As I’m sure many of you know, there are a TON of ways to work out. Some people swear by running, going from training for one marathon to the next. Others basically do the complete opposite and pick up weights as heavy as they can possibly find and put them down again after just a couple of reps.
I’ll just come right out and say it; I think weightlifting is the best way to exercise. For me, it’s difficult to keep muscle on, so I avoid doing too much cardio, watch what I eat and try to stay active. It’s just what works for me. With that said, I know the health benefits of doing cardio, so I incorporate it into some of my workouts by making sure I keep my heart rate up.
For those of you who follow my instagram account (@truth.and.fitness), I posted one of these kinds of workouts today. It incorporates supersets, which are the topic of discussion today. For anyone who isn’t familiar with them, I think they’re critical. I know how many people struggle to get into the gym as often as they would like for as long as they like, which is why I think supersets are so important.
So, what is a superset? It’s when you do two (or more) sets of exercises back to back without resting. Then, after you’ve finished your superset, you get to rest. The two sets count as one big one. The idea here is two fold; Minimize rest to keep your heart rate elevated (like a mini cardio session) and cut your rest time in half by skipping it for one of the exercises. This way, you get half the rest and, therefore, need to be in the gym for a shorter amount of time.
The way you’re able to do two exercises back to back without resting is by working two different muscles (or sets of muscles). Today, I supersetted chest exercises with cardio moves (jump rope, mountain climbers, air squats, etc.), but you can couple up any two muscle groups that don’t recruit each other (don’t use the opposite muscle).
For example, on a day where I lift back, biceps and shoulders, I might couple a bicep exercise with a shoulder exercise. The trick here, though, is to make sure that the two exercises are opposite enough that you’re not fatiguing one before getting to another immediately afterward. Any muscle group can be coupled with cardio moves or abs to keep your heart rate elevated. I’ve actually chatted with fellow gymgoers before who can’t believe I can get a back, biceps and shoulders workout done in 45 minutes. It’s pretty impossible to do without supersets.
Basically, these are smaller versions of interval or circuit workouts that you can incorporate into your lifting regimens without redesigning your entire approach.
So, hopefully that’s a helpful trick that some of you can incorporate into your workouts. What kinds of supersets do you like to do? I’d love to hear about them in your comments!