Barbell Complex Strength Fitness Test


This article talks about a barbell complex fitness sequence and how you may use it as a tool to measure your physical  ability and training progress. If you have been coming to the gym for a while and believe you have your foundations set with all fundamental exercises then I recommend introducing a power/hang clean, front squat and push press complex into your training.

You don’t need to be a competitive Olympic Weightlifter to benefit from these movements and nor do you have to be a big weights room meat head. As you can see I’m not –  I am 65kg in the video and I was training each week to compete in Kick Boxing which is a contrast.

If you are able to pass the barbell complex fitness strength test then you’re in a sound position in terms of functional ability. You are well built and structurally prepared to work with a range of gym exercises and soon you should go on to see fitness results far faster than the majority of people.

If you power clean well you will deadlift well and that’s a good sign of strength, posture and muscle balance. It also means you’re not having any mobility issues with the rack position on the shoulders when you catch the barbell – this is important leading into performing front squats. 

With the Front Squats – If you have the ability to hit a full range of motion depth with a vertical torso and with elbows and chest up you’re sorted. Because if your front squat rack position is on point then the push press will be easy to achieve with some technique training.

If you are struggling with a particular exercise in this barbell complex you now know where you are at – it’s just the matter of working on the problem.

For those familiar with my work – you can now see how this is all starting to come together = ]

Power cleans are a great lift for taking your strength and power to the next level. It targets the posterior chain muscle groups – the three hip, knee and ankle joints. This is called triple extension as all 3 joints are extended and therefore the muscles crossing these joints are stimulated. The muscles are worked throughout the full range of motion without any deceleration because when you clean you fully extend these 3 joints into a jump with the bar and as the bar is airborne you drop underneath and then proceed to extend…

There is a lot more to add and elaborate on, but I’m going to bite my tongue – visit and start learning my front squat video, shoulder press, and deadlift. When you have mastered these 3 movements then we will talk about graduating to the Hang Clean and Push Press.

If you are a beginner study my How to Build an Exercise Program article

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