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Supersets: Time-Saving or Time-Wasting? The Pros and Cons of This High-Intensity Workout

As a fitness professional, I tend to incorporate supersets into my strength-based classes and with some clients, depending on their goals and preferences.

While there are certainly benefits to this type of workout, it's important to consider both the pros and the cons before making a decision about whether to include them in your training routine.

One of the main advantages of supersets is that they can be a time-saving alternative to traditional strength training. By performing two exercises for opposing muscle groups back to back, you can get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. This can be particularly appealing for those who are short on time or looking to add some variety to their workouts.

In addition to being time-efficient, supersets can also be more challenging and provide greater "cardio" benefits than straight sets. A recent study from the University of New Mexico found that supersets elicited higher average VO2, heart rate, and blood lactate levels, as well as higher perceived exertion and higher aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure per minute compared to straight sets. However, it's worth noting that the straight-set workout actually burned more total calories, although this difference may have been made up if the energy expenditure after the superset workout had been accounted for.

Despite these benefits, there are also some downsides to consider when it comes to supersets. One of the main drawbacks is that they may feel harder due to the shorter rest periods. If you're someone who prefers a more traditional strength training approach with heavier weights and longer rest periods, then supersets may not be the best fit for you.

In conclusion, while supersets can be a useful tool for saving time and adding variety to your workouts, they may not be suitable for everyone. The most important thing is to find a workout that is enjoyable and sustainable for you, as this is what will help you stick with it in the long run. If you're considering incorporating supersets into your training routine, it's a good idea to start with lighter weights and shorter rest periods and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable with the format. So, it's always better to consult with a fitness professional before starting any new workout routine. Here's a sneak peek at an online class I taught featuring high-intensity supersets with active recovery. Watch the video below to see how I incorporated this time-saving workout technique into a dynamic fitness class.



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