January 28, 2013
February 1, 2013

That title sort of sums up our entire operation at the moment. 6 bars, ~1000lbs of bumpers, and still running under a limited class schedule, but we’re making it work. To embrace the scenario – and hopefully in the very near future bidding it a fond farewell – class on Tuesday was made up of a single workout. No split class, no follow up met-con or mobility session. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t difficult though.

2 x 
10 Pause Squats, 
50′ Samson Lunge, 
10 Push-Ups, 
25′ Inch Worm & 25′ Hamstring Walk, 
5 Burpees 
Bearish Complex

Ah, the Bear Complex, where the numbers seem to just grow and grow and grow. 

1 rep = 1 Power Clean,  1 Front Squat, 1 Press, 1 Back Squat, and, 1 BTN Press;
1 round = 5 reps;
Workout = 7 rounds 

Similar to the last time we did the Bear (Bear, Jr.), we allowed movements to be combined, so that the front squat and press became a thruster, and the back squat and BTN press a BTN Thruster. Squat cleans were also allowed, meaning the first move could actually be a cluster (squat-clean-thruster). We were also pretty lenient on the transitions between reps, allowing resting and resetting, as opposed to the RX’d version which is only touch and go. The goal is to add weight each subsequent round until unable to complete a rep.

No need for a met-con after that. In fact, one of the great things about the bear, or indeed any other bar complex, is that they are a great mix of strength and conditioning in and of themselves. An “anaerobic movement … at an aerobic pace,” is how we’ve categorized it before, and while that seems an artful turn of words, it’s incredibly on point.

Hope everyone’s able to get outside today. Who cares if mid-70’s in the middle of winter is bizarre beyond words, it’s still awesome. See you all Thursday.



  1. Sara says:

    I think some of us have been waiting for this to show up while we have the limited equipment. I work with Erica and Amelia. Let me tell you they both did an awesome job on these. I love the bear complex even though I tend to have a difficult time with it. Thrusters have always been difficult for me. I tend not to use enough power from the hip and do more pressing, leading to overarching to get the bar overhead. The BTN thruster is actually a better movement for me than front rack position. I worked up to 103lbs same as when we did 5×5. I missed the last BTN press on rep 5 of 103. I definitely felt more under control on the thrusters than usual. I did struggle a bit with my hand position on the bar as I set up for the next rep. When I do a clean my hands move inward on the bar as I receive it. Which makes them too narrow for the next rep. I spent a lot of time cinching the barbell in my lap to readjust my hands.

  2. Steph says:

    Woof, that was tough. Wish I could’ve tried 95lbs as 85 felt tough but manageable, although I think the behind-the-neck thruster would be the limiting movement for me. Maybe next time.

    Feel like I’m about to get sick but trying to fend it off with lots of hot tea and positive thinking!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed that session. I am pleased I did not go too heavy to begin with as I don’t think I would have made 7 rounds. However, I wished they had got us doing that for our rugby workouts back at school.

  4. Andraea says:

    That was rough for me especially the behind the head thruster. I did the last 2 rounds at 73lbs which was heavy but glad I attempted it and made it through it. Thanks to Steph who was super encouraging! Don’t think I would’ve done that on my own.

  5. edgy reggie says:

    I predicted thrusters for Tuesday’s workout, and I was right…partially. 🙂

    Although I used less weight (115# was my top weight) for this session of the bear complex than what I used for the “bear jr.” complex in September 2012 (135# was my top weight then), I felt better about performing Tuesday’s workout.

    Compared to September’s workout, I did many more clusters (with one exception in the final round, I performed all squat clean-thrusters), and I remembered (with some initial help from Coach) to “touch-and-go” at the start of each rep. I, too, did have to do a lot of grip re-adjusting at the beginning of the rep.

    Even though this was challenging, I still enjoyed it. I do look forward to the next time we perform the bear complex.

    I would like to give thanks to my partner, Trae, for the encouragement.