Another method for increasing your heart rate and reducing the workout time is combining two exercises into a single superset. Supersets allow you to give a break to a muscle group before loading it up again. For example, performing a set of heavy bench press will exhaust your chest muscles, shoulders and triceps. They’ll need some time to recover in order to handle the next heavy load. Now, instead of resting, you use this period to hit an antagonistic muscle group. In this case, complement you bench presses with a set of pull ups or barbell rows to create a superset.
Combine Exercises in Circuits
Supersets can be upgraded to an extreme level, by creating circuits of several exercises performed with little to no rest between them. Although this approach is absolutely exhausting, the rewards of it are certainly worthy. The principle of combining the exercises is the same as with supersets, hitting the opposing muscle groups with a sequence of exercises. To create a circuit, just start adding one set of each exercise that you’ve planned to do on the current day, with as little rest as possible between them.
Normally, you would like to use this approach to give your body a total workout, hitting each muscle group with equal intensity. However, you can also narrow this technique to a just a couple of muscle groups (biceps and triceps for example) to provide them with a more rounded workout. However you decide to go about it, there is one thing for certain, it will increase your heart rate throughout the workout and reduce the time you spend in the gym.
Include Drop Sets Into Your Routine
The opponents of the previous two approaches, which rely on exercise combos, argue that they are not as efficient in muscle building, because your heart and whole body becomes fatigued as you are not providing the muscles with sufficient time to rest. As a result, supersets and circuits are mostly done using lighter weights.
If you’re one of those guys that are not as willing to give up heavy lifting, but you still want to increase the volume of your workout in a given period of time, the solution is performing drop-sets.
The trick in performing drop sets is starting the lift by performing a set with the heaviest load. When fatigue starts to kick in, you drop the load by 10-15% and immediately continue the set. By dropping the weight you are increasing the set length and still use heavier loads.