As a busy hard-working adult who has to balance work, family, and social obligations, before even thinking about exercise, we think it is fair to assume that time is your most precious and limited resource.
And this means to build a lean, strong, healthy body, you’re going to need to get the most out of every one of your workouts.
Now, far and away one of the most effective ways of maximizing the amount of exercise you can do in the shortest period of time is to use supersets and weight circuits.
What are supersets and weight circuits?
A superset is when you select two different exercises that work different parts of the body and alternate between the two. For example alternating between sets of squats and rows.
Weight circuits are exactly like supersets, only you choose three or more exercises to rotate between, instead of just two. For example rotating between sets of squats, rows, and push ups.
(We’re not really sure why they are named differently, but these terms are used so commonly we thought it was important to address both.)
Now the advantage of using supersets and weight circuits is as follows.
When you perform any weighted exercise you need time to rest the muscles you just used before you can effectively use them again, and generally speaking this rest period is about one to two and half minutes long. (This is a simplification as your rest period will depend on a number of factors, but one to two and a half minutes is a good reflection of the average rest period for typical individuals with typical health and fitness goals.)
Now, if you perform just one exercise at a time, this basically means you’re going to stand around doing nothing for that entire rest period. (Maybe you check Facebook, maybe you check out that cute guy or girl on the other side of the gym, but you’re not exercising.)
But if you add in another exercise, or exercises, that work different muscle groups, you may only need to rest for 30 seconds, or even less (just to catch your breath and recover mentally) before you can move onto the next exercise.
And this means you can double, triple, or even quadruple the number of muscle groups you can work and the total amount of exercise you can do in the same amount of time as if you had done just one exercise alone.
For example, lets say your primary fitness goal is to build lean muscle and tone throughout your whole body.
You could set up a three-exercise circuit comprised of one lower body exercise, one upper body push exercise, and one upper body pull exercise using the following specific exercises ordered as follows.
Exercise 1: Lower Body Exercise: Back Loaded Barbell Squats
Exercise 2: Upper body Push Exercise: Bench Press
Exercise 3: Upper body Pull Exercise: One Arm Dumbbell Rows
Or lets say your primary fitness goals are to lose body fat and tone and strengthen your legs and core.
You could set up a six-exercise circuit that comprised of two lower body exercises, two core exercises, and two cardio exercises using the following specific exercises ordered as follows.
Exercise 1: Lower body Exercise: Goblet Squats
Exercise 2: Core Exercise: Russian Twists
Exercise 3: Cardio Exercise: Mountain Climbers
Exercise 4: Lower Body Exercise: Dumbbell Loaded Reverse Lunges
Exercise 5: Core Exercise: Single Leg Plank
Exercise 6: Cardio Exercise: Burpees
The potential combinations are limitless. Especially when you consider that you can use multiple circuits per workout session.
However you choose to set up your circuits, the important point is that if you are like any hard working busy adult and have limited time to dedicate to exercise, you need to get the absolute most out of every minute you spend in the gym. And by far one of the best ways to maximize the amount of work you get done in the least amount of time is to use supersets and circuits.
Your exercise and dietary coaching team.
Zach Moore Training.
And everyone, if you found today’s article insightful, inspiring or enlightening and you have a friend, family member, colleague or peer who you think would benefit from what we’ve talked about here today, pass this email on.
One of the best things you can do for those you care about is help them build a healthy and great looking body. A body that is strong, capable and moves without pain and a body in which they feel confident and happy.