Bench Press Star Complex

  1. Top-Half Bench Press — 3-5 reps — Overload
    This is a very effective activation movement for the rest of the complex, but it's also one of the most effective triceps exercises you can do!
  2. Bench Press — 3-5 reps — Strength
    Focus on keeping the traps shrugged up when doing this movement (for added safety, stability and raw performance).
  3. Speed Bench Press — 5 reps — Strength-Speed
    Move as fast as possible (accelerating throughout the movement) with 60% 1RM. Perform a quick turnaround between the lowering and lifting phase.
  4. Medicine Ball Chest Throw — 8-10 reps — Speed-Strength
    You can either perform this one standing and throw it in front of you, or lying on your back and throw it straight up. If you do the latter, make sure to throw it straight up or have a partner catch it for you!
  5. Plyo Push-Up — 5-10 reps — Explosive
    No need to drop your chest all the way down. Just as in jumping, we want a short and rapid dip and minimal transition time before the projection upward. Stop when you lose your "pop."

Star Complexes Explained

When I have to get an athlete, bodybuilder, or actor into the best shape of his life, which means stripping off body fat while adding 15 to 20 pounds of functional "show" muscle, there's only one type of training to use: Star Complexes.

A star complex is a block of five exercises of the same movement pattern. The five exercises are performed back to back, starting with a heavy/slow movement as the first exercise. Each subsequent exercise is lighter in resistance than the previous exercise, allowing for progressively faster rep speeds.

Using star complexes, I've seen hockey players dropping 5% body fat in five weeks without changing their diets. I've seen fitness girls losing 20 pounds of fat in six weeks while getting stronger. And I've seen football players completely revamp their body composition in six weeks while adding 20% to some of their lifts!

Star complexes work! For any body type. For any goal. They're that powerful. They're one of my best "secrets." And now, the secret is all yours. Get to work.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.