I love weights – I really do. The feeling of confidence that comes from getting stronger in everyday life, the satisfaction you get every time you increase the weights you’re lifting and of course, the feeling of pride you get when you increase tone in your body (for me personally it’s my booty).
However, I hate sitting around resting between sets. Quite frankly, I don’t have the time, the patience or the attention span! I like my workouts to be nonstop, sweaty and efficient. If this sounds like you, let me introduce you to supersets…
Supersets differ from normal sets as they’re performed with little to no rest in between exercises. But they still reap the benefits of traditional weight training such as increased metabolism, bone mineral density, flexibility and toning. You can also expect a higher caloric expenditure due to the increase in heart rate, increased workout efficiency and decreased total workout time.
While supersets take different forms, I prefer to use the upper-lower mix – I alternate an upper-body exercise with a lower-body movement, so while I’m working out my legs, my arms are resting and fresh for the next set. This is great for busy women who need to get their weight training and whole body workout done quickly.
Here’s one of my favourite workouts of three supersets and a finisher on the bike. It can be done in half an hour, works the entire body and is guaranteed to get a good sweat going! Give it a go and feel the difference for yourself.
10 reps 3 sets
a) Weighted walking lunges
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Step right leg forward into a lunge, then step up with your left to standing position. Repeat lunge with left leg.
b) Assisted chin-up
Choose your grip (I prefer underhand). Gently lower yourself, keeping shoulders down away from ears and core tight. Pull back up to the top, bringing your chin above the bar.
10 reps 3 sets
a) Weighted curtsey lunges
Start in upright position with feet shoulder-width apart and barbell on shoulders. Step left leg behind the right and drop knee towards the floor, like a curtsey. Step back into start position, then repeat with right leg.
b) Hands-off push-ups
Lower yourself to the floor like a normal push-up, but keep going until you’re lying on the ground. Squeeze shoulder blades together to lift hands off the ground for a second, then place them on the floor and push up.
10 reps 3 sets
a) Kettle bell squat and upright row
With chest up and shoulders back, squat down to the ground. Push through heels to rise while lifting kettle bell to chin, taking elbows out to the side.
b) Medicine ball exchange crunch
Lie on your back and use left elbow to hold ball to right knee, with left leg extended. Crunch to bring both elbows and knees to the ball at once, and swap sides. If you’re struggling, use hands instead of elbows.
Jump on a bike and set the resistance to a moderate level. Cycle 45 seconds at an easy pace, then sprint for 15 seconds. Increase level by 1. Repeat five times
Words by Carissa Evans, Exercise Physiologist/Personal Trainer at Fernwood Woonona