Why sit around taking breaks in between sets when you can get twice as much done in the same time?
I got bored of sitting around in between sets twiddling my thumbs.
And then there’s cardio … which can be a real snoozer. My workout would be 30 to 40 minutes of lifting followed by 15 to 30 minutes of steady rate cardio on a treadmill, stair climber or elliptical. The whole routine was fraught with boredom.
Supersets and Circuit Training Workouts were the Answer To Get Even More Fit
After a few years of doing the same-old boring methods, I read about the superset concept. The light bulb went off in my head, especially the superset concept. I immediately realized I could get twice as much done in the same time. In fact, I’d have to do far less cardio because the non-stop lifting routine would also be aerobic.
I put together a new superset workout and was off to the races. In fact, I’ve largely never looked back. Yes, I still incorporate non-superset programs throughout the year to mix it up, but my superset and circuit training regimens are my favorite and I do them the most.
It’s Been 15 Years Since I Started Using Supersets
Sure, I’ve taken some breaks from the gym, but I’ve been regularly attending doing a lot of supersets workout routines since then enjoying great results. I was able to get fit … taking it to the next level because I don’t focus solely on weight lifting … I’m able to incorporate many fitness exercises.
What are Supersets?
They are combinining 2 exercises, doing them back-to-back without rest. An example is doing a set of bench press (chest) followed immediately with a set of barbell curls (biceps). You can take a rest after the superset or just keep going. I vary the rest periods quite a bit.
2 Types of Supersets
You can same-muscle supersets or different-muscle supersets. If you’re looking for maximum muscle growth, go with the same-muscle variety. An example is doing bench press followed immediately with cable crossovers. The downside to the same-muscle version is that it won’t save you all that much time, but you will really hammer your targeted muscle and get in more exercise variety.
With different-muscle supersets, you work out two muscles back-to-back such as chest then biceps.
Video Explaining Supersets
Supersets Can Be Structured in Many Ways
What I love about supersetting is that I can get very creative with my workouts. Sometimes I incorporate plyometrics, yoga, cardio, abs in between weight lifting sets. This is extremely intense, NOT BORING, and I get so much done in a short amount of time.
What is Circuit Training?
Circuit training is taking the superset concept further. Once join 3 or more exercises back-to-back you have a circuit. While same-muscle circuit training doesn’t really exist (although you could do 3 same-muscle exercises back-to-back but it’s not typical), you can still use circuit training for building lean muscle. Let me explain.
You can do chest, biceps and triceps in one set. An example would be bench press followed by barbell curls followed by triceps extension. Do that routine 2 to 4 times, which is 2 to 4 mini-circuits. I also view this regimen as a triple superset, but it’s technically a circuit.
Video Explaining Circuit Training
Just as you can get creative with supersets, you can be even more creative with circuit training routines. Circuits don’t need to be comprised solely of weight lifting exercises. You can include cardio, abs, plyometrics, bodyweight exercises, yoga, stretching … whatever works to help you achieve your fitness goal.
You can do circuits that work out your entire body or select muscles. For example, you could do 3 full body circuits each week or you could do 3 different circuit workouts that when done over the course of the week work out each muscle of your body. Of course you can incorporate non-weight lifting exercises into your circuits … regardless of whether you do full body or splits.
Will Circuit Training Build Huge Muscles?
No, but not everyone wants to build massive muscles. In fact, the cross training concept is becoming more and more popular as more and more people simply want to get fit which includes getting rid of fat, increasing strength, improving flexibility and developing better cardiovascular capability.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded fitness result, circuit training is for you.
They’re for Men and Women
Yeah, I know more women do circuit training, but that’s changing. As more people discover the flexibility and variety of results that can be achieved with both supersets and circuits, more men will do them. They’re the perfect solution for many people with not a lot of time and/or are bored of the usual workout set structure followed by boring cardio.