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Don’t you think it’s time to start supersetting your workouts?

Weightlifting is a difficult endeavour. The lactic acid buildup, an indescribable burn, pushing your muscles to absolute failure. So why make it even more difficult? Think about it. Only a crazy person would do that. Right? But pump iron for long enough, and you’ll realise you have little alternative.

At some point, your results will plateau. It’s a wall many lifters will run into at some stage. Frustration may occur, causing some to call it quits. Others will take the chemical route. There are a number of techniques you can utilise to break the plateau. The key is to break the monotony of the usual sets and reps.

One of my favourite intensifiers is supersets. A superset is performing two exercises back to back, with little to no rest in between. A tri-set is performing three exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. And then you have a giant set which is four or more exercises done back to back with little to no rest in between. You get the picture.

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You can perform opposing muscle group supersets. E.g. back and chest or triceps and biceps. This was a favourite of bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or you can perform the same muscle group supersets. Which is exactly what we’ll be doing here.

I’ve drawn up two different workout programmes here. Both are fairly intense. These workouts are not for beginners, but those of you who’ve been training for a while, and are looking for something different to what you’ve been doing. There will be no time for chitchat, so suck it up and dig deep. Some key points to remember:

  • Try to set up your equipment at a single station, in order to minimise the time between exercises.
  • If you’re able to complete the prescribed reps, next time increase the weight.
  • Keep a diary, so that you’re able to keep track of your rep count and amount of weight.
  • Stay adequately hydrated.
  • Perform each workout programme for a time frame of 4 – 6 weeks.
  • If you’re currently in the middle of another workout programme, that’s okay. Shelve this one and pick it up in the new year.
  • Consume a minimum of two and a half times your body weight in grams of protein on a daily basis. E.g. if you weigh 100kg, consume a minimum of 250g of protein per day.
  • Try to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.
  • For single-limb exercises, complete the total reps on each side.
  • Complete Workout 1 before moving onto Workout 2.

The focus of these workouts is muscle gain. But if you want to attain or maintain a lean physique, then you can refer back to some of our previous cardio workouts, which you can do directly after the weightlifting workout.

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Workout 1

 

Hamstring

 

Standing Leg Curl                                           3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Single-leg Lying Leg Curl                              3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Lying Leg Curl                                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Barbell Romanian Deadlift                          3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Quads

 

Leg Press                                                          3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Squat                                                                3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Hack Squat                                                      3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Leg Extension                                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Goblet Squat                                                   3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Calves

 

Seated Calf Raise                                           3 sets/25 – 30 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Leg Press Calf Raise                                       3 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing Calf Raise                                        3 sets/to failure. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Day 2:

 

Chest

 

Incline Bench Press                                        3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Cable Crossover                                             3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Pec Deck                                                          3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Machine Chest Press                                     3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Incline Dumbbell Chest Flye                       3 sets/12 – 15 reps

Superset with

 

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press                      3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Abs

 

Butterfly Situps                                              3 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Abdominal Crunch                                         3 sets/20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Lying Leg Raise                                               3 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Day 3:

 

Back

 

Barbell Row                                                     3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

T-Bar Row                                                        3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Seated Cable Row                                          3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Wide-grip Pullups                                           3 sets /to failure. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Wide-grip Lat Pulldown                               3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Reverse-grip Lat Pulldown                          3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Calves

 

Seated Calf Raise                                           3 sets/25 – 30 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Leg Press Calf Raise                                       3 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing Calf Raise                                        3 sets/to failure. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Day 4:

 

Shoulders

 

Seated Dumbbell Press                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Cable Lateral Raise                                        3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Machine Shoulder Press                               3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Reverse Pec Deck                                           3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Barbell Front Raise                                        3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Traps

 

Barbell Shrug                                                  3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Smith-machine Behind-the-back Shrug   3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Dumbbell Shrug                                             3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Abs

 

Butterfly Situps                                              3 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Abdominal Crunch                                         3 sets/20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Lying Leg Raise                                               3 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Day 5:

 

Triceps

 

Close-grip Bench Press                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Lying EZ-bar Extension                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Dips                                                                   3 sets/to failure. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Cable Pushdown                                            3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Overhead Cable Extension                          3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between supersets

 

Biceps

 

Standing Barbell Curl                                    3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl              3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Dumbbell Spider Curl                                   3 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

Machine Preacher Curl                                 3 sets/12 – 15 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing EZ-bar Curl                                     3 sets/10 – 12 reps. 90 secs rest between sets

 

WORKOUT 2

 

Day 1:

 

Hamstring

 

Seated Leg Curl                                              4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

 

Superset with

 

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift                     4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Good Mornings                                                             4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Lying Leg Curl                                                 4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Barbell Romanian Deadlift                          4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Standing Leg Curl                                           4 sets/25 – 30 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Quads

 

Smith-machine Narrow-stance Squat       4 sets/15 -20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Smith-machine Wide-stance Squat           4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Lunges                                                              4 sets/8 – 10 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Leg Extension                                                 4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Goblet Squat                                                   4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Single-leg Leg Press                                       4 sets/25 – 30 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Calves

 

Leg Press Calf Raise                                       4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing Calf Raise                                        4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Single-leg Standing Calf Raise                     4 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Day 2:

 

Dumbbell Chest Flye                                     4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Dumbbell Chest Press                                   4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Incline Dumbbell Chest Flye                       4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Incline Bench Press                                        4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Pushups                                                           4 sets/to failure. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Cable Crossover                                             4 sets/25 – 30 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Abs

 

Abdominal Crunches                                    4 sets/20 reps

 

Giant Set with

 

Butterfly Situps                                              4 sets/20 reps

 

Giant Set with

 

V-ups                                                                 4 sets/to failure

 

Giant Set

 

Plank                                                                 4 sets/1 minute hold. 1 min rest between giant sets

 

Day 3:

 

Back

 

Barbell Row                                                     4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Reverse-grip Barbell Row                            4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Wide-grip Lat Pulldown                                4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Reverse-grip Lat Pulldown                           4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Behind-the-neck Lat Pulldown                    4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Calves

 

Leg Press Calf Raise                                       4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing Calf Raise                                        4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Single-leg Standing Calf Raise                     4 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Day 4:

 

Shoulders

 

Dumbbell Upright Row                                 4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Behind-the-neck Military Press                  4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Dumbbell Front Raise                                   4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Dumbbell Lateral Raise                                4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Bentover Lateral Raise                                 4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Seated Dumbbell Press                                 4 sets/25 – 30 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Traps

 

Dumbbell Shrug                                             4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Barbell Shrug                                                  4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Barbell Upright Row                                      4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Abs

 

Abdominal Crunches                                    4 sets/20 reps

 

Giant Set with

 

Butterfly Situps                                              4 sets/20 reps

 

Giant Set with

 

V-ups                                                                 4 sets/to failure

 

Giant Set

 

Plank                                                                 4 sets/1 minute hold. 1 min rest between giant sets

 

Day 5:

 

Triceps

 

Cable Rope Pushdown                                 4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Overhead Cable Rope Extension               4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Lying EZ-bar Extension                                 4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Close-grip Bench Press                                 4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Bench Dip                                                         4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Dumbbell Kickback                                        4 sets/15 – 20 reps. 1 min rest between sets

 

Biceps

 

EZ-bar Preacher Curl                                     4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Superset with

 

Standing EZ-bar Curl                                     4 sets/14 – 18 reps. 1 min rest between supersets

 

Cable Rope Curl                                             4 sets/15 – 20 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Barbell Curl                                                      4 sets/14 – 18 reps

 

Tri-set with

 

Dumbbell Hammer Curl                                              4 sets/12 – 15 reps. 90 secs rest between tri-sets

 

Seated Concentration Curls                        4 sets/25 – 30 reps. 1 min rest between sets

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your GP if you’re suffering from any pre-existing medical condition/s before considering embarking on an exercise programme. Neither Sleb nor Sizwe Luthuyi may be held liable for any medical complication/s. Only do exercise programmes in accordance with your health practitioner.

Sizwe Luthayi (Qualified Personal Trainer)

If you have any questions for me on training programmes please get in contact with Sizwe. Details below.

Cellphone: 0839942748

Email: luthayis@gmail.com

Instagram: @bearzulu11

Twitter: @SizweLuthayi