By Thomas Fahey EdD and Steve Blechman
Pressed for time? Try this 20-Minute V-Taper Workout to target all the major muscle groups that make up the classic superhero physique – broad, round shoulders, a wide back and a ripped midsection. If you want results, but don’t have time for hours of training, then this workout is for you.
SUPERSET FOR FAST RESULTS
Supersets involve working a muscle group, then immediately working another muscle group— giving the first muscle group exercised a rest. Muscle growth depends on high muscle tension and the length of time you apply the tension. Scientists aren’t completely sure how this works, but they have a few ideas. Weight training damages the muscle fibers, which makes the muscles grow as they repair themselves. Stressed muscles grow important structures called “satellite cells” that cause the genetic material in the cells to make new muscle tissue. Most experts agree that muscles get bigger by increasing the size of existing muscle cells rather than building new ones.
Supersets place the target muscles under intense stress, then immediately stress another muscle group, followed by a one-minute rest. Supersets satisfy the most important stimuli for building muscle— high levels of muscle tension applied for a long time. The hard work not only builds muscles, but also burns a lot of calories during and after the workout. Increased caloric expenditure helps control body fat and makes you look cut and buff.
Not all muscle fibers are alike— some are slow and others are fast. The nervous system chooses which fibers to contract according to the load on muscle and the speed it contracts. When your body lifts a light load it chooses small, slow-twitch fibers. It calls on the larger, fast-twitch fibers when you want to lift a heavy weight or move quickly. You recruit the larger, stronger, fast-twitch fibers as the slower fibers fatigue. The best way to stress both the fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers is to push both types of fibers to the max using supersets. As muscles fatigue, they call on other muscle fibers to produce force.
Do both exercises in each superset without rest. Rest one minute between supersets. After completing superset three, rest one minute and repeat the circuit. This workout should take 20 minutes to complete. Train hard for best effect!
|Hanging Straight Leg Raise||2-3||10-15|
|Seated Dumbbell Press||2-3||10|
|Incline Reverse Dumbbell Raise||2-3||10|
|Seated Front Raise||2-3||10|
|Seated Lateral Raise||2-3||10|