If you want to save time during your workouts, but still want to get top notch results, you might want to try Supersets. While conventional weightlifting approaches usually have you do a set and then take a 1-3 minute rest before starting a second set of the same exercise, Superset training has you combining two separate exercises for two separate muscle groups (for example Chest and Back or Biceps and Triceps) with little to no rest in between. As a result, you could finish up a typical two-muscle group training session in nearly half the time it normally takes.
However, there are certain things you need to know about how to do a Superset workout properly. First, make sure you choose two muscle groups that are antagonists, or opposites, so one exercise does not interfere with the performance you do on the next.
For example, if you do a superset of Back and Biceps, either way the first set would definitely interfere with optimum performance on the next since biceps are a prime mover on any back exercise, but if you do Chest and Back, there is virtually no interference between the muscle groups used on either one, as Chest is trained with the pecs and triceps while Back is trained with the back and biceps. This keeps the muscle groups fresh and prevents any unnecessary exhaustion that may inhibit performance on the proceeding exercise so you can keep moving spontaneously without too much lactic acid buildup.
Second, be sure to time your rest periods, and don't rest too short, but don't draw out your rest times too long. Otherwise, too much time can go by and you will defeat the effectiveness you can get and purpose meant by doing supersets. The reason why you want to make sure the rest in between exercises is not too short is so you can keep your oxygen flow going to get the best performance out of each set.
If you take absolutely no break while doing heavier sets, you may not have enough oxygen flow to get the amount of reps you normally would on the second exercise. To make sure you're in the right zone, I recommend checking your pulse. At the start of each set, your pulse should be around 50-65% of your max heart rate. The best way to figure this is to count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4. While 30 seconds should be enough rest time after most sets to arrive back down at 50-65%, it could vary depending on how much weight you do and how many repetitions you get.
There will be some cases, depending on the difficulty of the set, where you may be able to take no break, but to keep a good even pace so you don't burn out too early and exhaust yourself, you are probably going to want to slow it down to at least a 30 second rest. (Note: Find your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. I.e. a 30 year old person would be 220-30= 190. Then, multiply that by 50% and 65% to find that rate. You can do the same for any "target heart rate" aim during a workout).
Next, choose your exercises wisely. For example, if you are supersetting Chest and Back, it would be good to start out with Pull Ups followed by Bench Press or vice versa. Then you can move on to Rows and Incline Bench Press, for example, and so on.
For best results, still do the normal 3-4 set range for each exercise and try to do at least four different exercises for each muscle group. This would combine in total to give you at least 8 exercises and 24-32 sets with a 30 second to 2 minute rest in between. If you need to take a 3 minute rest because you need to catch your breath, that's fine, but try to keep the pace moving to keep the intensity up and integrity of supersets going.
Finally, always stretch for at least five minutes and also cool down on a piece of cardio equipment for 5-10 minutes following any vigorous weight training. Not only does the extra cardio burn additional fat calories, but the stretching and general cool down prevents injuries and returns the body's systems back to normal levels.
Supersets are an excellent way to burn additional fat calories, increase metabolism, save time, and transform and lean out the body in minimal time possible. It is definitely a great way to shock the body and have a fun and enjoyable workout.
Top superset workout recommendations:
- Chest and Back
- Biceps and Triceps
- Legs and Chest
- Back and Triceps
- Shoulders and Biceps
- Chest and Abs
- Legs and Biceps