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Burn, Baby, Burn: The Metabolism-Boosting Superset Workout

Our supersculpting workout helps you sizzle mega calories even while you sleep. (Yes, it's scientifically proven.)

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model with dumbells
Jason Todd
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How This Workout Works

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

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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.

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Hinge forward 90 degrees from hips so that back is parallel to floor and arms extend down, palms facing each other.
  • Drive elbows directly behind you to bring dumbbells by ribs. Lower.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then move on to the Decline Bench Press.

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Decline Bench Press

Targets: Chest, shoulders, butt, and hamstrings

6 percent more chest toning than the flat-on-your-back version.

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie faceup on floor with knees bent and feet flat; bring arms out to sides at shoulder level, then bend elbows 90 degrees so that forearms are perpendicular to floor (like a goalpost), palms facing forward.
  • Lift hips off floor so that body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  • Maintaining bridge position, extend arms to press dumbbells toward ceiling. Lower upper arms to floor.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then return to the Bent-Over Row. Continue alternating sets until you've done 3 sets of each exercise.

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Superset 2: Biceps and Triceps

Preacher Curl

Target: Biceps

Better arm firming than a standing biceps curl, targeting 90 percent of the muscle.

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit on chair backward with arms hanging over its back, palms facing up.
  • Curl weights toward shoulders. Lower.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then move on to the Diamond Push-Up.

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Diamond Push-Up

Targets: Triceps and chest

25 percent more sculpting than standard triceps moves, like overhead extensions.

  • Start on floor in modified push-up position, balancing on hands and knees with arms extended so that body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees; move palms close together under chest, thumbs and forefingers touching, to form a diamond shape on floor. MAKE IT HARDER: Start in full push-up position, on hands and toes.
  • Bend elbows to lower chest toward floor. Return to start.
  • Do 8 to 15 reps, then return to the Preacher Curl. Continue alternating sets until you've done 3 sets of each exercise.

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Superset 3: Butt, Hamstrings, Quads, and Calves


Targets: Butt, hamstrings, and core

Up to double the butt toning of a squat and almost double the hamstring toning.

  • Start on floor on all fours, knees under hips, palms under shoulders.
  • Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, lift right leg until thigh is parallel to floor. Lower to start.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete 1 set.
  • Move on to the One-Legged Calf Squat.

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One-Legged Calf Squat

Targets: Quads and calves

Done while standing on a step with your heel off the edge, this engages 79 percent of your calf muscles.

  • Stand on left foot, holding on to back of chair for balance if needed, right leg bent behind you.
  • Raise left heel off floor as high as possible, then bend left knee to lower into a single-leg squat.
  • Return to standing, then lower heel to floor.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, switch legs and repeat. Then return to the Quadruped. Continue alternating until you've done 3 sets of each exercise.

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Superset 4: Obliques and Deep Abs


Targets: Abs and obliques

Triple the toning for your obliques compared with a standard crunch.

  • Lie faceup on floor with elbows bent out to sides at shoulder level, hands touching behind ears and knees bent, feet flat.
  • Crunch up, lifting feet off floor, and rotate torso toward right as you bring right knee into chest; simultaneously extend left leg diagonally up at a 45 degree angle.
  • Keeping torso and legs lifted, switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then move on to the Roll-Up.

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Target: Deep abs

26 percent more ab flattening than a typical crunch.

  • Lie faceup on floor with arms extended behind head, palms up.
  • Engaging abs, raise arms overhead, and slowly lift shoulders and then torso off floor; hinge forward at hips to reach hands to touch toes. MAKE IT EASIER: Place a folded towel or small pillow under lower back for support.
  • Slowly reverse motion back to start.
  • Do 10 to 12 reps, then return to the Crisscross. Continue alternating until you've done 3 sets of each exercise.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2011.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

erick_00_45 wrote:

Learn how to lose weight quickly look at the video of kyle leon learn how to do it

4/22/2014 03:31:32 PM Report Abuse
ringwalds wrote:

Why do people act like doing cardio is the worst thing ever? Moving around and sweating feels good. You don't have to be an Olympic athlete training, just turn on your MP3 player and dance around! Get moving! And do this superset. :)

2/8/2014 11:16:23 AM Report Abuse
ijunkure wrote:

you should try this, its so good. Have a look

12/20/2013 08:47:36 AM Report Abuse
ellisfinley678 wrote:

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11/10/2013 11:26:13 AM Report Abuse
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11/5/2013 10:27:37 PM Report Abuse
e-treho wrote:

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11/2/2013 05:25:20 PM Report Abuse
sandra_foster1 wrote:

I am using a healthy nutrition program called "Fat Loss Factor" created by Dr. Charles D.C., an excellent nutrition, exercise and lifestyle coach. In a few weeks I have already lost 10 lbs without starving. I am very satisfied with it and recommend further to everybody. If you also want to lose weight in a healthy way without starving and by eating normally , you may find the system at : -- --

9/29/2013 05:22:06 PM Report Abuse
cutixydedic wrote:

my stepmother recently purchased a nice six-month old Audi A7 by work part-time using a laptop... my latest blog post _________ www.Max47.Com

9/16/2013 01:36:26 PM Report Abuse
mjuarez78 wrote:

How many calories do I burn per workout. I am about 175lbs and 5'6" 34yrs old?

3/14/2013 02:30:27 PM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

@tbryant, click on printer icon, then click print all slides:

3/4/2013 11:06:18 AM Report Abuse
heather_j1 wrote:

Great workout! However, I managed to banish my cellulite in 2 months with coffee grind body wraps, done daily and special foods. Almost no workout... Read my full story on

3/2/2013 05:46:52 AM Report Abuse
GabrielaCaro wrote:

I like this super set. I will try it during the weekend :D

11/28/2012 11:42:08 AM Report Abuse
kngkaion1 wrote:

how many calories does this routine burn?

11/21/2012 02:29:28 AM Report Abuse
mjbriody1 wrote:

Great article, but one must remember the key to MetCon, (metobolic conditioning) is keeping that rate of perceived exertion high between a 7 and 9 on a scale of 1-10. Coach Briody

11/19/2012 02:47:27 PM Report Abuse
tbryant47 wrote:

Do you ever respond to comments or is tis just a black hole? I keep hoping that you'll make these exercises available to print...should I give up hope?

11/13/2012 11:25:20 AM Report Abuse
tbryant47 wrote:

Would also appreciate a one pager that includes descriptions as well as pictures to take to gym.

11/5/2012 10:22:02 AM Report Abuse
jojo4cats wrote:

It would be nice if we can download the video and do it without the limitation of internet access.

11/5/2012 10:10:54 AM Report Abuse
janmcconniel1 wrote:

great videos... just not very easy to tell what equipment is required before beginning. or, am I just missing something?

12/15/2011 04:14:21 PM Report Abuse
kayceeanglin2 wrote:

just did this workout and i felt it in all my muscles. I must admit that i am totally unfit and struggled with the push-ups and ab exercises. whew! I will do this again tomorrow. Ps. THE VID DIDNT WORK FOR ME EITHER

12/12/2011 02:33:09 PM Report Abuse
djgallag3268 wrote:

Also, how many times per week is recommended for this burn baby burn super-set? Looks good for men too, Maybe 10 to 15# weights? Do questions get answered?

10/13/2011 03:07:32 PM Report Abuse
bschunter11 wrote:

how about some workouts for guys, I have never had a baby although I look as though i might. Just a thought.

10/10/2011 12:27:28 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

How can I print out the exercises on one sheet?

10/2/2011 09:38:13 PM Report Abuse
afrodusa wrote:

I believe you have to sign up on this site to watch the video (which is located on the "Watch the workout video here" link under the "How This Workout Works" description). As for how many times a week to do this... I'm no expert, but I'd think two to three times a week, depending on your fitness level.

8/28/2011 09:26:54 PM Report Abuse
valerie.roe wrote:

I could not access the video.

8/28/2011 05:48:52 PM Report Abuse
MeJustBetter wrote:

I saw the video by clicking on the link at the bottom of "How this workout works." I'd still like to know how many times per week is recommended for this superset.

8/22/2011 04:12:31 PM Report Abuse
krajewj wrote:

SO....where's the video??

8/20/2011 10:52:38 AM Report Abuse
mtovarj77 wrote:

I too was looking for the video format, pictures don't give me assurance that I will have correct form.

8/19/2011 12:34:08 AM Report Abuse
eblarios wrote:

I was also looking for the video format. I would like to know how many times per week is recommended to do this set?

8/18/2011 07:59:32 PM Report Abuse
NikiWilliams2 wrote:

In the magazines it states this was shown in the format of a video....WHERE IS IT?

8/18/2011 10:30:06 AM Report Abuse

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