You’ve probably tried complexes before. A complex is a series of movements performed one after the other. Usually you keep the same weight for the whole series and never put it down between exercises. The Javorek complex is the oldest complex in the book. How is it different? Big-ass weights.
Javorek writes of the need to do this complex at extremely high weights as a predictor of future performance. He tells tales of this complex being completed with 240 pounds by Romanian weightlifters, and 220-pound exploits by American record holders.
But in case you’re not going to the Olympics, there’s a very simple rule to follow to make sure this complex will challenge your strength and will: use 50% of your 1RM clean and jerk. The 50% rule is what the best athletes are able to do with this 30-rep complex. It provides an indicator of what you’re capable of (with good technique) on the platform.
In the video of the Javorek complex, I’m using 143 pounds, which is about 50% of my current 300-pound clean and jerk 1RM.
- A. Barbell Upright Row, 6 reps
- B. Barbell Muscle Snatch, 6 reps
- C. Back Squat to Push Press, 6 reps
- D. Good Morning, 6 reps
- E. Bent Over Row, 6 reps