You have a busy day today.
You wake up thinking about all the things you have to do. Instead of working 9-5 at your job you have to stay an extra hour because, well, your boss says so. After work you then have to pick up your kids from basketball practice. Then right after that, you have to meet with your business partner for dinner. After pondering about your day, you realize that you might not have time to go to the gym right after work because you will be extra busy.
Pop quiz — what do you do?
A) Skip today’s workout
B) Have someone else drive your kids, so you can workout for 1 hour
C) Cancel dinner with your business partner, so you can workout for 1 hour
D) Go with your day and work out for the 30 minutes of free time that you have
Well, there’s actually no right or wrong answer here. Your response is just a reflection of your priorities. But if you answered D because you’re committed to your goals and don’t like to make excuses, I have a little workout “trick” for you if you have limited time to work out.
It’s nothing new and sounds simple, but I rarely see people doing it (because 99% of the general population will either do option A, B, or C).
Here’s what you do –> superset your exercises.
Let’s say you have an upper body workout for today consisting of 8 exercises: one arm dumbbell row, incline dumbbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell lateral raise, bodyweight push-ups, bodyweight pull-ups, cable bicep curls, and cable tricep pushdowns. Depending on the location of the equipment in your gym, you can superset:
- Dumbbell rows with dumbbell bench presses
- Dumbbell shoulder presses with lateral raises
- Bodyweight pull-ups with bodyweight push-ups
- Cable bicep curls with tricep pushdowns
As you can see here, the 8 exercises are divided up into 4 supersets where each muscle group is combined with their antagonist muscle. You’ll also be taking minimal rest both in between exercises and supersets.
The result? Shortened workout time, increased training efficiency, and a surge in stimulation of your muscles. Oh, and guess what? You’re still able to go through your day without having to hassle your husband/wife to drive the kids, or making up a lame excuse with your business partner just to cancel dinner.
It’s not about how long your workout is, but how efficient you are at working out. Get in the gym and get out.
Note: You can’t just superset anything and everything; it all depends on your workout program. For example, I would not recommend super-setting max effort lifts. So if you’re going for a 3-rep max for deadlifts in your strength program, you shouldn’t super-set it with anything. Doing any other exercise right after a very high-intensity lift is just plain dumb and unnecessary. This isn’t Crossfit.
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