Supersets and why you should do them

What is a superset? And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use…

Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

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What is a superset?

And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use different muscle groups or movement patterns, though not always. Here’s why you should incorporate this method in your workout routine.

Benefits of supersets

  1. Short on time? The idea is that you’re doing exercises on different muscle groups during the time you’d normally be resting. So you get the same amount of exercises done in half the time.
  2. Build muscle! Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle growth. By using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other.
  3. Increase intensity! Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.

How to build good supersets

supersetsAlternating upper body with lower body is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put together three or four supersets using multi-joint exercises and do each for 8 to 12 reps and two to three times through. This is a solid resistance workout that’ll take 30 minutes or less. Other ideas include a push/pull upper body workout, utilizing antagonistic muscles. A sample superset workout is below:

2 Sets, 12 Reps

  • Squats
  • Lateral lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1 min rest
  • Barbell row
  • Push ups
  • 1 min rest
  • Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • 1 min rest

Do you use supersets as a part of your fitness regime?

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Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

Best Gym Deals of 2018: Stretching your dollar

Looking for a gym deal? It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when everyone gets a reset button. Many take this opportunity to change up their normal habits. For example, some choose to start eating healthier or working out more often. For many, a new gym membership is on their minds. But,…

Best Gym Deals of 2018: Stretching your dollar was originally published on Self Evolve

Looking for a gym deal?gym deals of 2018

It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when everyone gets a reset button. Many take this opportunity to change up their normal habits. For example, some choose to start eating healthier or working out more often. For many, a new gym membership is on their minds. But, you still want to save up for maybe a new car, house, or vacation. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do both with the best gym deals of 2018. Continue reading to see where your dollar goes the furthest.

Best Gym Deals of 2018

  • Bottom of the barrel:  Planet Fitness is your best bet. Until Wednesday January 10th, it’s only $1 initiation and $10 a month for a gym membership. Of course, you get the bare minimum with this membership: only one club access and Planet Fitness doesn’t offer any extra stuff other than a few classes, cardio and weight machines.
  • Most bang for your buck: LA Fitness is where it’s at. Membership ranges from $24.99 to $29.99 a month depending on if you want single club or multi-club access. The initiation fee varies, but generally ranges from $49.99 to $99.99. The best part is there’s no contract and LA fitness has locations almost everywhere. Most locations have amazing amenities such as sauna, spa, pools, basketball and racquetball courts. In addition to these, LA Fitness also offers many different classes that are all included in your membership. Classes range from yoga, spin, kickboxing, aqua aerobics, and even slower-paced silver sneakers classes for the elderly. Whatever your fitness level, LA Fitness has a class for you.
  • If you want to splurge: Equinox is the nicest by far, but you’ll definitely be paying for it. They have a great January deal going on where you’ll get your initiation fee back if you workout at least 8 times in your first 30 days, which is about a $300 to $500 value. Equinox has everything that LA Fitness has but even more. More variety of classes, elite equipment, and steam rooms in addition to the pools and saunas. If you want to live a life of luxury, and don’t mind spending upwards of $140 to $250 a month for a gym membership than Equinox is for you.

What gym do you go to? Which gym do you think is the best deal?

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Best Gym Deals of 2018: Stretching your dollar was originally published on Self Evolve

My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout!

One of my favorite days of the week is back workout day! It’s the day I get to hit my back muscles in multiple ways at the gym. One of my favorite things about working my back is that I see results quickly. One of my least favorite things is walking around all stiff like…

My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout! was originally published on Self Evolve

back workoutOne of my favorite days of the week is back workout day! It’s the day I get to hit my back muscles in multiple ways at the gym. One of my favorite things about working my back is that I see results quickly. One of my least favorite things is walking around all stiff like an old lady the next day or two. But after the stiffness subsides, I feel stronger and my posture is improved. Today I’m going to go over a great all-encompassing back workout and why you should be hitting the back weekly.

Great back workout exercises!

Keep in mind that everyone is at a different point in their training. If you’re new to back exercises, grab lighter weights to start with. You can ALWAYS move up if the weights are too light, but don’t go too heavy to start since you don’t know how you’ll feel during or after the exercise.

  • Barbell Deadlift. This is technically more than a back exercise but it’s the absolute best for overall backside development. Technique is very important, but once you nail it you can progress to lifting monster weights that will recruit maximum muscle and help your muscles grow. If you’re lifting heavy, it’s best to do these near the beginning of your workout. If you’re doing them for repetitions, you can do them later in your workout. New to this? I would highly recommend hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions to learn the proper form. If that’s not an option, look up the proper technique HERE.
  • Bent-Over Barbell Deadlift. This is the second-best back movement in terms of sheet weight you can lift. This exercise will work the larger muscle groups of the upper and lower back equally. This is another technical move that requires excellent form but rewards you with a ton of muscle. Do bent-over rows toward the start of your back workout for heavy set in lower rep ranges. See proper form HERE.
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Row. This is a great unilateral exercise that allows you to move a lot of weight. You’ll get greater range of motion when training unilaterally and you won’t be restrained if your weaker side fails first. Keep your elbow close to your body and pull straight up. This exercise will focus more on your lower lats. Do it anywhere from the middle to the end of your workout. See proper form HERE.

 Put your back into it!

back workout
©Ozzie Ramsay Photography | ALL Rights Reserved 2017

Your goals will determine how many reps and sets you do, but in general it’s best to do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. Like I said, start light then add more weight over time as you nail down the proper form. If you need help getting your technique down, I highly recommend working with a certified personal trainer like myself. Even just a few sessions will give you a lot of feedback to work with and learn from! Avoid bad form which leads to injury!

What’s your favorite back exercise?

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My neck, my back, my lats, my traps: Back workout! was originally published on Self Evolve

Barre it all

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try a few free Barre classes at two different The Barre Code locations and this is my review. I went into these Barre classes thinking “how hard can it be?” and needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was sweating and…

Barre it all was originally published on Self Evolve

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try a few free Barre classes at two different The Barre Code locations and this is my review. I went into these Barre classes thinking “how hard can it be?” and needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was sweating and…

Barre it all was originally published on Self Evolve

SPENGA what?

SPENGA: Spin, Strength, Yoga. Last week I tried my first SPENGA class, kinda. It was on a rooftop and not in the studio, so unfortunately there were no bikes and therefore only strength and yoga (50/50). Despite missing the spin, I had a great time! It was a gorgeous, breezy night in Oak Park, and I…

SPENGA what? was originally published on Self Evolve

SPENGA: Spin, Strength, Yoga. Last week I tried my first SPENGA class, kinda. It was on a rooftop and not in the studio, so unfortunately there were no bikes and therefore only strength and yoga (50/50). Despite missing the spin, I had a great time! It was a gorgeous, breezy night in Oak Park, and I…

SPENGA what? was originally published on Self Evolve