Supersetting is gym lingo for doing multiple exercise sets in a row without resting. The technique might seem painful, since it involves performing a set at the most horrific time— right . But decreasing break time can mean burned, greater, and increased aerobic exercise.

Photo: Caitlin Covington

Double Up — The Takeaway

There are multiple styles and sequences of supersets. They can target the same or similar muscle groups, such as or between squats and lunges. Then, there are supersets that work entirely different areas, . Both types of supersets have benefits— decreasing recovery time increases muscle fatigue, which And alternating muscle groups requires more aerobic effort and (i.e. calorie burn). (Though avoid supersetting and expending all that extra energy . For most of us— — time isn’t on our side. Fortunately, supersets give us ways to maximize our time. And minimizing rest time during workouts not only benefits busy schedules, but can also yield positive results for muscles Kelleher AR, Hackney KJ, Fairchild TJ et al. Musculoskeletal and Human Performance Laboratories, Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2010 Apr;24(4):1043-51.. Just doing more sets of one exercise without shortening rest periods won’t cut it Haddock BL, Wilkin LD. Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397, USA. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2006 Feb;27(2):143-8.. Research suggests working different muscle groups in succession burns more energy during and after exercise than repeating the same workout  Kelleher AR, Hackney KJ, Fairchild TJ et al. Musculoskeletal and Human Performance Laboratories, Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2010 Apr;24(4):1043-51. Da Silva RL, Brentano MA, Kruel LF. Exercise Research Laboratory, Physical Education School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2010 Aug;24(8):2255-60.. Sneak just one extra set between regular resistance training sets to seriously boost the energy burn Scott, CB. Exercise Health and Sport Sciences, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2011 Apr;25(4):1159-63.. Pretty much every workout can go from standard to super with a few tweaks. Add sets of exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, squats, or more in between sets— it can transform a routine and bring on fatigue . Just make sure to start supersetting at a manageable pace, since trained athletes . And if those shorter rest times , lighten the resistance level to and other unfortunate injuries.

Beginners' Tips

Here are some supersetting tips from trainers and :

Matt Miller:

  • Next time you are doing your basic bench press, incorporate a set of seated rows in between sets to keep your heart rate up and boost your metabolism.
  • Oftentimes technique can become compromised when fatigue sets in, so be mindful of your technique to avoid injury.
Faith Dey:
  • Focus on the major “big” muscle groups for the most efficiency (for example, back and chest). I love to do back rows followed by chest presses or push-ups and bicep curls followed by tricep presses.
  • Warm up properly for 5-10 minutes before supersetting. Try lighter weights to warm up the muscles first.