Everyone likes being able to throw around heavy weight. But if you’re concentrating on strength-building, low-rep movements, you aren’t necessarily lifting for hypertrophy, or what you need to get larger muscles. Fortunately, there’s a way to get both: Supersets.
This workout pairs your weighted lifts with a high-rep bodyweight exercise that will deliver a tremendous amount of blood to your muscle tissue. These movement pairs, performed back to back with no rest between the two, work best after you’ve finished your heavy compound movements for the day. Think two to three sets per move, depending on how fatigued you are.
A. Dumbbell Curl with Full Twist: 8-12 reps
Hold two medium-weight dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing behind you. Keep the upper arm in place and curl the weight up, turning the dumbbells as you go, until your palms face you. Reverse the motion and rotate your hands behind you as you lower the weights.
B. Suspension Curl: 10-15 reps
Grab a pair of suspension straps and lean back until there is tension on the straps and your palms are facing up. Keeping the elbows up, curl your hands towards your face. Reverse the motion under control and repeat. Remember, keep the elbows up and prevent pulling the elbows back and rowing instead of curling.
A. Lying Dumbbell Rollbacks: 8-12 reps
Grab a pair of lighter dumbbells and lay down on to the ground. Press the bells up until your arms are fully extended with palms facing at the top. Lower the bells down as far as possible until the ends of the bells touch the very top of your shoulders, keeping the upper arm as vertical as possible. Extend the arm fully until the elbow joint is completely locked out.
B. Bodyweight Skull-Crushers: 10-15 reps
Place a bar in a rack at approximately waist height. Hold the bar just inside shoulder-width distance. With arms in a push-up position on the bar, initiate the movement by bending only at the elbows and lowering your face towards the bar under control. Once you near the bar, extend at the elbow using the triceps and keep the elbows in until you return to lockout. To vary the movement, experiment with grip width and tempo of the moment. Make sure you keep your elbows in.
A. Landmine Squeeze Press: 10-15 reps
Place one end of a barbell in a landmine attachment or a corner and load a challenging amount of weight to the other end. Pick up the loaded end and hold the end of the barbell at chest level, hands open but pressing the bar tight between the palms. Pressing as hard as possible, you should feel the pecs contract. Extend the arms up and out away from your body. Stop just before the elbows completely straighten out. Return to the chest, keeping constant tension the entire time.
B. Deficit Push-Ups: Work until failure
Set up two rubber bumper plates, short boxes, or any other raised objects on the floor next to each other approximately shoulder-width distance apart. Place your hands on the plates and assume a push-up position with a flat back and a tight core. Perform a push-up, keeping the elbows at approximately 45 degrees the entire time. Lower yourself below the plates until you feel a stretch in your pecs. Press to the top, locking out the arms.
A. Wide Grip Barbell Row: 8-12 reps
Load a barbell with moderate weight. Hinge at the hip and grab the bar with a flat back. Make sure to take an extra-wide grip, with index fingers on the first smooth ring of the bar. Keeping the elbows slightly out, row the bar to your chest, pause, and return to the starting position. Keep a flat back throughout.
B. Inverted Row: Work until failure
Set a barbell in a rack at approximately hip level or just below, depending on your arm length. Lie down on the ground underneath the bar and grab the bar, keep your legs straight out in front of you. Pull your chest to the bar, squeezing the upper back tight at the top, then lower down under control.