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How To Do Barbell Thrusters

The Move That Maximizes The Afterburn Effect

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m showing you how to do barbell thrusters, also known as the barbell squat and press.

This is one of my favorite moves, for both males and females, to maximize and ignite the afterburn effect.

What Are Barbell Thrusters?

Barbell thrusters are a full body movement, that incorporates pretty much every single muscle in your body.

This significantly raises the amount of oxygen your body uses during the post-workout recovery period.

This excessive post-oxygen consumption, also known as EPOC, increases your metabolic rate, thus making your body burn more calories at rest.

In other words, you’ll be burning a lot of fat, even while you sleep.

It may look like a difficult complex movement, but when you break it down it is essentially two exercises combined into one continuous movement.

These two exercises include the:

Anytime you see a complex exercise that you’re a little bit nervous to try, simply break the movement down into smaller parts.

The barbell thruster exercise can be broken down into 3 basic movements:

  1. Squat down
  2. Stand up
  3. Press the barbell over your head

Muscles Targeted

One of the main reasons why barbell thrusters maximizes the afterburn effect, is because it targets and incorporates so many muscle groups to perform the movement.

This is why barbell thrusters really fire up your fat burners and is such a great afterburn exercise.

Primary Muscles:

Secondary Muscles:

Always Make Sure You Are Properly Warmed Up First

If you’re doing barbell thrusters at the beginning of your workout, I recommend you start with a warm up set with lighter weights.

This will safely warm up the muscles and get the synovial fluids flowing through your joints.

Once you’re properly warmed up, you can add a little more weight to bar as you start your first working set.

Key Coaching Points

When it comes to barbell thrusters, the key thing to focus on is locking down your form.

Don’t be a meat head in the gym.

Check your ego at the door.

Barbell thrusters are an explosive movement, so the goal is to complete it a full range of motion, while firing and contracting the muscles with power.

Every muscle should be contracted, tight, and turned on during the set.

To safely protect your lower back during this move, it is very important to keep your core tight.

Back pain is not cool.

How To Do Barbell Thrusters

If you have access to a squat rack, start the exercise with the loaded barbell on the squat rack, at just under shoulder height.

To get started:

  1. With the barbell placed in a squat rack, grip the barbell with a just outside shoulder width grip and place it on the front of your shoulders, in the front rack position, with your fingers keeping the bar in place, and your elbows up and pointing forward.
  2. Back away from the squat rack, and set your feet hip width apart.
  3. Start the movement by contracting your core. I can’t stress this point enough, keep your core tight. This will help protect your lower back. If your lower back overarches, you will be in pain.
  4. Pushing the hips and butt back, followed by bending your knees, as you squat down with your back flat and chest up.
  5. As your thighs reach or go just below parallel, press your feet through the floor to stand back up and drive your hips forward as you simultaneously press the barbell over your head with power.
  6. Slowly reverse the movement by lowering the barbell back into the front rack position as you lower back into another squat.
  7. Repeat for reps.

After your last rep, put the barbell back down on the floor and take a rest before your next set.

Damn that feels good.

What If I Don’t Have A Squat Rack?

If you do not have access to a squat rack, you will have to first get the barbell up on the front of your shoulders.

To do this, you first need to complete a barbell clean to get the barbell into the front rack position.

Here’s how to clean the barbell up to the beginning position, if you don’t have a squat rack:

  1. With the barbell on the floor, get set up by first placing your shins against the barbell, with the balls of your feet positioned under the bar, pointing forward, at a hip width distance.
  2. Bend over and follow the same form as you would use to complete a barbell deadlift, then grip the bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width.
  3. Position your shoulders slightly in front of the bar, while maintaining the natural arch in your lower back.
  4. Pull the bar off the floor by extending your hips and knees as your shoulders rise up at the same time. Ensure you keep the bar close to your body.
  5. Once the bar reaches your knees, shrug your shoulders to clean the bar up to your shoulders, as you extend your body to pull the bar up, while keeping it close to your body.
  6. Pull your body under the bar by rotating your elbows under the bar, then catch the bar in a rack position on your shoulders, while lowering into a slight squat.
  7. Extend your legs to stand back up.
  8. This is the starting position.

What’s The Difference Between Barbell Thrusters And A Barbell Push Press?

Although barbell thrusters and the barbell push press look similar, they are a little bit different.

The main difference is you want to get a little bit deeper in your squat when performing barbell thrusters.

Get The Full Live Lean Afterburn System

Live Lean Afterburn 2.0

If you’re looking to maximize the afterburn effect and program your body to burn fat while you sleep, check out my Live Lean Afterburn workout program.

This program will help you burn fat and maintain muscle, 365 days a year.

Live Lean Afterburn Success Story

Get the full Live Lean Afterburn system here.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

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Questions Of The Day:

  • Do you do barbell thrusters?
  • If not, why don’t you?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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8 responses to “How To Do Barbell Thrusters

  1. Thanks for the tips. I have been adding these types of moves into my
    routines, since seeing your vids. Much appreciated man.

  2. Hey Brad. I would like to ask whether we can get more AfterBurn Effect from
    Strength training or HIIT Sprinting ?

  3. The coolest fitness channel ever. You are just so like able. And you make a
    lot of sense. I wonder, what is you star sign:):):). One question, if I
    have to choose, what cardio in you opinion is better for fat lose,-
    sprints, or bodyweight high intensity( burpees, swings). O yee second one,
    when do you make you tabata?? As a finishers for you weights???? Ups there
    is a 3 one, do you thing one should stick with strength programming,
    changing not a lot and use progressive overload, or you just can play a
    little bit???

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