The Metabolism-Boosting Workout


By: , – Natalie Gingerich, Fitness Magazine
  :  25 comments   :  25,849 Views

It's one of our most flab-melting routines ever: Eight of the best lab-tested toners mixed together to boost your metabolism, with no sweaty cardio required. You'll get up to three times more firming per rep as you torch a third more calories each minute -- during and after your workout -- compared with typical strength training. The skinny secret? Supersets! Cutting out downtime between sets, as with these alternating pairings of moves that work opposing muscles, "increases your metabolism not only because your heart rate stays higher throughout but also because the body works harder afterward to recover," says Mark Schuenke, PhD, assistant anatomy professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. Schuenke's research suggests that the bonus after-burn for a 140-pound woman can be up to 306 calories in the 24 hours postworkout. All you'll need is a set of five- to eight-pound dumbbells and a sturdy chair to net this slimming side benefit. Go on -- turn up the burn! 
Watch the workout video here

Superset 1: Back and Chest

Bent-Over Row
Targets: Back and biceps
Tones 93 percent of your upper back muscles -- more than any other move tested.
  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.         
  2. Hinge forward 90 degrees from hips so that back is parallel to floor and arms extend down, palms facing each other.
  3. Drive elbows directly behind you to bring dumbbells by ribs. Lower.
  4. Do 10 to 12 reps, then move on to the Decline Bench Press.

Watch a video demonstration of this exercise

Click here for more superset exercises.


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  • 25
    Absolutely! Thank you for bringing this to our attention! I lead an aerobics class for active seniors, and I'm always on the lookout for new stuff. We can't do everything--- YET--- but I'll be incorporating what I can right away! I love the body balance that this series insists on. - 9/27/2011   11:11:00 AM
  • 24
    Supersets are the staple of my exercise diet! While not every day can be an intense full-body workout like this, I LOVE doing supersets. It feels good to be sweaty and a little winded while doing strength training! :) - 9/27/2011   10:43:08 AM
  • 23
    I love supersets! It's a great workout and not as boring as regular cardio. - 9/24/2011   3:09:52 PM
  • 22
    I probably won't be trying this specific workout (don't like to exercise in front of the computer) but I do supersets at the gym from time to time. - 9/24/2011   1:10:51 PM
    Argh, another so-called "post" that is just a teaser for someone else's website. I almost never click through. Irritating!

    My group strength training class instructor introduced us to "supersets" once in the spring, but I don't remember it being that different from what she usually did. - 9/23/2011   4:02:27 PM
    I found these in Fitness magazine a few weeks ago, but pages ripped out of a magazine are always harder to get excited about than seeing the video! Thanks for posting, I'll try this today! - 9/23/2011   10:23:55 AM
    I hate it when these blogs link to outside websites. SparkPeople has these exercises on its website, so why not link to them? - 9/23/2011   9:50:22 AM
  • 18
    Awesome! I've been thinking about starting to add strength training to my cardio and yoga/pilates. This is a great all-in-one no brainer!

    For those discouraged by needing to register on the fitness website to see videos - just click on "Click here for more superset exercises" instead of the "watch video..." links. I did sign up and watch the videos, but they don't help much more than just reading the article on the fitness website, which has photos (and you can read/see without signing up!). - 9/23/2011   8:25:31 AM
    Def going to try these - 9/23/2011   7:46:48 AM
    I think I'll give these a go tomorrow. Thanks :) - 9/23/2011   3:18:20 AM
  • 15
    Looks like it's worth trying. - 9/23/2011   2:16:14 AM
  • 14
    I did this workout last weekend after finding it in fitness magazine. Good workout. It left me sore for the next couple of days though; more so than my usual strenghth training. Good to see the video to see if I was doing the moves correctly. - 9/22/2011   8:00:59 PM
  • 13
    I wanted to see but stopped at yet another registation. I will find the information somewhere else here on Spark, I know it will be there it always has been so far. - 9/22/2011   4:27:42 PM
  • ALBERT0180
    I really like the idea; don't like that I need to sign up for an extra website to see the video. I think I know the bent row pretty well, but I'll stay in the Sparkpeople exercise area if I need a demo. - 9/22/2011   2:18:57 PM
    looks great. will def be trying out! thank you. - 9/22/2011   1:21:12 PM
    I surly will do it the key is movimg don't matter what you do just move.thanks spark - 9/22/2011   12:14:28 PM
    Thankyou for the info. blog. I will begin these today WHILE WATCHING TV! - 9/22/2011   11:25:53 AM
  • 8
    Supersets are not new, and 5-8# dumbbells will work for a while, but then one gets more fit, and needs more weight.

    These exercises (or ones very similar) can be found on SP (without registering) and each person can make her/his own supersets! - 9/22/2011   10:26:44 AM
  • 7
    I've been looking for something like this. I've found some on the Men's Health Magazine website but this one looks fun too. These are perfect for doing in front of the tv at night. - 9/22/2011   10:02:53 AM
  • 6
    Yes, I will try these. I like that you only need a pair of dumbbells and a mat. - 9/22/2011   9:32:52 AM
  • CDN0001
    very good - 9/22/2011   9:13:19 AM
  • 4
    For sure thank you for posting this Great Blog. - 9/22/2011   8:36:29 AM
  • 3
    Interesting for me because of the no sweat. I can close my office door and do many of these without the extra time a gym visit would take. - 9/22/2011   8:23:31 AM

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