6 Exercise Hacks That Will Transform Your Workout

Want to get the most from your workout? Personal trainer Amanda Moroney tells you the tweaks you'll need to really amp up your sweat sesh.

Woman working out at the gym

1. Introduce supersets

“Supersets are a fool-proof way of increasing the intensity of your session without having to spend hours in the gym,” explains Amanda. “The idea is you complete an exercise that targets a particular muscle for a set number of reps. Immediately after finishing the first exercise, you complete a different exercise that works the same muscle group. For example, a set of squats followed by leg extensions.” Why’s it so effecive? “It’s an excellent way to deplete muscle glycogen stores” Amanda tell us, “which will in turn help with dropping bodyfat in the most efficient manner.”

2. Reduce rest times

Blasting out twenty reps then spending five minutes WhatsApping your mates and checking your Facebook feed? A surefire way to up the intensity of your workout is to rest less. “Rest times between exercises should ideally be 45-60 seconds,” says Amanda. “Reducing rest times will metabolically fatigue you more by not allowing your body the chance to fully recover its energy supplies. This will force your body to work harder, and the harder you work in a shorter time frame, the higher the fat-burning potential. It’s a win-win!”

3. Switch to high intensity cardio

“After three minutes of performing steady-state cardio, your body adapts and becomes extremely efficient at preserving energy,” explains Amanda. “Introducing high intensity training will prevent this from happening and keep your metabolism revving for up to six hours after finishing. The idea is you perform 20-30 seconds at maximal exertion, followed by 30-60seconds of active recovery.” Got it.

4. Introduce dropsets

Looking to amp up your weight training sesh in particular? Amanda suggests switching to dropsets. “Metabolically, the longer you can perform a resistance-exercise, the greater you will deplete your glycogen stores, increase fat-burning hormones and muscle fatigue,” she explains. “Dropsets are done by completing a number of reps at a given weight and once you have failed using this weight, you use a lighter weight to continue with the same exercise. Confused? “You might use 10kg dumbbells to do a shoulder press and as soon as you fail or your form becomes compromised, you drop to 5-6kg dumbbells until you can do no more reps,” Amanda clarifies. “It’s simple but very effective!”

5. Switch from machine to free weights

“Machine weights can generally only target one muscle effectively,” Amanda tells us. “By introducing free-weights you will not only increase your work output but you will actively recruit more muscles. The more muscles we can ‘damage’, the more calories your body will use in its repair so you are again causing more metabolic activity.”

6. Perform more functional cardio

Cardio fanatic? You’ll want to introduce circuit-style cardio using kettlebells, prowler runs and tyre flips, Amanda recommends. “Not only will you get your cardio kick but you will actively engage more muscles without ever having to lift a weight. Remember, the more lean muscle, the higher your metabolism, making it a more effective way of burning more calories in a shorter amount of time.”