbell back down the floor after each rep.

Front Squat

Start with the barbell in the racked position, with your wrists flexed. Keep a vertical forearm by stacking your wrists over your elbows and elbows over your hips. Keep a straight spine, proud chest, and tight core. Sit your hips down straight in between your heels. Come down to about parallel and then explosively stand back up to a full hip locked out position. Down slow and up fast.

Strict Press

Hold the barbell in the rack position. Flex your wrists, stack your wrists over your elbows and elbows over your hips. Press the barbell up engaging your lats as you press all the way overhead. Pull the barbell back down slow and controlled using your lats as your base. Try not to flare your ribs or overextend your back at the top of the rep.

Reverse Lunge (each leg)

With the barbell resting on your shoulders, step back into a reverse lunge, stack your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your back. Tap your knee to the ground, try to prevent any jarring in your structure. Inhale as you go down to help brace your core. Step back up bringing your feet together, complete 3 reps back to back on each leg, alternating sides.

Push Press

Start from the rack position. Keep your core tight, slightly bend at the knees and push the barbell overhead, generating power from the floor up using your legs. Own the rep at the top of the overhead position by fully extending your elbows and lower the barbell back down into your rack position slow and steady.

Bent-Over Row

Start in a bent-over position, with the barbell on the ground. Pull the bar up keeping your elbows tight to your ribs and back towards your hips. Hold the squeeze at the top of the rep for a 2 count and then lower back to the floor with control.