Photographed By Lucy Hewett.
By Bari Lieberman for Refinery29
You don’t have to learn a bunch of complicated new moves to see results at the gym. While it may help combat the boredom, if you’re perfectly happy with your squat-plank-press-lunge regime, proceed as planned. However, tweaking how and when you transition from one exercise to the next can transform your routine. It can also cut the time you spend exercising in half without sacrificing any of the sculpting benefits.
We’re talking about supersets. “This is a form of training where exercises are conducted one right after another, with no rest between movements,” explains Lina Belkin, chief training officer of The Barre Code fitness studios. You’ll find supersets incorporated into the studios’ Barre Code and TBC (Total Body Conditioning) classes. That means instead of doing three sets of 20 jumping lunges with one-minute of rest between each set, and then moving onto to your rounds of bicep curls, you perform 20 jumping lunges then immediately do 20 bicep curls. Afterward, you can rest briefly before performing the superset again. You do the same amount of work, but in half the time.
The benefits of incorporating supersets into your gym routine are two-fold, explains Belkin. First, you increase the intensity by cutting your recovery time. “This allows you to keep your heart rate elevated for the duration of your workout,” she says. Second, it’s efficient — training with supersets is a simple way of sneaking in an effective workout without spending hours exercising. “There is no downtime when you move from exercise to exercise. Basically, you can get through the same amount of work in less time.”
“We utilize the two different styles of superset training, including hitting the same muscles with two different exercises one right after the next (such as tricep dips and push-ups), and by pairing different muscle groups (such as a bicep curl and squat).” Belkin’s favorite superset uses a body bar, and pairs the front shoulder raise with dead-lifts.
Seems like a superset gets you one step closer to a super-you.