Do you need to step up the intensity? Are you ready to move from a beginner to an intermediate level of training? Or need to make a change in your training to bust through a plateau? It’s time to add some supersets to your training.
Benefits Of Supersets
A superset is performed by combining two exercises without stopping between them. The two exercises can be for the same muscle group like bench presses and dips or two exercises for opposing (antagonist) muscles, like biceps and triceps.
Benefits of Supersets
- Supersets increase training intensity. High intensity muscle building techniques are often associated with forced reps, descending sets, and negative reps. Supersets are a simple method of increasing intensity, eliminating the rest between sets is hard work and overloads your body especially if you’re used to a long rest periods. More work performed in less time equals increased intensity and increased intensity leads to more muscle.
- Supersets save you time. Another advantage of supersetting is equal or better results in a shorter period of time. Eliminating the rest intervals between sets, when you would normally be inactive (and non-productive), you can finish your workout in half the time or perform more volume in the same amount of time.
- Supersets can help you work around injury. When you do supersets, you must use lighter weights, especially on the second exercise, as you are eliminating the recovery (rest) between exercises. Supersets still allow you to overload a muscle with those lighter weights in a way that produces muscle growth, because the work density is higher. Supersets also decrease joint stress and allow you to work around injuries with alternate exercises.
- Supersets stimulate Growth Hormone production. Supersets increase intensity and intensity stimulates lactic acid production, which in turn boosts Growth Hormone (GH) levels in the body. Increased intensity also increases acidity and your body responds by producing Growth Hormone, a powerful fat loss and muscle building hormone.
Types of Supersets
There are three basic types of supersets:
1. Same muscle group.
The most commonly used superset involves combining two exercises for the same muscle group. One example would be supersetting bench presses with dumbbell flyes. Another example would be supersetting squats with leg presses, a combination of two compound exercises that will force muscles to grow.
- Flat barbell bench presses with incline dumbbell presses.
- Incline flyes with flat dumbbell bench presses.
- Squats with leg extensions.
- Side lateral raises with rear lateral raises.
- Dumbbell shoulder presses with barbell shoulder presses.
2. Antagonistic muscle supersets.
By supersetting opposing or antagonistic muscle groups together you can train both harder – one muscle is working, the opposite one is resting. Examples include biceps with triceps, chest with back, or hamstrings with quadriceps. This type of superset is also an excellent approach for developing muscle balance. Many trainees overwork their pushing exercises like bench press, while neglecting the pulling exercises like rows. By using antagonistic or push-pull supersets you assure a good balance between opposing muscle groups.
Examples of antagonistic supersets include:
- Chest & Back: Flat barbell bench presses with bent-over barbell rows.
- Biceps & Triceps: Barbell curls with close grip bench presses.
- Quadriceps and Hamstrings: Leg extensions with leg curls.
3. Staggered sets.
Staggered sets combine a major muscle with a minor and completely unrelated muscle. This technique is most commonly used for abs and calves, adding a set of abs Instead of resting and doing nothing in between sets of chest, you are doing something productive by working your abs! This allows you to get your workout finished much more quickly.
Including supersets in your training programme
Including supersets in your training programme increase intensity and bringing up lagging body parts. Supersets allow you to gain muscle while working around injuries that might be otherwise be aggravated with heavy weights. Supersets can also spice up your training and help relieve boredom. Supersets get more results in less time.