October 23, 2012
Supersetting your Cardio and Strength Training Routine

If you're looking for a different workout to energize your unsupervised exercise sessions, here is an exercise workout to try out.  Instead of doing your cardio and strength training separately, incorporate your strength training in-between your cardio.  Supersetting is a workout concept that trains certain muscle groups back-to-back with no rest in-between.  Normally, this is done with strength training exercises, but we're going to superset through alternating strength sets with time on cardio equipment.  When this is executed properly, this workout can be very effective in overloading your muscles, and producing maximum results in a shorter period of time.  

Before I get into the specifics, I want to stress to everyone to please discuss this with your 20/20 personal trainer before trying this out on your own.  He/she will provide you with a program design to do during your unsupervised exercise sessions.  Your personal trainer will also be able to inspect your strength training form before you start on your own as well.

For strength and cardio supersets, the work focuses on the same muscle groups for both sections.  In terms of our workouts, the lower body is focused here.  The strength portion should consist of compound exercises:  exercises which involve one or more joints or muscle groups.  Examples of compound exercises consist of lunges, squats, leg press, step-ups, deadlifts, etc.  Again, consult with your 20/20 personal trainer for advice. 

 As for the cardio portion, any gym equipment will suffice such as the stairmills, treadmills, ellipticals, AMTs and stationary bikes.  The cardio portion should be done in shorter spurts as opposed to the continuous 30-45 minutes that is normally recommended.  Instead, the cardio should be done in 10-15 minute bursts complimented with the strength training exercises in between.  Thus, the cardio should be done at higher intensities (70-85% of your heart rate reserve).  Depending on your mood, the 10-15 minute cardio sessions can be done in a variety of ways.  You can complete the 10-15 minutes continuously, but at a higher heart rate than what you normally do your 30-45 minute cardio sessions or you can break them down into intervals.  High-intensity intervals are a good example of cardio fitness for this workout.  A good rule of thumb is that you should not be able to maintain the intensity for longer than 2 minutes.  If an interval is maintained for longer than 2 minutes, this indicates that the intensity is not high enough.

Here is an example of a superset workout.  Remember, this should all be down with no rest in-between:

• 1. Warm-up on Stepmill: 2-minute warm-up at 50%
• 2. Cardio Interval #1: Intervals on the stepmill-2 minutes at 85%, rest for 1 minute and repeat for 5 cycles
• 3. Strength Set #1: Dumbbell squats: 2 sets x 15 repetitions
• 4. Cardio #2: Repeat Intervals for 15 minutes
• 5. Strength Set #2: Dumbbell Lunges: 2 sets x 15 Reps
• 6. Cardio #3: Repeat Intervals for 15 minutes
• 7. Strength Set #3: Dumbbell Step-ups: 2 sets x 15 Reps 
• 8. Cool Down on Stepmill: 2-5 minutes at 50% 
• 9. Abs and Stretch 

Strength and cardio supersets are an easy and fun way to maximize results in minimum time.  If done correctly, you should be done in less than an hour.  The options for pairing strength and cardio exercises are limitless.  The variety afforded by supersetting makes your workouts exciting and fun.  Remember to go at your own pace and be safe.


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