Thursday, March 20, 2014

Supa Supa Supa Sets

Hey Fit Fam ...

I am always hesitant to tell people what "I do" to get fit .. but the question is being asked more and more, so I thought I'd write about the ONE thing that I really do believe in more than almost anything else. Keep in mind that works for me may not work for you. Your goals may not be the same of mine. But there is one thing that I think anyone can benefit from and that is .... drumroll ... SUPER SETS!

Most of us are pinched on time. We all want to make the most of our workouts, right? I just started doing super sets every time I go to the gym this past year and I credit them for about 90% of my gains.

A super set is (in short) when one set of excercises is done directly after a set of a different exercise with NO rest in-between them. Once ONE super set is done (for example .. one set of shoulder press then one set of shoulder raises) then you rest for one min or so to recover. Then repeat for however many sets you are doing (I do 3 to 4 sets of super sets). Not only will you finish your work out in a fraction of the time .. it keeps your heart rate up for your entire workout! What does that mean?! Yup .. you burn more FAT!

It's up to you how you "group" your workouts. For example ... I usually do "Back/Bi" "Shoulder/Tri" "Chest/Abs", etc. Sometimes I mix that up and do "Shoulders/Abs" "Chest/Tris" .. the point is to try to do supporting muscle groups. But there are people that mix other muscle groups .. like quads and tris. I usually do Legs all in one day... usually twice a week. That said .. when you are super setting some people say this works best when you do opposing muscle groups when super setting. Who knows .. that goes back to what works for YOU. But one thing I DO NOT believe in .... plain ole circuit training. You know .. where you go and do every single machine at the gym in one day. I think that is a waste of a workout. Not only do you not get to spend much time on a specific muscle group - but it literally takes forever. Allow me to get scientific for a second. Studies have shown that after an hour of intense exercise, testosterone levels in our bodies begin to decrease .. but the stress hormone cortisol begins to rise. Which is OPPOSITE of what you want to happen. High levels of cortisol cause in increase in weight gain .. while low levels of testsoterone don't support muscle growth. Bottom line ... super set. It works. You spend less time at the gym and see better results. Your metabolism will thank you :)

This is an example of a Super Set Back/Bi Day for me.  I don't necessarily do the workout exactly like this (grouped this way). These are just a exercises I usually do when training these body I can kinda explain what I'm talking about.  But switch it up from week to week - it tricks your muscles :) For example .. the workout I did this week for biceps was TOTALLY different for me and actually didn't involve super sets for the bicep portion of my workout. Gonna try it again before I decide if I liked it. If so I'll share in the future! I still thing I like anything that involves super sets better :)

On this day I did opposing muscle groups. Again .. some people (including me) do super sets of all one muscle group and then move to super sets ofthe other muscle group they are doing that day. There are some exercises you should do before others ... but I'm rambling as it is and don't want to make this any more confusing than it already may be, haha.

SuperSet ONE:
Rows 12-15 reps
Bicep Curls (single arm) 12-15 reps per arm

Do this 3 to 4 times

SuperSet TWO:
Lat Pull Downs 12-15 reps
Lying Bicep Curls 12-15 reps

Do 3 to 4 times

Superset THREE:
Lower back raises - weighted 12-15 reps
Hammer Curls (single arm) 12-15 reps each arm

Do 3 to 4 times

Superset FOUR:
Incline Bicep Curls 12-15 reps
Bar ups (i can't describe this one and no clue if that is even the real name, ha) 12-15 reps

How many supersets you want to do is up to you! Some people do 3 (so that would be 6 total exercises. 3 per body part if you are mixing muscle groups) .. some people do 6+. I usually do 3-4.  It just depends on what body part I'm working, if I'm mixing muscle groups, how much energy I have, etc.

There are SO MANY methods out there. I also like something called "Push/Pull" for those that can only go to the gym a few days a week (you can do super sets with this method). Regardless of what you choose .. PLEASE make sure you are using proper form. Search youtube, ask someone at the gym that obviously knows what they are doing, hire a trainer for a few weeks, etc. But keep in mind that just because your boyfriend is a boy ... or just because your friend has been to a gym before ... doesn't mean they know proper form. **This random thought is inspired by the new couple working out together at my gym last night. HIGH FIVE that they are there working out .. but ... OMG I wanted to cry. They wasted a workout and could have gotten hurt**


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