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“Bear Complex”


CrossFit Benchmark WOD

266.4K 3.5K
  • 5 Rounds For Load
  • Complete 7 Unbroken Sets of this Barbell complex:
  • 1 Power Clean
  • 1 Front Squat
  • 1 Push Press
  • 1 Back Squat
  • 1 Push Press
How do you perform the "Bear Complex" workout?

The five movements known as the “Bear Complex” comprise one repetition. Complete the complex seven times, unbroken (without letting go of the bar or resting it on the ground) to complete one round. Complete five unbroken rounds, increasing the weight and resting as needed between each round to complete the workout. Rest as needed between rounds. You may not change the load mid-round.

How do you score the "Bear Complex" workout?

Score is the max weight used for your fifth unbroken round.

What is a good score for the "Bear Complex" workout?

- Beginner: Men 75/Women 55 lb
- Intermediate: Men 115/Women 85 lb
- Advanced: Men 155/Women 105 lb
- Elite: Men 225+/Women 155+ lb

What are the movement standards for the "Bear Complex" workout?

A “strict” Bear Complex requires each movement to be done individually as written.

A CrossFit-style Bear Complex allows an athlete to link movements together, such that one rep may look like a Squat Clean Thruster (when you go from the squat clean directly into the thruster with no pause) then a Back Squat Thruster (when you go from the back squat into the thruster with no pause).

Complete unbroken reps of the following complex: Clean (any style), Front Squat (Squat Cleans are acceptable), Shoulder to Overhead from the front rack (any style- including thruster-jerks), Back Squat, and Shoulder to Overhead from the back rack (any style).

What are the tips and strategy to use for the "Bear Complex" workout?

Big jumps are for chumps! Make conservative increases in load from round to round to avoid early failure.

How do you scale the "Bear Complex" workout?

The “Bear Complex” is a very fatiguing CrossFit benchmark workout. If you’re new to these barbell movements, it’s best to stay with one load for the entirety of the workout (rather than increase weight for each set).

In order to get the endurance benefits from this workout, you need to complete unbroken sets; so pick a load that allows you to achieve that goal.

Go up in weight (conservatively) in rounds three and five. Skip the load increase in rounds two and four.

Choose a light load and stick with that weight through all five rounds.

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Background: The oldest mention we’ve found of this popular CrossFit benchmark WOD is from the comments on a “rest day” post on the CrossFit main site from Tuesday, September 7, 2004 (040907), with more details discussed in the forum on December 12, 2007, where one member clarified, “The complex isn’t done for time. It’s a strength and tenacity workout.” While there’s no time limit, like other “for load” workouts (eg: “CrossFit Total”), the spirit is that the workout is completed in a single lifting session. A typical “Bear Complex” session may take an athlete 30-40 minutes with moderate rest between sets.

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