Pairing up exercises that work opposite muscle groups (so they don’t compete with one another for recovery) burns more calories than traditional training with straight sets. For example, doing multiple sets of a chest exercise paired with sets of a back exercise shuttles blood back and forth between the working muscles, making your heart work harder. Increased heart rate means more calories burned, and training multiple areas of the body at once also leads to shorter, more intense, and more efficient workouts. Science backs it up. A 2010 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that noncompeting supersets led to greater energy expenditure relative to training time and subjects burned calories at an accelerated rate.
Want to take it up another notch? Pair up exercises that work the upper and lower body. Now you’re forcing the heart to pump blood from the legs back up to the torso and down again, intensifying caloric expenditure even more. The following workout is a circuit routine made up of noncompeting exercises you can do mostly with body weight alone. Remember to eat right, and watch the pounds fall away.
Perform one set of 8–12 reps for each exercise in sequence (for the battling ropes, perform reps for 15–30 seconds). Afterward, rest 60 seconds—that’s one circuit. Repeat for three to five circuits. For the leg exercises, perform all reps on one leg and then immediately on the other before moving on to the next move.
THE WORKOUT >>> [PAGE 2]
THE NUMBER ONE FAT LOSS WORKOUT
1. ALTERNATING REVERSE LUNGE
Step backward with your right foot and lower your body until your left thigh is parallel with the floor and your rear knee nearly touches down. Keep your torso upright and your front shin vertical.
2. CLOSE-GRIP PUSHUP
Get into pushup position and place your hands inside shoulder width. Lower your body, tucking your elbows into your sides, until your chest is just above your hands.
3. SINGLE-LEG HIP THRUST
Rest your upper back on the middle of a bench, perpendicular to its length, and set your feet on the floor, shoulder width apart. Extend your right leg in the air and brace your abs. Drive through the heel of your left foot to raise your hips into the air. Don’t let your lower back extend.
4. INVERTED ROW
Set a barbell in a rack at hip level. Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width and hang underneath it. Pull yourself up until your sternum touches the bar.
5. BODY SAW
Get into pushup position, and then rest your forearms on the floor. Rest your feet on furniture sliders, a towel, or a paper plate so they can slide. Brace your core and use your forearms to push your body back, then pull it forward in a sawing motion. Back and forth one time is one rep.
6. BATTLING ROPE SLAM
Secure a rope around a fixed object and grab an end in each hand. Get into an athletic stance with hips and knees bent. Raise one end at a time, then slam them hard into the floor. Keep alternating the slams. Continue for time.