Boost your endurance and burn extra calories by incorporating supersets into your lifts.
If you are transitioning into the gym for the first time from a cardio-heavy past, you may gravitate towards supersets. Or, if you have been hitting the gym for a while now and would like a new challenge, try incorporating supersets into your routine.
Supersets meld 2 or 3 exercises into a routine before allowing for a rest. Instead of doing 4 sets of 12 tricep kickbacks, for example, you would do 12 bicep curls and then 12 kickbacks before taking your rest. Combining sets like this cuts your rest time in half and keeps your heart pumping and your muscles burning.
Like the example above, you want to aim for opposing muscle groups in a superset. That way, you are still allowing your muscles the rest they need before pumping out another set. You just aren't letting your entire body rest. This, in effect, leads to a quicker, more efficient workout that ends up burning more calories.
Pairing exercises together and amping up the intensity of weight lifting can help boost your muscular endurance in cardiovascular activities outside the gym. You are teaching your body how to work through fatigue and challenging your breath and heart rate to steady themselves as you keep moving.
Keep in mind that supersets are not meant to increase your max weight. You can cut body fat and tone your muscles more efficiently, but you are not trying to max out. While lifting heavy is a good goal, save your breath. You need it for big lifting days and don't want to add in endurance and heart-pumping lifts on top of this. Your body needs the recovery time in between sets.
So how do you incorporate supersets into your weekly routine? Just rearrange your exercises into pairs. Shoot for about 6 total supersets in your routine—repeating each superset 3 times over and resting 30-90 seconds between each.
You want to pick up weights that allow you to perform 8-12 reps for each set. If you can barely lift the weight up or push it back out on your last rep, then that's a perfect weight for you.
If you want even more cardio, incorporate exercises like kettlebell swings, squat jumps, or medball slams. Working in exercises like these will make your heart work harder and you will find yourself dripping in sweat.