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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!
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.
Squats: 5 sets of 6-8 reps
Barbell press: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
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.
Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5 reps
Barbell Bent Over Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
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.
Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps/leg
Burpees: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
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.
Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
Push-Ups: 3 sets to failure
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.
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.