Go Hulk With This 30-Minute Barbell Blast!

Introduction | Benefits of barbell training | How to perform this 30 minute barbell workout

Two CrossFit athletes completing a 30 minute barbell workout.

This 30 minute barbell workout has been designed to provide a whole-body strength-building workout.


With nothing but a single Olympic barbell and an assortment of weights, all your major muscles will be engaged.


Because this barbell workout requires hardly any kit you can complete at home or at the gym.


Also, due to the simplicity of the workout, you modify it to suit your exercise preferences or strength training goals.

Benefits of this 30 minute barbell workout

This 30 minute barbell workout will build strength and power. All the exercises selected are big compound movements – such as deadlifts, squats, and standing presses.


These exercises are favourites among weightlifters who want to forge functional, full-body strength. As Delavier says in Strength Training Anatomy, such exercises work ‘virtually every muscle’ in the body and build ‘terrific’ mass in all the major muscle groups.


So, as well as building whole-body strength, this barbell workout could also enhance muscle size.


However, if your training objective isn’t to build bigger muscles, but instead to improve, say, muscle endurance, then you could reduce the weight and increase the repetitions. By increasing the training volume and reducing rest periods, you will enjoy a metabolic conditioning – or 'met-con' – workout.

How to perform this 30 minute barbell workout

Comprised of six exercises, your objective is to work through them following the order laid out below. There are three different training approaches that you can choose from.

Traditional 30 minute barbell workout

Option one is based on a traditional weightlifting method. You’re going to complete 3 to 5 sets of between 6 to 12 reps. Sticking as closely as you can to the traditional method, begin your first set with a lighter load and increase the resistance as you decrease the reps.

30 minute barbell AMRAP

The second method is considerably harder and is for those who fancy a tough physical challenge.


The objective here is quite simple. For 5-minutes you are to perform as many reps as possible. Set a countdown timer and rep-out until your muscles burst into flame.


You can of course take a rest during an AMRAP. But if you do succumb to the temptation to rest, ensure to keep it short. Every second lost is a missed opportunity to squeeze out another rep.


Related: learn more about AMRAP training with our complete guide

barbell EMOM

The third and final option is based on the CrossFit training method called EMOM – which stands for every minute on the minute.


Each barbell exercise is comprised of five 1-minute ‘rounds.’ The objective is to complete the set number of repetitions with inside 1-minute.


Once you have completed the repetitions, you can rest for however many seconds remain on the countdown timer.


Remember, the second the minute elapses, you must begin the next set. When you have completed all five 1-minute rounds, progress on to the proceeding barbell exercise.


Related: The Complete Guide to EMOM Training

30 minute barbell workout

Before attempting this 30 minute barbell workout, it’s important to warm up thoroughly first. A comprehensive warm-up will not only reduce injury risk (the most important reason why we warm-up) but also improve your physical performance.

If you’re not sure how best to warm-up for this 30 minute barbell workout, we have produced a plan below.

10-minute warmup

5-minute steady-paced row or cross-trainer – aim to build the intensity. Concluding the initial phase, complete 10 X 100-metre sprints followed by 10 repetitions of the barbell exercises in the workout. Only select one barbell exercise per sprint and change the exercises as you progress through the 10 intervals.

barbell shoulder press

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 8 and 16 reps on the minute every minute.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, with an Olympic barbell suspended level with your shoulders.

  • The bar should be slightly below your chin or just above your shoulders

  • Maintaining control press the barbell above your head.

  • At ‘full extension’ there should still be a slight bend at the elbow joints.

  • To conclude the press, lower the barbell back to the start position.

barbell push press

One way to modify the barbell shoulder press is by including a ‘push’ to initiate the movement. This simple modification enables you to shift more weight than when performing a strict press.

In addition, the barbell push press engages a wider range of muscles. By dipping at the knee and driving through the legs during the initial stages of the exercise, you will activate the quadriceps and gluteals.

The technical application of the barbell push press is almost identical to the standard shoulder press outlined above. The only difference being is that, after taking a short dip at the knee, you use the big muscles of the legs to get the bar moving. When you’ve got momentum in the bar with the legs the shoulders take over to complete the movement.

barbell bicep curl

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 16 and 24 reps on the minute every minute.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.

  • An Olympic barbell is positioned in front of your quadriceps.

  • In a controlled movement curl the barbell until it is level with your anterior deltoid.

  • Remember, as you curl the barbell concentrate on applying equal force through both biceps.

  • After a quick ‘squeeze’ at the point of peak contraction, return the barbell back to the start position.

barbell bench press

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 12 and 20 reps on the minute every minute.

  • Lie back on a flat bench, feet positioned flat on the floor, spaced a little over shoulder-width, a barbell positioned level with your chest.

  • If you’re in the correct position the bar should be directly over your nips, your hands spaced 1.5 shoulder-widths and a slight kink in the elbow joints.

  • Keeping your eyes fixed on a point on the ceiling, lower the barbell under control until it gently makes contact with your chest.

  • Remember, do not hold your breath during the exercises. Try, if you can, to synchronise your breathing with the eccentric and concentric contraction phases of the movement: breathe in as you lower the bar and out as your press the bar.

  • Keep control throughout and focus on executing a clean, flawless movement.

bentover barbell row

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 12 and 20 reps on the minute every minute.

  • Adopt a neutral stance: feet shoulder-width, knees slightly bent, eyes fixed forward.

  • The barbell should be resting in front of your quadriceps, your hands spaced shoulder-width, palms facing inwards.

  • Hinging at the hips only, lower down until the barbell is in line with your knees.

  • Your back should be perfectly straight, and you should still be looking forward.

  • In one smooth movement row the barbell level with your lower chest.

  • The elbows, when rowing, should not protrude to the side. Also, avoid ‘cocking’ the wrists.

barbell deadlift

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 6 and 10 reps on the minute every minute.

  • Start with your feet under the Olympic barbell adopting a stance slightly over shoulder-width.

  • Bending at the knee and ensuring to keep the back perfectly straight grasp the bar: the palms should face toward you and your hands should be spaced slightly wider than your feet so as to prevent your arms and knees clashing.

  • Before executing the lift take the slack out of the bar by applying force against the resistance.

  • Looking forward and slightly up fire through the quads and glutes pushing the hips forwards as you stand.

  • Once you are fully erect there should be a slight bend in the knees – not locked out. Also, from a side angle, a vertical line could be drawn from your shoulders down to your heels. A common mistake is to lean back. DO NOT do this! All you will succeed in doing is compressing the intervertebral discs in the lumbar region.

  • To conclude the exercise simply return the bar to the start position making sure to retrace your steps.

barbell squat

Option 1: 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.

Option 2: 5-minute AMRAP – how many reps did you achieve?

Option 3: 5-minute EMOM – aim for between 8 and 16 reps on the minute every minute.

  • With an Olympic barbell resting across your trapezius, adopt a slightly wider stance – just over shoulder-width.

  • Your knees are bent a little and you are looking forward.

  • Slowly and under control squat down until a 90-degree angle forms behind the knee.

  • Again, maintaining strict form stand up out of the squat.

  • Remember to apply equal force through both quadriceps.

  • Also, do not hinge at the hips or around the back at any point throughout the movement.

 

Enjoyed this 30 minute barbell workout?

Get your hands on 50 more workouts and training sessions with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Vol. 1.


Circuit training is one of the best forms of physical exercise for maintaining and increasing overall fitness. A well-designed circuit will provide a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs in the process, whilst also improving muscle endurance and developing functional strength. This unique combination, of fat burning and muscle building, which singular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming or weights cannot give, will help to sculpt a lean defined physique.


 

In this text box it says: As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance! Blog Author: Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

27 views0 comments