When it comes to health and fitness, the saying “less is more” often applies. This is especially applicable when it comes to workout duration. After an hour of intense exercise, testosterone levels in our bodies begin to decrease while levels of the stress hormone cortisol begin to rise—the complete opposite of what you want to happen. Since high levels of cortisol will cause an increase in weight gain and low testosterone levels won’t support muscle growth it’s crucial to time your workouts in a way that will get you maximum results.
That’s where supersets come in. A superset is when one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them. Once each superset is complete, then rest for one and a half to two minutes to recover. This simple yet highly effective technique provides a dual benefit: since you’re performing the sets back to back, you’ll finish your workout in a fraction of the time; and since it keeps your heart rate elevated for the duration of the workout you’ll burn fat fast. Plus, it provides a spike in your metabolism to keep you burning more calories all day long.
Just keep in mind that due to the shortened rest periods, it is recommended you use less weight when practicing supersets as opposed to straight sets. And this technique also works best when performed with opposing muscle groups like biceps and triceps.
Utilize supersets by either adding them to certain parts of your workout or creating an entire workout solely composed of supersets like the one that follows:
Full Body Superset Workout
Wide Grip Pull-ups (3×10) superset Pushups (3×15)
Machine Leg Press (3×10) superset Lying Leg Curl (3×15)
Seated DB Press (3×10) superset Cable Side Laterals (3×10)
Triceps V-Bar Pushdown (3×12) superset Incline DB Curl (3×12)
Meet the Trainer: Parker Cote
Parker Cote is a fitness model, writer, and certified personal trainer based in Boston. He has appeared in more than 100 national and international magazines, and on the cover of Men’s Fitness in Germany. He transformed his physique from skinny teen to fitness model and believes balance is the key to success. To find out more about Parker, follow him on his Facebook page.