Power Pairings: Effective Supersets For Strength And Size

As nice as it would be to have unlimited training time, it’s simply not in the cards for most people. The gym is great, but a little thing called life often throws a wrench in your best-laid plans. Realistically, even the most dedicated people can only attend the gym 3-5 days per week for an hour per day, and that’s with a little luck.

The good news is that one hour per session is plenty of time, if you use your time wisely! You just have to be smart with your exercise selection and workout program. Enter “power pairings,” which are specific superset-style exercise pairs I created to help you get the most out of your precious training time.

As with any superset, you perform power pairings without resting between the paired exercises. Take a bench press and chin-up pair, for example. You perform one set of bench press followed immediately by a set of chin-ups. You won’t rest until after you complete both exercises.

Pairing Power

“Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic.”

Power pairings can be useful within full-body routines or body-part splits, but for this article I’ll explain how to use them in full-body routines. Full-body workouts are my go-to method when life gets hectic. In a full-body routine, you’d use a power pairing after your primary lift. This allows you to give your first lift maximum attention and strength.

Start your workout with a big-bang strength movement and devote your full energy and attention to it. When you finish your main lift, implement a power pairing as your finisher. Power pairings use one piece of equipment and require little to no setup, which makes them easy to use even in crowded gyms.

Here are four power pairings that you can add to your own training program to cut down on your overall workout time and still get a great training effect!

1 Ring Dip And Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo

Pair ring dips with a chin-up/hip thrust combination exercise I created to blast the back, glutes, and hamstrings simultaneously. Rather than confusing you by trying to explain the exercise, here’s a video of what it looks like in action:

From a strength and muscle-building standpoint, this pairing works well because the exercises focus on different body parts, so they won’t negatively impact each other or impair your strength. From a logistical standpoint, it’s a great pair because the ring height is the same for each exercise, which means no necessary adjustments between sets.

To up the ante, try the pairing in a countdown format, as demonstrated in the video. Rather than doing straight sets of each exercise, start by doing decreasing sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between sets. Be warned: This is not for the faint of heart.

Use it: This pair works as a brutal finisher to cap off a great heavy, knee-dominant exercise like the front squat, back squat, split squat, or lunge.

2 “Bottoms Up” Front Squats And Inverted Rows

Instead of starting in the standing position, “bottoms up” squats call for you to start at the bottom of the rep and lift from the squat rack’s safety pins. Pause after each rep! This is a great front squat variation to hammer your quads and core, and help you build strength out of the hole.

After you finish the front squats, leave the bar on the pins and use it to perform a set of inverted rows. The bar will be at a perfect height to allow for full range of motion with no adjustments. It works great from a logistical standpoint.

In the video below, I use chains on the front squats, which is great if you have chains at your disposal, but they’re not essential.

Use it: This pairing is an ideal finisher after a heavy bench press or overhead press variation.

3 Rack RDL And Split-Stance Row Combo

I recommend doing RDLs and barbell rows from the safety pins of a squat rack. Reset after each rep to take stress off your lower back and encourage proper form. I also recommend doing barbell rows with a split stance to take stress off the lower back, because the split stance helps prevent against lower-back rounding.

Fortunately, the proper pin height is the same for each exercise, so it works well as a pairing. You’ll almost undoubtedly be able to use more weight on RDLs than barbell rows, so you’ll need to change the weight, which is a breeze because the bar is raised off the floor. This video below shows how the pair looks in action. I use an oversized trap bar, which is great if you have one, but you can just as easily use a standard barbell.

If you use a barbell, here is how the rows look.

Use it: This pair goes well after a heavy pressing day.

4 Overhead Press And Front Squats

Pairing overhead presses with front squats works well because you don’t need to waste time adjusting the bar in the rack. It’s set to the same height for each exercise, making this a killer combo.

I recommend doing the overhead press before the front squats, because after much experimentation, I found that the overhead press doesn’t negatively impact the subsequent front squats. Alternatively, if you do the front squats first, the overhead press suffers.

It’s also important to note that most people will be much stronger on front squats than overhead press. This gives you two options: add weight for each set of front squats, or simply do more reps. I usually choose the latter and do twice as many front squats as overhead presses, as I do in this video.

Use it: This pairing works perfectly as a finisher after doing a heavy chin-up or row variation. It’s also ideal as a standalone workout when you’re really pinched for time and still want to get a good training effect.

Putting It All Together

Here’s an example of how to utilize these power pairings within a full-body workout program to keep your workouts brief but effective. Shoot to train 2-4 days per week and rotate the workouts as necessary.

Workout 1:
A1. Front Squats: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Ring Dips: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps
B2. Chin-Up/Hip Thrust Combo: 5 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 reps

Workout 2:
A1. Incline Bench Press: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. “Bottoms Up” Front Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps
B2. Inverted Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps

Workout 3:
A1. Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 reps
B1. Rack RDL: 4 sets of 8 reps
B2. Split-Stance Rack Row: 4 sets of 8 reps

Workout 4:
A1. Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps
B1. Overhead Press: 4 sets of 6 reps
B2. Front Squats: 4 sets of 12 reps


About The Author

Ben Bruno graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and trains clients at Rise Movement…

Fat burning upper body workout

Skip the queue for fat loss with this strategic workout by March 2017 cover model Claudia Jovanoski.Words/workout: Claudia Jovanovski (pictured)Photography: James PatrickTime-poor gymmers are all too familiar with supersetting to save time. Pushing out two moves successively with little or no rest between is among the best fitness hacks going – especially for impatient types.Tri-sets step things up again, running together three fatiguing moves, meaning the workout is performed at high intensity for a shorter duration than standard circuits.According to a study at the Catholic University of Brasilia and the Eastern Illinois University, multiple sets (MS) and tri-sets (TS) were found to impact neuromuscular variables and body composition.The results of the study indicate that a multi-set regimen burns more body fat than circuit-like training.In tri-sets, the usual rest period between sets is used to complete a set of another move.Research also shows that the hormonal response to such unrelenting exertion favours optimal muscle growth (which in the real world equals tone and a faster metabolism).You can either pair exercises that are noncompeting (i.e. work opposing muscle groups), or you can pair exercises that target the same muscle group.The downside of this fast, furious method is a power penalty, which reduces the amount of resistance you can use and hence limits potential for strength gains.While some experts claim that staggering moves with opposing muscle group pairings circumvents this risk, the nervous system’s response to this training method necessarily inhibits power. Most experts maintain that classic training is best for strength goals.For more advanced users, tri-sets can be combined with classic sets by incorporating one or two strength moves performed classically (with or without intervening moves that keep the body moving without inviting fatigue).This workout uses sprints, so factor that in, whether you want to do a bike sprint in the gym or a dash on the track.On your marks, get set…1.

The 12-Week Bikini Competition Diet

If you’ve always wanted to hit the stage in a bikini or figure competition, this is your time. Our comprehensive plan includes the Workout Plan, this nutrition plan, and motivational tips to help you get a winning physique in just 12 weeks. Give it a try—even if you’re not ready for the spotlight, you’re guaranteed to get into the very best shape of your life. The diet plan How it works: This nutrition program is designed to help you drop fat without losing muscle. In each phase, you’ll have three daily meals and three snacks

How to fast-track fat loss

How to fast-track fat loss Want to know the key to fat loss? Master trainer Daniel Tramontana shares his tips for guaranteed fat loss.To fast-track coveted progress such as greater fat loss, Tramontana says you need to get back to basics.Cardio is not ‘hardio’With a combination of higher intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, body weight training sessions and a nutritious diet, Tramontana ensures his clients are given the best formula for their body.“My cardiovascular programming is based around a 75/25 split of LISS and HIIT. So based on the available amount of time for a client to add in cardio on top of resistance training would determine the amount of each they conducted,” he says.Here’s what your cardio program could look like:2 hours per week for cardio training = 30 minutes of HIIT over two to three days + 90 minutes of LISS over one to two sessions.Be wary, if HIIT was all you did, you may encounter the downside of too much stress on your body, which can ironically turn HIIT into a fat retention tactic.So what about weight training?“For fat loss, I structure everything around two to three full bodyweight training sessions – two sessions based on linear periodisation macro cycle of 16-to-24 week programming, altered every four to six weeks,” he explains.Translation? A program that begins by incorporating high-volume and low intensity weight training, and progressively moves into phases when the volume decreases and intensity increases.

AMRAP high-energy body-weighted workout

WH&F cover model and personal trainer Grace Shelmerdine takes you through a high-energy, body-weighted circuit designed to burn maximum calories quicker than you can say pass me the sweat towel.What?AMRAP stands for ‘As Many Rounds As Possible’, and the reason I love this type of circuit is because it’s so motivating! Instead of having to complete a certain number of exercise sets, AMRAPs are a race against the clock to complete as many rounds of the circuit as possible in the time allocated. This means short rest times, high reps and lots of hard work.Why?Sweaty, exhausted and feeling like you may spew – all in just 25 minutes? Why would you want to do this

Eat-fasting 2.0 = two meals within a 12 hour period

  Eat-fasting 2.0 sanctions eating two meals within a 12-hour period. So does this diet plan work? The whole fasting and eating at the same time thing has become so ubiquitous, we’re inured to the fact that it’s the stupidest oxymoron since skinny-fat. But suspending logic and intellect for the sake of being able to buy lunch and stovepipe jeans, we’re digging scientific backing for a pro-grub upgrade to the 5:2 fad. How does it work Eat-fasting 2.0 sanctions eating two meals within a 12-hour period, which is – knock us down with a catwalk model’s thigh – almost normal. According to Salk Institute researchers, the program can help the body to burn fat rather than store it, despite no weird food or kJ rules and occasional cheat meals. They also put the kibosh on the six-meals-a-day boosting metabolism theory. Who does it: Fitness model Dr Sara Solomon. Browse more diet plans or connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest! {nomultithumb}  

The Truth About Weight Loss

The start of every health kick can be a glorious time, with your motivation at its highest and the fitness gains at their easiest to come by. Your muscles might be aching, and your diet could be missing a few unhealthy favourites, but the weight will be dropping off like nobody’s business.At some point, however, you might find that whatever efforts you make in the gym or the kitchen do not result in any further losses when you step on the scales. Your weight plateaus, or perhaps even nudges slightly upwards. Obviously, this can be the ultimate motivation killer if your main goal is weight loss, but a simple scales reading can be misleading when it comes to your general health.More important than how much you weigh is your body composition – namely how much of your body is made up of fat, muscle, bones, water, assorted organs, and so on.

Top
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: