Summer is here, which means your body is supposed to beach-ready. And of course it is, because you have killer confidence and know you can rock any swimsuit when it’s time for the sea and sand. However, if you’re feeling a bit shy about baring it all in a bikini, it’s time to fast track your fat-burning fitness goals.
The good news is that it’s totally possible to achieve your beach body vision; the bad news is that summer tends to be a time when schedules are super hectic, making it tough to squeeze in a sweat session. Before you cancel plans for summer fun, we’re throwing you a fitness life preserver: Meet supersets.
What’s a superset?
A superset is when you combine two exercises back-to-back without stopping. Depending on how you want to set up your workout program, the two moves can either target the same muscle group or can focus on completely different parts of the body. For example, if you know you can get in four days of exercise, albeit under 30 minutes, break up your week by focusing on one section of the body. In this situation, you could do shoulders and arms on Monday, legs and lower body on Tuesday, back and traps on Thursday, and core work on Friday. However, if your schedule is slammed, and you only see a couple days open for exercise, pair up arms and legs on one day and shoulders, core and back on the second.
Why are supersets so super?
One word: efficiency. You don’t have all day to spend at the gym or working out at home. Heck, you’re worried about finding even an hour to burn some fat. With supersets, you can put in an intense workout that focuses on both strength training and cardio in less time than it takes to do both separately. This not only helps develop your muscles but also boost your metabolism. With this in mind, that bikini body isn’t feeling so quite out of reach, now is it?
So what’s the catch?
If supersets seem to good to be true, just wait until you try them. If you been training with individual exercises and breaks in between each, get ready for supersets to send your cardio into overdrive and to turn up the burn on your muscles. It should go without saying, but this workout style is anything but easy; however, the results you gain in a shorter amount of time will have you embracing the pain and challenging yourself to constantly improve.
How do I get started?
Getting started depends on how you’re currently working out. If straight up cardio is your thing, use walking, biking, running, or ellipticals as your warm up. Do about 5 minutes of active movements that get you to a light sweat and your muscles ready to start working.
From your warm up, you can move right into the supersets. Each superset has two exercises. Try to make the first exercise a compound movement, or one that uses multiple muscle groups, such as squats, bench press, deadlifts, barbell rows, pull ups, dips, and so on. The second exercise can be an isolated movement that focuses more on sculpting a specific muscle, such as a bicep curl, tricep extension, or calf raise. Do your first round of reps for the first exercise, and then go immediately into the first round of reps for your second exercise without resting. Take about 45-60 seconds between each round, completing 3-5 rounds per superset. Aim for about 3-5 supersets per workout program.
Supersets Sample Workout
Warm Up: 5 minutes of active movements/cardio.
Superset 1, 3 rounds, 30-60 second rest between rounds
Note: For the round using weights, do a warm up set with lighter weights to get your body prepped to go heavier.
Exercise 1: Dumbbell squats, 10
Exercise 2: Calf raises, 15
Superset 2, 3 rounds, 30-60 second rest between rounds
Exercise 1: Dumbbell bench press, 10
Exercise 2: Bicep curls, 10
Superset 3, 3 rounds, 30-60 second rest between rounds
Exercise 1: Upright rows, 10
Exercise 2: Front shoulder raises, 10
Superset 4, 3 rounds, 30-60 second rest between rounds
Exercise 1: Bent over barbell rows, 10
Exercise 2: Cable flys, 10
Superset 5, 3 rounds, 30-60 second rest between rounds
Exercise 1: One minute plank hold
Exercise 2: V-sit ups, 12