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What Is a Superset and How Can You Put It In Your Workout?

Put them together correctly and they can boost performance, build muscle and endurance, burn fat, and cut your workout time in half. Research shows that superset workouts burn more calories during and after your sweat sesh versus traditional resistance training, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. But put them together incorrectly, and it can leave you with aches, pains, and injuries, or just an ineffective workout. (And we’re not just talking about being sore.)

Different Types of Superset Workouts

For your basic gym-goer, calling these things the broad term of “supersets” will do the job. But if you really want to know what you’re talking about (and impress everyone in the weight room), learn the different types of superset workouts and how they can help you achieve even more strength gains.

If you go by the super-specific definition, a true superset (antagonist superset) is when you’re doing two exercises that target opposing muscles groups. Think: a biceps curl and a triceps extension. The main perk of adding these to your workout is that your muscles will recover faster in between sets. “When one muscle group is being contracted, its functional opposite relaxes, reducing the need of a break or rest time between exercises,” says Edem Tsakpoe, head trainer at Manhattan Exercise Co. in New York City.

Then there’s the compound set (agonist superset) where both exercises work the same muscle groups. Think: a push-up and a dumbbell bench press. These babies are the ones that will target one zone and get it burning, stat. “They’re particularly useful for adding intensity and volume to a workout as well as focusing on particular muscle groups, and is the most demanding type of superset,” says Tsakpoe. Some trainers even argue that you shouldn’t call these superset workouts at all—just compound sets.

And there are also unrelated supersets, which is where the two exercises use totally different muscles groups. Think: lunges and biceps curls. “The primary advantage of this type of superset is that there is no loss of strength in going from one exercise to the other,” says Tsakpoe. You can hammer out quality reps of both without feeling super fatigued.

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How to Use Superset Workouts In Your Fitness Routine

The main draw of adding superset workouts to your exercise agenda is to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to time spent in the gym. “It increases the intensity of the workout while reducing the time it takes to execute the program,” says Tsakpoe, this making it more effective. But beyond that, there are ways to use supersets to seriously jack up your training or focus on certain goals. Here, some superset workout ideas from Rusin.

Want to boost your PR? Try an activation-based compound set.

The idea is that before a big lift, you activate certain relevant muscles with a set of explosive exercises. Let’s say you’re trying to boost your squat performance. First, you do 1 to 3 reps of an explosive movement using your legs (ex: squat jumps). Then, you superset that with your heavy squats. Why? “Because your central nervous system is so heightened from the explosive moves, you’re going to be more explosive in that heavier lift,” says Rusin. “It’s a way to artificially over-perform.” (P.S. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy.)

Want to target a specific muscle? Try a pre-fatiguing exercise.

The idea is that you tire out one muscle group with the first exercise in order to let another one do more of the work in the second exercise. Let’s say you’re squatting to your heart’s content, but not seeing the booty gains you want. You can try supersetting your squats with an exercise that fatigues your quadriceps, so that they give up and let your hamstrings and glutes take on more of the load during your squats. (Or target those muscles specifically with this no-squat, no-lunge booty workout.)

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Avoid These Superset Workout Mistakes

1. Don’t kill your core.

Supersetting anything with core work seems like a safe bet, right? Wrong! Your core is what keeps you stable, so tiring it out before doing other complex exercises isn’t a good idea. This is especially true when it comes to big movements that require a lot of stability through your pillar (your shoulders, hips, and core integrating together). Doing core work in between will actually fatigue the posture stabilizers of the spine, says Rusin. “You don’t want to be fatiguing down the thing you need stability from to stay safe,” he says. (Related: Why Core Strength is *So* Important)

2. Don’t smush your spine.

Gravity is acting on your body literally every second of the day. But doing certain exercises (especially when you add weight) naturally compresses your spine. When you superset two super-compressive exercises together (like a weighted squat or lunge), that’s where trouble can start. “Compression is not inherently bad, but if you consistently compress, compress, compress, it’s going to be a long-term problem or even fatigue some of those spinal stabilizers,” says Rusin. What that means: back pain and/or injuries. No, thanks.

Instead, superset a compressive movement (ex: a kettlebell goblet squat or barbell lunge) with a decompressive movement—anything where your arms are fixed in place, but your feet are free to move. Think: dips, pull-ups, glute bridges, or anything hanging. (A great choice: some type of suspension training, which has been shown to be super effective.)

3. Don’t do back-body stuff second.

The muscles running down the back of your body are known as your posterior chain, and these are the ones you want to train first, says Rusin. “The rationale behind that is that the posterior chain is usually stabilizing musculature,” he says. “So by training those muscles first, we get more activation and stability for the movements that come after.” So if you’re going to superset a dumbbell bench press and a kettlebell row, do the row first; it’ll activate all those stabilizing muscles around your shoulders and boost stability and enhance performance for the press, says Rusin. In fact, prioritizing posterior chain movements might help you lift more for more repetitions, as well as make the workout feel easier; performing a hamstring exercise before a quadriceps exercise led people to perform a higher total training volume than when the exercises were done in the reverse order, according to a study published in the International Journal of General Medicine.

The main takeaway, though, is to keep your superset workouts safe and smart; in the end, workout design is totally individualistic and goal-oriented. But if you’re looking to log an effective workout, just adhere to these rules, and you’ll be fine, says Rusin.

“Mastering the basics and getting the most out of the super and compound sets—that’s a huge step in the right direction,” he says.

What are you waiting for? Go forth and school some people with your superset knowledge. (Yes, we just gave you an excuse to be a weight room snob.)

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

5 Fat-Burning Superset Workouts

“Supersets” — you may have heard the term before, but you may not necessarily understand what it means. Supersets are a style of training that bodybuilders use to help them get in top shape. But just because bodybuilders do them doesn’t mean you can’t. Supersets are great for burning unwanted fat and shedding pounds quickly, and in this article you’ll find out why.

First, let’s look at conventional training versus supersets. Conventional weight training is done using “straight sets.” A straight set consists of a series of nonstop repetitions, usually somewhere between 6 and 15, followed by a rest interval of one to three minutes. These are the sets you most likely perform during your current workouts.

(Related: 5 Fat-Burning Recipes)

A superset is a training technique in which you perform two exercises in a row with no rest in between exercises. After you have performed your two exercises (or sometimes even three or four exercises!), you will take a one- to three-minute rest. So, essentially, supersets are removing one of your rest periods for every two exercises. Supersets are an excellent technique for building muscles and getting lean.

However, if you’re looking to significantly increase strength, supersets may not be your best option. This is because when you perform two exercises in a row with no rest in between, this will reduce the amount of weight you can handle on the second exercise in each superset pair. Because supersets don’t allow you to use maximal weights, they are not always well-suited to building strength. However, supersets are always great for hypertrophy and burning fat.

Benefits of Supersets:

  • Save Time: By eliminating rest intervals between sets you’ll be able to finish your workout much more quickly than with conventional training.
  • Increase Intensity: Shortening the rest time between sets will overload your body, making it work harder. This intensity will increase metabolism as well as increase muscles endurance and size.
  • Burn Fat: The decrease in rest time will also raise your heart rate. An increased heart rate results in burning more fat, and with your increased metabolism and increase in lean muscle, you will burn even more fat, especially in the hours after your workout.

These supersets can be performed for a full body workout or used in your current workout routine to increase the intensity.

Superset 1 – Legs

Squat: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and knees and toes slightly turned out to the side. Place your dumbbells on your shoulders and keep your weight in your heels. Sit your hips back as if sitting into a chair and use the glutes and hamstring to press back up to standing. Complete 15 squats.

Sumo Squat: Step your feet much wider than shoulder-width apart, keeping your dumbbells up on your shoulders. Turn your knees and toes out to the side, rotating out from your hips. Keep your weight in your heels as you lower down, keeping your torso upright and your shoulders back. Your back should be completely straight as if sliding down a wall, and your knees should be tracking in line with your toes. Press through your heels and use your hamstrings and inner thighs to straighten your legs back to standing. Repeat 15 times.

Superset 2 – Chest

Chest Press: Start by laying on your back on a stability ball, resting your head and shoulders on the ball. (If you don’t have stability ball, you may also use a bench.) Bring your dumbbells directly over your shoulders. With control, lower the weights down and slightly out to the side until you have a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Press the weights back up over your chest and squeeze your chest muscles. Complete 15 repetitions.

Chest Fly: Staying put on your stability ball, rotate your arms so that your palms are facing each other. Slightly bend your elbows to make a round shape with your arms. With control, and without changing the shape of your arms, open your arms out to the side until you feel a slight stretch in your chest and front of your shoulders. Use your chest muscles to pull the weights back up to your starting position. Repeat 15 times.

Superset 3 – Legs

Split Squat: Position yourself about 2 feet away from a chair or bench (it will differ based on your height), and face away from it. Hold your dumbbells by your sides with palms facing in. Position your weight in your RIGHT foot as you reach your LEFT foot behind you to place your foot on the chair. Keeping the weight in your front foot, lower into a lunge position. You shouldn’t have any weight in the back leg, it should just be there for balance. Press through the front heel to straighten the leg to standing. Repeat for 15 repetitions without taking the back leg off the chair. Repeat on the other leg.

Front Lunge: Stand with feet hip-distance apart and holding your weights by your sides. Take a wide step forward with your RIGHT foot as you bend both knees to about 90 degrees. At the bottom of the lunge, the weight should be in your front foot. Press through your front heel to propel yourself back up and to take a step back to bring your feet back together. Repeat again with the RIGHT foot for 15 repetitions. Repeat on the LEFT side once you’re finished.

Superset 4 – Back

Bent Over Row: Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and holding your dumbbells with palms facing your hips. Keeping your back straight, hinge from your hips and lower your torso so that it is parallel to the floor. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart. Engaging your upper back muscles and leading with your elbows, pull the weights up into a wide row, with a 90-degree bend in the elbows. Make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades at the top, and use control as you lower the weights back down. Complete 15 rows.

Rear Delt Fly: Staying in your bent over position (or taking a short rest if your back needs a rest), rotate your arms so that your palms are facing in. Just as with your chest flies above, slightly bend your elbows to round the arms. Keeping the arms rounded, squeeze your shoulder blades together to raise the arms out to the sides, and control to lower the arms back down. Make sure to keep the neck and traps relaxed as you raise the arms. Repeat 15 times.

Superset 5 – Abs

Bicycle: Lay on your back on the mat and place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees up in a 90-degree bend with your knees directly over your hips. Using your abs, lift your chest and your head off the mat a few inches and rotate to the RIGHT, reaching your LEFT elbow to your RIGHT knee, and simultaneously reaching your LEFT leg out straight to hover off the mat. Come back into the center with your knees over your hips and repeat on the other side. Complete 20 repetitions total.

Plank: Staying on your stomach on the mat, tuck your toes under, placing the weight in the balls of your feet. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders, keeping your forearms parallel to each other. Brace through your abdominals and lift your hips up so that you’re in a straight line from the crown of your head to your feet. Be sure not to let your lower back arch and keep your abs tight the entire time. Hold for 30 seconds for beginners and work your way up to 60 seconds.

Try adding these supersets into your workouts to see an increase in fat burn and to increase intensity. You’ll love how quickly you can finish your workout with supersets and I know you’ll be adding more into your routine soon.

(Related: How to Work Out Less and Still Gain Muscle)

Hi this is Jim from Jimshealthandmuscle.com and Audiofittest.com and today I’m going to talk about Superset training – Basically all things Supersets!

What is superset training?

In a nut shell – A superset is a sequence of two exercises performed directly after each other with no rest in between. These exercises are traditionally resistance exercises.

An example of this could be a set of 12 push ups followed immediately by a set of 12 chin ups so you are essentially performing a set of 25 reps.

Like all types of training, supersets has evolved and is used in many ways but originally it was designed to hit opposing muscle groups. This is why I used pushups and chins as the example – Pushups are an exercise that targets the pecs (Front of the upper torso) and chins are an exercise designed to hit the Lats, these big back muscles directly oppose the chest muscles.

To add to this, push ups use a synergist muscle which is the tricep, located on the rear upper arm and chins use the bicep as a synergist which is located on the upper front of the arm, so any kind of chest press and any kind of row or pull down movement are perfect for using supersets with.

With the whole opposing muscle groups in mind when using supersets here is a list of exercise choices that fit this bill –

Superset workout exercises for fat loss & muscle tone:

  • Bench press & Bent over Rows (Chest & back)
  • Hack squats & lying leg curl (quads & hamstrings)
  • Bicep curls & Tricep pushdowns (Biceps and Triceps)
  • Leg extensions and stiff leg deadlift (Quads & Hamstrings)
  • Crunches & dorsal raises (Abdominals & Lower back)

So these are the main opposing muscle groups that can be targeted in the way that superset training was originally used for. But as I said, there are many other ways to use supersets and this all boils down to what you want out of your training and we’ll talk about that in a bit.

Why would you use superset training?

If you are a bodybuilder it’s a great way to stimulate you opposing muscle groups and add extra intensity. This is a good idea when you reach a plateau in muscle growth and need to switch things up a bit. You may also want to throw these in if you identify a weakness. An example of this is if your lats are under developed, you might want to throw in a chest/ lat superset on your chest days to give your back an extra workout each week.

I know that most people who are likely to listen to these podcasts are not bodybuilders and don’t want to be bodybuilders so I want to focus on using what is essentially a bodybuilding training method in a more universal way.

However, one thing that I have always believed in and openly tell everyone is that if you train like a bodybuilder, you will have the best results when it comes to ascetics and balance of your overall physique and function. Ok so when I say “bodybuilder” I mean a “competitive bodybuilder”. Not your average gym rat, meat head or “bro” or whatever you want to call these guys… And I think I can use these terms because I used to be one myself!

It’s obvious to me that this bodybuilding approach will uncover the maximum potential in a trainers physique because if you think about it; a good bodybuilder trains for strength, symmetry and balance of all muscle groups. Because of the need for symmetry, balance and the training that comes from posing techniques and awareness of form while training, the connection with each muscle group and posing the bodybuilder will also develop good posture which is valuable for so many health and lifestyle reasons.

Anyway, I could talk about bodybuilding all day but that’s not why we are here. Today is all about superset training.

So, training opposing muscle groups was the main rule for superset training back in the day, but what happens if you throw this rule out?

Do you have to use opposing muscle groups for superset training?

If you get rid of this rule it opens up the whole superset training idea to so much more and it can make your training shorter sharper and more intensive.

If you are the trainer that’s new to exercise or you have been training for a while but never used supersets, it might be a good idea to start training in this way a few times per week.

One big thing to consider when it comes to any type of training is to think about why you are exercising in the first place. I touched on this earlier so now we will address it.

Before you start any type of exercise routine, the first thing you need to thing about is what you want to achieve from your training.

Do you want to build more muscle? Do you want to be a faster short distance runner? Do you want to be a better long distance runner? Do you want to lower your body fat percentage? Do you want to tone up your major muscle groups? Do you want to build strength in a certain part of your body?

Whatever your goal, there is a way that you can incorporate superset training but if you have a certain idea as to the outcome of your training, you need to train with that in mind.

For example, If I wanted to train for long distance running event as a priority, hitting a superset session that aimed to strengthen my biceps and triceps would not be the best use of my time. It would be far more advantageous to train my quads and hamstrings in a high rep range or even drop in a superset that incorporated a cardio exercise…. Yes, I believe you can use supersets for a cardio goal too! More on that later.

So have this in mind if you decide to give superset training as shot.

I know that most people who are interested in working out that and are likely to listen to these podcasts are after a way to lose body fat and to tone muscle to look and feel good. This is a general fitness goal rather than a sports specific goal and as it is less niche, there are far more ways to achieve these goals, so superset training can be adapted and used very nicely for this fitness goal.

Because the goal of lowering body fat percentage and toning muscle is a common goal, and because I am trying to get some good information in to a 20min podcast, this is where the focus will be.

There are two big advantages of superset training or a trainer who’s goal is to lower body fat and to tone muscle.

If being an athlete isn’t our job and we have a family life, superset training can offer a way to get an effective resistance workout done in half the time. Well maybe not half the time, but it will definitely save time as you a lot of time. This is obviously because you will be resting a lot less between sets and effectively cutting your sets in half.

The next benefit of superset training for fat loss and muscle tone is that because your sets are now twice as long, you will be working your body by twice as much per set which means your heart rate will be raised for longer, which also means you will be burning more energy per set and we all know that more energy used, means more calories burned, which means more fat loss!

So you can create a really sharp, short and effective resistance training session if fat loss and muscle tone is your goal.

Right, this is where I will go back to the mentality of a competitive bodybuilder- If you do want to dedicate a whole training session to superset training, you should definitely think about hitting all of your muscle groups.

So here is an example training session that you can follow if you want to burn fat, tone muscle and you want to use supersets exclusively.

First of all we need to consider our goal. This is to burn fat and tone muscle. This means that we should aim to hit 12 – 15 reps per exercise by using a resistance level that challenges us. This is important! Go and listen to episode #7 “Most efficient fat burning and fitness mind set for the beginner…” if you haven’t done so already, it could be a life changer and explains exactly why this is so important.

Ok, so we have a fitness goal that dictates the rep range we need to work with. Now we need some exercises to superset with. If we put on our bodybuilding head, we know that the best thing to do is train all of our muscle groups equally and because we are trying to be efficient and want to get the most out of each set, we should focus only on compound movements.

Compound movements are exercise movements that use more than one muscle group per rep and they are generally big movements. Each compound movement will have a main target muscle group but it will also have at least one “synergist”. I know one of the USP’s of these podcasts is to use plane language and no jargon but this is useful to know so I think it’s worth saying –

A synergist is a muscle that aids the movement of another. For example: If you do a pushup, the main target of the exercise is to hit your chest muscles, but to achieve this movement, your triceps need to engauge and help complete the movement, so the triceps become the synergists.

Another example; When you perform a bent over row, it is your big back muscles or lats that are your main target, but the nature of the movement means that your biceps become a synergist along with your traps.

An easy way to identify a compound movement is to see if it uses more than one joint to complete a rep. For example, with a squat, the main target muscles are the quads, but when a squat is performed, you will have used your knees, hips and ankles at the end of each rep. This is a compound movement.

The other type of movement is an “Isolation” exercise. If you want an isolation exercise for your quads, you could use seated leg extension. When you complete one rep of seated leg extension, you have only used one joint and that is your kneed joint.

When you compare what it takes to perform one rep of a squat and one rep of a seated leg extension, you will see that the energy used is far more from the squat and there are a lot more muscles used to perform a squat but one rep of leg extensions and one rep of squats takes about the same time to perform.

This means that if you want value when it comes to calories burned from a leg exercise, you should pick squats over leg extensions..

With this in mind and to align with our goals of fat burning and muscle tone and to also incorporate supersets, we will design a workout that fits –

So if you want to train exclusively with supersets and you want good results when it comes to fat burning and muscle toning, this is what you should do:

You should do this routine at least 3 times per week. To get results you need consistency!

You should do a 5 min warm up before each session. I suggest a blast on the cross trainer or elliptical machine using the handles to get your shoulder joints warm as well as your hips and knees and then jump into this workout.

A superset workout for fat loss and muscle tone:

Each exercise will be performed with 12 reps to start with

Superset 1 –

  • Pushups or pushups on knees (12 reps)
    • Bent over row with barbell (12 reps)
    • Rest for no more than 2 minutes and repeat 3 times

Superset 2 –

  • Squats (12 reps)
    • Shoulder press (12 reps)
    • Rest for no more than 2 minutes and repeat 3 times

Superset 3 –

  • Bicep curls (12 reps)
    • Tricep dips (12 reps)
    • Rest for no more than 2 minutes and repeat 3 times

Superset 4 –

  • Swissball crunches (12 reps)
    • Dorsal raises (12 reps)
    • Rest for no more than 2 minutes and repeat 3 times

This is a simple, all over workout using supersets to focus on our fitness goal to burn fat and increase muscle tone. If you fancy giving this a go great! Let me know how you get on.

As I mentioned, you should aim to do this workout at least 3 times per week if you are going to train exclusively with supersets. Also if you do want to add another dimension of fat burning and increase your results, you can throw in a 30 – 45 min cardio session in right at the end.

If you go right into a steady state cardio session or even interval session at the end of a superset workout, you will be starting off right in your fat burning zone so it makes it that little bit more efficient.

Again, I have spoken about this before. If you want to hear what I have to say about fat burning zones and you want to find yours, you can go and listen to episode #10 “ Walking for Weight Loss, fasted Cardio & Interval training”.

As I mentioned near the beginning, I don’t see why you can’t use the superset training method for certain cardio or aerobic exercises or even superset an aerobic exercise such as jumping jacks with a resistance exercise like squats or shoulder press. If you were going to look into doing this though I would suggest that you revisit your training goal and see this type of training does fit.

So that was just an introductory chat into the basics of superset training and this is the part where I try and sell you one of my books! Only kidding! If you like the idea I’ll invite you to take a look. Obviously, I would think you were awesome if you did decide to buy one!

Anyway, believe it or not, I have actually written a pretty lengthy book on the subject of superset training and it should help anyone with their resistance and cardio training. There are plenty of examples of different ways to train when it comes to supersets that you can follow directly in there.

If you have listened to any of my stuff before or indeed read any of my training guides, you will know that I am focused on giving advice that gets long term fitness results and I always preach self-education especially when it comes to fitness and exercise. This is why I also give you the tools to help you create your own superset workouts based on your personal fitness goals.

So if you do fancy checking the book out, it’s on Amazon and its creatively titled “Jim’s weight training guide superset style”

Let me know what you think of the book and as always I’m happy to answer any questions or help where I can so feel free to give me a shout.

I hope this has been useful and I look forward to chatting again! Until next time, all the best

Jim

Health

Still, while supersets might be more time efficient, they don’t necessarily lead to a greater total calorie burn than traditional strength training.

In one small study, published last year in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 10 men performed a six-exercise superset workout. A week later, they performed the same routine using traditional resistance exercise. The overall workload was exactly the same; the only difference was that the total rest time was shorter during the superset workout than during the regular strength training regimen.

The researchers found that the training methods made no difference in total energy expenditure.

But the superset workout burned more calories per minute than the traditional weight training session, said lead author Andrew Kelleher, of the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.

Still, if your goal is gaining strength or building muscle mass, traditional weight training programs are sufficient, said Jeff McBride, director of the neuromuscular and biomechanics laboratory at Appalachian State University.

Kelleher also recommends against supersets if your goal is building strength. “Supersetting tires you out; after doing one exercise you jump immediately to something else in another part of the body,” said Kelleher. “With supersets, you won’t be able to do much work under a heavy load.”

Khanna, meanwhile, says supersets are useful for anyone who wants to improve their health. “Resistance exercise is about robust muscles, which are essential to healthy metabolism, disease resistance and quality of life as we age,” he said “When people are stronger, they can do more of everything, including other kinds of activity that burn calories more effectively.”

TRY THESE SUPERSETS

To burn the most calories, Kelleher recommends exercises that recruit the largest muscle groups, including the chest, glutes and abdominals. Try 10 to 12 reps of each of the following exercises. Do three sets.

Pushup followed by row:

Push up: Place hands and feet on the floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your abdominal and butt muscles; body should be in a slant. Bend your arms and lower your body to the floor, keeping your butt and core engaged. Push yourself back up. If using TRX suspension training, place hands on the floor and feet in handles.

Key muscles used: chest, triceps, core

Upper back rows: Place feet about shoulder-width apart against a wall or other support. Grasp TRX handles and hold arms straight in front of you, palms facing each other. Pull yourself up toward the handles, moving at the shoulders and elbows, until your torso is even with your wrists.

Key muscles used: mid and upper back, biceps, forearms

Squats followed by one-leg dead lift:

Squat: Stand with feet parallel, hip-width apart. Tighten abdominals to support the back. Inhale as you bend your knees and sit back as if you’re going to land in a chair. Thighs should be no lower than parallel to the floor. Don’t bend your knees more than 90 degrees or allow them to extend beyond the toes. Exhale as you push down through your feet and return to standing.

Key muscles used: thighs and glutes

Single-leg deadlift: Stand on one foot, with the other leg bent at the knee so the shin is behind you and parallel to the floor. Lower your body until the lifted leg is as low to the ground as possible. Pause, then straighten back up to starting. Grasp dumbbells to increase difficulty.

Key muscles used: hamstrings, glutes, lower back

Crunch followed by hyperextension:

Crunch: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, knees bent, feet off the ground or gently resting on the wall and thighs vertical. Inhale, lift your shoulders off the ground and bring your knees to your nose by rolling up the spine.

Key muscles used: rectus abdominis

Back bridge/extension: Lie on the floor, arms out to your sides, palms down. Start with your feet flat on the floor, bending the knees. Putting your feet on a ball, chair, or in TRX handles will make the exercise harder. Contract the muscles of your hips, back, abdomen, to raise your hips off the floor, and create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Don’t arch your back.

Key muscles used: spinal erectors, glutes, quads, abs, obliques, hamstrings

Trying to lose that last little bit of body fat? Struggling with those final pounds that don’t seem to want to move? Sometimes it takes kicking the intensity of your workouts up a notch to spark the progress you’re looking for.

When it comes to weight loss, a key “rule” to live by is that if you’ve been following the same plan and haven’t seen any results in about two weeks or more, it’s time to change something. After all, you won’t change unless your program changes.

Supersets can be a great way to evoke that change. A superset is a training technique that involves performing two exercises back to back with each other, taking no rest in between. Once both exercises are complete, you can then rest and recover until you repeat the process again.

Supersets are excellent for boosting your heart rate, instigating a cardiovascular effect, as well as for increasing your total calorie burn both during and after the workout session. As an added benefit, your muscular endurance will improve, so when you go back to doing straight sets again, you may find you tire less easily and are able to lift more.

Wondering what the best supersets to perform are? Let’s take a look at five great options that’ll help you crush body fat fast!

Squats Superset with Barbell Press

When it comes to boosting your metabolic rate and overall strength, squats are an excellent exercise to include. This total body exercise works your entire lower body, your back, and your core. Your upper body will even be recruited as you perform the exercise – taxing your full body.

While squats primarily focus on the lower body, to really take it up a notch, we will superset with a shoulder exercise. The standing barbell press is excellent for boosting shoulder strength and will also recruit your core for stabilization.

Simply transition from a barbell back squat in the rack to a barbell push press in that same rack. It’s efficient and can even be done during primetime at your gym.

Prescription:

Squats: 5 sets of 6-8 reps

Barbell press: 5 sets of 8-10 reps

Deadlifts Superset with Bent Over Rows

Another great superset pairing is barbell deadlifts with bent over rows. Here again, you can easily transition from one exercise to the next without moving around, making this is a good option for those days when the gym is busy and equipment is hard to come by.

Both of these exercises will target your back, however, the deadlift will also work the glutes and hamstrings.

When doing your bent over barbell rows in this pairing, sure that you aren’t using momentum to carry you through the exercise. You want to focus on squeezing strictly from your back to reap maximum benefits.

Prescription:

Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5 reps

Barbell Bent Over Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps

Barbell Lunges Superset with Burpees

Ready to get your heart rate up and feel those legs burning? The following superset will help you accomplish just that. Barbell lunges can easily be a cardiovascular workout if you take the rep range high enough. Pairing them with a cardio based exercise such as burpees will really drive the point home and leave you dripping with sweat.

Take note: this superset is not for the light-hearted. Don’t be surprised if you want to pass out once it’s finished.

Aim for a higher rep, lighter weight load when doing the lunges to really get those legs burning. Then, when you move to the burpees, you’ll finish them off.

If this pairing is a bit too challenging at first, reverse the order. Most people will find it slightly easier to start with the plyometric exercise (the burpee) prior to doing weighted work.

Either way, you do it, you’re sure to feel the burn immediately.

Prescription:

Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps/leg

Burpees: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Bench Press Superset with Bodyweight Push-Ups

Switching the focus to the upper body, this superset targets the same muscle group – the pectorals. This combo is great if bringing up your chest is a primary goal. Working the same muscle group in two different exercises is a fantastic way to really improve your muscular endurance and bring your body to the point of maximal fatigue.

First, you’ll perform a heavier bench press, focusing on your strength. Once that exercise is complete, move into bodyweight push-ups to generate that high level of fatigue and finish the muscle off. You will perform the push-ups to exhaustion.

It’s important to note that this superset should be the end of your chest workout. After completing your sets, your chest should be fatigued to the point that further exercises would be ineffective.

Prescription:

Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-8 reps

Push-Ups: 3 sets to failure

Mountain Climbers Superset with Hanging Leg Raises

Finally, the last superset to include is a core based cardiovascular exercise coupled with an intense core exercise on its own. Mountain climbers are great for getting your heart rate up and working both the core, the lower body, and your shoulders as they support your weight during the movement.

After your mountain climbers are finished, you’ll move to hanging leg raises. Now that your hip flexors and lower abs are fatigued from the mountain climbers, you’ll find they really have to work hard to execute the leg raise. Be sure to watch that you aren’t using any momentum while performing them, which can be all too easy to do when you’re in that fatigued state.

Prescription:

Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 25-50 reps

Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of 10-20 reps

There you have some of the best superset pairings to include in your workout routine to burn fat, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and gain strength all at the same time.

Train smart! Do not do all of these supersets in the same workout! Rather, add one or two to a workout when you’re looking to kick things up a notch and take your fat burning to the next level.

Jim’s Full-Body Superset System

I’ve covered supersets extensively over the years through both articles and programming – from Super-Man to Super Shredded 8 – but never quite like this. Here, I’m combining supersets with full-body training via a brief but brutally effective 6-day program.

The two concepts are a perfect match, really. Full-body training, as I’ve been telling anyone who will listen these days, is superior for burning fat while still allowing you to see gains in muscle size and strength.

As for supersetting, where do I start?

Superset Primer

Supersets involve two exercises done back-to-back with no rest between exercises. There are two main ways to do supersets:

Method 1 involves two exercises for two different muscle groups done back-to-back with no rest; that’s called a SUPERSET. As Joe Weider defined it over a half-century ago, a true superset technically involves opposing muscle groups (chest and back, biceps and triceps, quads and hamstring, etc).

These days, the term superset is used more loosely, though I still prefer to pair opposite muscle groups. You’ll see this repeatedly in the below workouts, even with smaller bodyparts like forearms (where I superset forearm flexion moves with the opposing forearm extension) and calves (where I pair calf raises with toe raises, the latter of which trains the anterior tibialis muscles on the front side of the lower leg).

Method 2 involves two exercises for the same muscle group done back-to-back with no rest; this is technically called a COMPOUND SET. For example, two chest exercises paired together, two back moves, two leg moves, to biceps moves, etc.

From these two versions, you can create an infinite number of workouts, as I’m going to show you over the course of six workouts.

Each workout will show you not just the benefits of the superset method itself, but the benefit of other techniques combined with supersets – techniques like pre-exhaust and extended sets, among others.

Opposing Benefits

Superset training offers a multitude of benefits. The most obvious is saving time. Doing two exercises with no rest can significantly cut your workout time down and get you out of the gym quicker.

The “no-rest” policy of supersets also has physiological benefits, namely burning more calories – 30% more, to be exact, both during workouts and afterward, according to research from Syracuse University. That’s right, if you do supersets correctly, you can burn 30% more calories after the workout is over, when you’re doing nothing.

Supersets can also be used to boost strength when training opposing muscle groups. Research shows that a muscle will contract with more force if preceded by contractions of its antagonist (opposing) muscle group.

For example, when you do a superset of barbell rows followed by bench press, you’ll be stronger on the bench press. In fact, Australian researchers reported that when trained athletes performed rows before doing a bench press throw, they had significantly more power on the bench press throw than when they did it without first doing the rows.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha, WI) researchers found that when subjects did a six-second isometric hamstring curl before doing an explosive vertical jump, quadriceps force production was increased by nearly 15% as compared to when they did the jump without the leg curl. This phenomenon may be due to greater inhibition of the opposing muscles.

Another study, this one from Canada, reported that when subjects did three supersets of rows and bench press using their four-rep max on each exercise, they were able to perform more reps on the second and third sets than when they did traditional sets.

Again, this may be due to the greater inhibition of the antagonist muscles, but it’s also likely due to getting a longer rest for each muscle group. When you’re training the opposing muscle group, the other is getting some rest. When you combine the rest taken between supersets, it equates to greater total rest for each muscle group.

Regardless of the reason, being able to complete more reps with a given weight will lead to greater muscle strength and growth over time. Simple as that.

Full-Body Superset Workouts

The below program consists of six workouts that I did on six consecutive days. Do the workouts six days in a row yourself, or scale it back by inserting rest days between workouts. How you do it depends on your schedule and current fitness level.

As I’ll explain for individual workouts, these routines run the gamut in terms of exercise selection, rep ranges, and even added intensity techniques.

Whatever schedule you choose, the combination of full-body training and supersets can’t be beat.

Enjoy the workouts, everyone!

(To download a workout to your mobile device, click on the workout title – Workout 1, Workout 2, etc.)

Workout 1

In this first workout using my Full-Body Superset System, you’ll pair opposing muscle groups and movements – ie, back and chest, triceps and biceps, straight-arm pushdowns and upright rows (opposing movements), etc.

Since supersets are good for improving strength, weight will be on the heavy side with sets of 6-8 reps.

Do any versions you prefer of the below exercises. Perform 3 sets of each exercise, 6-8 reps per set, except for any bodyweight moves you choose (pull-ups, push-ups, dips, etc.); for these moves, go to failure regardless of how many reps that ends up being.

Bent-Over Row

Superset with

Bench Press

Squat

Superset with

Barbell Rollout/Plank

Straight-Arm Pushdown

Superset with

Upright Row

Triceps Pressdown

Superset

Biceps Curl

Reverse Wrist Curl

Superset with

Wrist Curl

Toe Raise

Superset with

Calf Raise

Workout 2

On the second day of the program, you’ll simply swap the order of exercises, doing the chest exercise before the back move, abs before legs, biceps before triceps, and so on.

Again, choose whatever versions of the below exercises you like, and they don’t have to be the same ones you did yesterday. The important thing here is to mimic the movements I chose and switch the order of exercises in each superset pairing.

Bench Press

Superset with

Bent-Over Row

Barbell Rollout/Plank

Superset with

Squat

Upright Row

Superset with

Straight-Arm Pushdown

Biceps Curl

Superset with

Triceps Pressdown

Wrist Curl

Superset with

Reverse Wrist Curl

Calf Raise

Superset with

Toe Raise

Workout 3

This routine involves compound sets where two exercises for the same muscle group are done back-to-back. In this version of compound sets, we’ll do a multijoint exercise first followed by a single-joint movement (again, for that same muscle group). In cases of muscle groups like biceps, two single-joint exercises will be used.

Do 2 sets of each exercise and use any version of each exercise you prefer. On exercise 1, do 5-6 reps per set, and on exercise 2 do 12-15 reps. When body weight exercises are used, just go to failure.

Record the weight used on each exercise, as tomorrow you’ll repeat these supersets in the opposite order.

Bench Press

Superset with

Flye

Lat Pulldown

Superset with

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Squat

Superset with

Romanian Deadlift

Shoulder Press

Superset with

Lateral Raise

Shrug

Superset with

Behind-Back Shrug

Standing Calf

Superset with

Seated Calf

Close-Grip Bench Press

Superset with

Triceps Overhead Extension

Standing Biceps Curl

Superset with

Prone Incline Curl

Hip Thrust

Superset with

Crunch

Workout 4

This is the pre-exhaust version of workout 3. You’ll use the same exact weight you used on each exercise yesterday, but now the exercise order is swapped. This way, when you hit fatigue on the second exercise, you know it’s because the target muscle group is fatigued, not due to a smaller muscle group being fatigued. The latter can limit your gains in muscle growth and strength.

Using the same weight will allow you to feel the impact that pre-exhaust can have on your strength. You’ll also feel the muscle differently, and when used periodically, this method can lead to good gains in lean muscle mass.

Flye

Superset with

Bench Press

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Superset with

Lat Pulldown

Romanian Deadlift

Superset with

Squat

Lateral Raise

Superset with

Shoulder Press

Behind-Back Shrug

Superset with

Shrug

Seated Calf

Superset with

Standing Calf

Triceps Overhead Extension

Superset with

Close-Grip Bench Press

Prone Incline Curl

Superset with

Standing Biceps Curl

Crunch

Superset with

Hip Thrust

Workout 5

This workout utilizes extended sets. You’ll do two exercises for the same muscle group, where the second move is one that tends to be an “easier” version of the first. By “easier” I don’t necessarily mean the exercises are truly easier; rather, they just happen to be more biomechanically advantageous than the variation you just did.

For example, most people tend to be far stronger on flat-bench presses than incline presses, so an extended set for chest would have you do incline presses to failure, then immediately switch to flat-bench presss with the same weight you failed on doing inclines. Because you’re stronger on the flat bench, you’ll be able to compete a few more reps despite hitting failure on inclines immediately before that.

For the first exercise in each pairing, pick a weight that allows you to complete about 4-6 reps. Stop just short of failure on that first move, then immediately move to the second exercise using the same weight and go until you reach failure.

Do 2 sets of each superset/extended set pairing, using any version you prefer of each exercise.

Dumbbell Reverse-Grip Bench Press

Extended Set with

Dumbbell Bench Press

Wide-Grip Overhand Row

Extended Set with

Underhand-Grip Row

Romanian Deadlift

Extended Set with

Deadlift

Rear Delt Raise

Extended Set with

Lateral Raise

Behind-Back Shrug

Extended Set with

Shrug

Seated Calf Raise

Extended Set with

Standing Calf Raise

Prone Incline Dumbbell Curl

Extended Set with

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Rope Triceps Pressdown

Extended Set with

Straight-Bar Triceps Pressdown

Hanging Leg Raise

Extended Set With

Hip Thrust

Workout 6

The final workout has you reverse the order of the previous workout. But I’m not just doing this for the fun of it. In Workout 5, you took advantage of moving from one exercise to a more biomechanically advantageous one. Here, you’ll move toward a more biomechanically disadvantageous exercise – which will make you appreciate the order of exercises in workout 5 far more!

For this workout, choose a weight on your first exercise that limits you to 4-6 reps, but don’t attempt this weight on the second exercise; instead, use 50% of the weight used on exercise #1 for the second move, and take it to failure. As with Workout 5, do 2 sets each.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Extended Set with

Dumbbell Reverse-Grip Bench Press

Underhand-Grip Row

Extended Set with

Wide-Grip Overhand Row

Deadlift

Extended Set with

Romanian Deadlift

Lateral Raise

Extended Set with

Rear Delt Raise

Shrug

Extended Set with

Behind-Back Shrug

Standing Calf Raise

Extended Set with

Seated Calf Raise

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Extended Set with

Prone Incline Dumbbell Curl

Straight-Bar Triceps Pressdown

Extended Set with

Rope Triceps Pressdown

Hip Thrust

Extended Set with

Hanging Leg Raise

View The Workout

Baker, D. and Newton, R. U. Acute effect on power output of alternating an agonist and antagonist muscle exercise during complex training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 19(1): 202-205, 2005.

Ebben, W. P., et al. Antagonist knockout training increases force and the rate of force development. Annual Meeting of the National Strength & Conditioning Association, 2011.

Kelleher, A., et al. The metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs. traditional resistance exercise in young recreationally active adults. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24(4):1043-1051, 2010.

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Afterburn! 3 Ways To Burn More Fat/Build More Muscle In Less Time

Whenever I go to the gym, I watch a lot of re-runs, and they’re not playing on the hanging TVs. The bench press is backed up by a line of boys who want to lift like men, there’s a string of stringy treadmill trawlers, and there are too many people who aren’t working hard enough.

With all their waiting around and resting, these loafers sure spend a lot of time at the gym. They’re usually there when I arrive, and there when I leave. Hell, they’re probably still there.

Most gym-goers equate long workouts with hard workouts. However, long training sessions (more than an hour) usually mean low-intensity muscle contractions and extended rest periods. To gain muscle and burn fat, low-intensity workouts are often ineffective and counterproductive.

The solution? Make your workouts short, intense and effective. Mimic the intense training habits of elite explosive athletes like MMA fighters. They spend a lot of time prepping and stretching, but once the workout begins, they move fast and lift furious, alternating short recovery periods with maximum effort.

To train at this high level of intensity, you want to keep your workouts brief. The ideal time is 30 minutes or less. This is a pretty good proposition, right? Better results in less time.

Specifically, I want you to use three simple intensity-boosting strategies: maximum effort interval training, full-body workouts and/or “metabolic strength” training. Why? When you push yourself beyond your perceived threshold, your body initiates a chemical response and neuro-endocrine reaction.

This chain can cause your body to naturally raise testosterone and release human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in your system.

Stimulating and maximizing these hormones via intense training helps stimulate muscle growth and fat loss.

What’s more, you’ll initiate physiological processes that will keep you burning even more body fat long after your workout ends. So let’s light the fire and go to work.

Old Way: The Treadmill Trudge

New Way: Maximum Effort Intervals

Whenever you see people in line for something at the gym, you should generally avoid what they’re doing. Nothing lacks intensity more than long, plodding aerobic workouts. Here’s what’s worse: slow runs that last longer than 30 minutes stimulate the wrong hormones—cortisol, for example, a muscle-wasting hormone that might take bites from your lean mass.

Most people run on the treadmill thinking that long-duration exercise is the best way to burn fat. Yes, you do burn mostly fat (not carbs) when you do low-intensity work. Logically, burning fat while working out seems like the right thing to do.

However, using fat as your primary training energy source can be limiting. When you hop off the treadmill, you also stop burning fat. Why? Because low-intensity exercise doesn’t raise your metabolism as dramatically as high-intensity exercise does.

Burn, Baby Burn

Elevating your metabolic rate is the key to burning body flab! The secret is not to burn fat while you are working out, but after you’ve worked out.

In other words, you want to use stored carbs as your primary source during the workout, then burn fat when you’re done. And the only way to use carbs as your energy source is to train intensely and raise your resting metabolic rate. When you do intense work at near maximum capacity, your heart rate soars.

As you struggle and gasp for air, you will take in extra oxygen in order to recover. This extra oxygen you devour will cause your metabolism to rise. The scientific name for this fat-burning effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

When you’re done with your workout and your body begins returning to its normal resting metabolic rate, it burns fat to recover since you’ve exhausted stored carbs during your workout. Understand that it takes a lot of energy and a lot of calories for your resting metabolism to return to “normal.”

What’s this mean? More fat torched. And the best thing about EPOC is that your body will stay in fat-burning mode for up to 48 hours.

Take Advantage of EPOC

Jump Rope: 8 sets of 1 min, maximum effort

Skip the slow slog on the treadmill and use your favorite toy from elementary PE: the jump rope. 8 sets of 1 minute jumps at maximum effort will have your heart pounding. Light skipping reminiscent of your third grade days won’t cut it, kid. You have to twirl the rope at full speed.

Mix in single bounds, knee-ups and double-unders. Make sure you’re struggling for air after each set so you capture the EPOC effect and keep your recovery time to 1 minute.

The discomfort you’ll experience signals an effective workout. Go to the track or octagon—you’ll see people fighting for air. Suck it up and embrace it.

Old Way: Silly Supersets, Single Body Part

New Way: Upper-Body/Lower-Body Supersets

Like the mainstream, I did superset workouts after reading about them in muscle magazines. However, typical superset workouts combine two exercises for a single body part (sometimes called compound sets, but the jargon doesn’t matter).

For example, a common combination is bench press and dumbbell flye. Don’t get me wrong: this is a good superset combination for the sake of bodybuilding. It surely helped build and shape my chest.

However, supersetting single body parts offers little metabolic benefit. If you want to get crazy, then combine upper- and lower-body movements. With the right intensity, full-body supersets can spark a chemical reaction that helps spur the release of testosterone, IGF-1, and HGH.

To capitalize on these hormones, you have to forget about light weight and high reps. Instead, you’ve gotta lift heavy enough to stick with 6 reps (or less) per set.

Furthermore, switching between upper-body and lower-body movements will have a potent effect on your metabolism. You’ll struggle for air after each pair, skyrocketing EPOC. The goal here is to prime your body for fat-burning AND muscle-building. The first couple times I supersetted an upper- and lower-body movement, I was drenched in sweat.

To get the most from this total-body attack, you won’t be using any isolation exercises, but compound movements only, my friend. By using compounds, you ensure that your body will recruit as much muscle fiber as possible, especially fast-twitch, which has great capacity for growth.

Here are some of my favorite killer combos:

Super Superset Workout Pick 3 of the following superset combinations. 1 Superset 5 sets, 6 reps+ 9 more exercises

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Of course, these are just suggestions. Feel free to mix and match other combinations and exercises. Also, alternate your starting exercises: start one session with upper-body exercise, the next with lower body.

I suggest five sets for each superset combination with no more than three combinations per session. Trust me, two combinations will be more than enough for most people. Consider incorporating this combination session once per week with your regular bodybuilding split.

Don’t use any machines in this workout. You want to recruit as many muscle groups as possible, including your core. You don’t want machines giving you “free” stabilization and lessening your core involvement. You want a six-pack? Back-to back-compound movements, not infomercial gadgets, will help you build one.

Elite athletes train their whole body to respond as one unit. They don’t use machines to train individual body parts across fixed planes of motion. When you use as many muscle groups as possible, you will become stronger, faster, leaner and even more muscular.

Get ready to sweat like never before.

Old Way: Snail-Pace Strength Training

New Way: “Metabolic” Strength Training

You know the type: The really strong guy who bench presses a huge amount of weight and then rests for 10 minutes before the next set. There’s nothing wrong with this protocol if you are a power lifter and training for maximum numbers.

In that case, you need full muscular recovery. However, I doubt most of you are competitive powerlifters. Instead, you’re just training to look better naked.

If so, don’t fall into the traps set by long rest periods. They’re often just an excuse to be lazy or check out a cardio bunny’s buns. Strength workouts can help you get huge, but let your intensity dip too low or your rest go too long and only your gut will grow. In order to avoid bulking up in the wrong places, try what I call a “metabolic” strength workout.

Meta What?

A “metabolic strength workout” pairs a heavy compound movement with an explosive plyometric movement. For example, pick a heavy compound movement like the deadlift. Set the weight around 80 percent of your 1RM. Do 6 reps of the deadlift followed immediately by 12 explosive burpees.

Sample Metabolic Strength Workout 1 Superset 3 sets 3 sets, 6 reps (at 80% 1RM)+ 1 more exercises

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  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you’re doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

To reap the full benefits of a metabolic strength workout, go heavy with the compound movement and full speed with the explosive movement. A slow burpee just won’t cut it. It has to be ballistic and fast-paced. Start the burpee with an explosive jump into a plank, do a push-up, and then explosively jump into a squat and immediately power up. That’s one rep. It should be one fluid motion at maximum effort.

I know some of you will hesitate to do this type of workout because you’re used to more isolation exercises per body part. A metabolic strength workout isn’t designed for single body part hypertrophy, but to generate an overall, total-body hormonal effect.

Going from a heavy compound movement to a ballistic action movement will wreak havoc on your heart rate, metabolism and EPOC levels (in a good way). We are talking about some serious muscle contractions with extremely intense full-body workouts.

In terms of elite athletic training, all of the badasses I admire have one thing in common—they’re explosive. They have the capacity to apply force very quickly. The plyometric burpees will teach your body to move with speed and strength. This is in direct opposition to mainstream gym-rat training. When you survive this workout, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

In other words, you’ll feel like a badass. Use these techniques to look, lift and train like one too.

Do Supersets Burn Fat?

Burn more fat in less time with ‘supersets’ If you’re short on time — and your goal is to burn fat — step away from the treadmill.

Now get into the weight room and try “supersetting” your resistance training.

Traditional strength training generally allows one to three minutes of downtime between exercises.

How effective are supersets?

By definition, a superset is a technique where you perform two exercises in a row with next to no rest in between. Supersets are excellent for developing muscularity, but are not, however, overly effective for building strength.

How many calories do supersets burn?

The total calorie burn during the superset workout was 241 calories while the traditional workout totaled 227 calories. Due to the fewer rest periods during the superset workout, subjects averaged 8.0 calories per minute and the traditional workout averaged 6.3 calories per minute.

Which muscle burns the most fat?

You should focus on training all muscles for total body health, but the larger muscles will burn the most calories to help you lose more body fat. Those muscles include the legs, back, chest and core.

What is the purpose of supersets?

What are supersets? Put most simply, a superset is when you perform one set of an exercise and then immediately switch to another exercise and do another set. You can pair two exercises that work the same muscle group or two exercises that pair complementary muscle groups.

What are the benefits of supersets?

If you’re looking to speed up your sweat sesh or are desperate to torch stubborn body fat, supersets could be for you. As well as being great for those short on time, supersets can add variety to your workout, while also helping to increase muscle activation. Interested? Well, here’s why we think adding supersets into your gym regime could be a move you won’t regret.

They’re great if you’re short on time

No one wants to spend hours and hours stuck inside a sweaty gym. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good workout, but we don’t let it rule our lives – and neither should you! So, if you want to keep your time in the gym to a minimum then supersets are perfect. A superset is when you perform two exercises back to back without resting. No rest means less time spent in the gym. So, if you’re in a rush but are still keen to squeeze in a workout, throw in some supersets and you’ll save time and feel the benefits too.

They’ll increase muscle growth and strength

Because you ditch your usual rest between sets when you superset, the intensity of your workout is higher, causing greater muscle activation. This means increased muscle growth and strength, so if you’re trying to bulk out those biceps or simply want to get stronger, supersets could help.

They add variety to your training

Routine is good, but, let’s face it, it can be a little boring. Switch up your usual workout regime by throwing in a few supersets to change the intensity and speed of your workout.

They can help burn fat

If getting lean or shedding body fat is your goal, then supersets should definitely be on your to-do list. As well as muscle activation, the increased intensity of supersets assists with fat burn too, so if cardio isn’t your thing, swap the treadmill for supersets and you’ll still be able to smash your goals.

So, who’s going to superset their way through their next session? You’d be silly not to! Check out our blog to read our 6 time-saving hacks to speed up your workouts. You can also find more top training tips and advice here.

What is superset workouts?

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