In bodybuilding, supersets are a great way to take your training to the next level. A superset is a form of strength training where you move right from one exercise to the next without stopping for a break between the two exercises.
Usually in normal training and workouts, you take some time off to cool down, catch your breath, and have a sip of water. But when it comes to supersets, there’s no slowing down! What you have doing supersets is a much shorter exercise session that can lead to great muscle gains and serve as a full cardio workout as well.
There are about 4 ways in which you can perform supersets:
- Opposing muscle groups
- Same muscle group
- Agonist-antagonist supersets
- Paired sets
And we’ll be reviewing each of them.
1. Opposing Muscle Groups
This superset involves working two different or opposing muscle groups in the two exercises or working two different areas of the body.
For example, you can successfully carry out an opposing muscle superset by working out your upper body using a bench press or other upper body exercises for your chest and then without slowing down or taking breaks in-between, move down to your quads or glutes. Another easy method to plan supersets is to alternate with opposing muscle groups.
You can combine the bench, which works the chest, with the seated row, which engages yourhttps://www.vincegironda.com/5-exercises-for-a-stronger-back/ back. The advantage of this exercise is you’re able to rest the particular muscle group you’re not working at the moment until you get back to it.
2. Same Muscle Group
Want to get even more gains on a particular body part? Same muscle groups in supersets is a great way for you to really double down on areas you’re lacking in and bring them up to speed in no time. With same muscle supersets, you choose two different exercises that work out the same muscle group and then execute them back to back without taking a break.
An example of this superset is performing quad extensions right after performing squats. is an example of this type of superset. This type of superset works one particular area especially hard as it leaves you really sore in that particular area you’re working on. Nevertheless, it yields results, and great ones at that.
3. Agonist-antagonist Supersets
This is also known as the push and pull muscles. This superset method works different muscles that work together. These muscles are known as agonist and antagonist muscles. A perfect agonist-antagonist workout example would be a workout alternating between bicep and tricep muscle training.
4. Paired Sets
Need a breather? This is when things get a little easier. When doing paired sets, you get the opportunity to catch your breath and take opportunity of rest periods known as ‘staggered resting.’ As the name implies, it’s really short, but just enough for you to get the most out of a superset especially if you’re new to it.
Benefits of supersets
Reduced workout time: This is the greatest benefit of supersets. In regular resistance training, you are required to complete all sets of a single exercise before moving on. This can be slow and time consuming for some.
Better aerobic workout: By reducing the duration of your training or workout, you can elicit greater aerobic and metabolic responses than when you stick to your regular training programs with taking breaks in-between.
You can fit in more workouts: With supersets, you can effectively fit in or perform more exercises within a given length of time. While your muscles recover from a set, you perform another exercise instead of taking a break before you can switch back to the first exercise to perform another set and continue with that pattern until you need a break for a drink or recovery.
Risks of supersets
Greater risk of injury: Supersets are a very demanding exercise, and it’s very possible for you to give into fatigue while performing the exercises. This may hinder your ability to maintain proper form and increase risk of injury. To avoid this, consider selecting less technical exercises for your supersets. For example, you can choose leg press over barbell back squat, or dumbbell chest press instead of barbell benching.
Exercises that you can perform with supersets
- Barbell overhead press
- Dumbbell overhead press
- Seated military press
- Shoulder press machine
- Lat pulldowns
- Barbell bench press
- Dumbbell bench press
- Seated chest press
- TRX pushups
- Dumbbell rows
- Barbell rows
- Seated rows
Supersets are great in helping you get the best out of your workouts in the shortest time possible. However, supersets are not appropriate when training for maximal strength and power in most circumstances.
Make sure you stay safe when performing your supersets by making sure that you maintain a relatively comfortable fatigue level so as to maintain good form and posture and reduce diminishing returns during the workouts as well as reduce risk of injury.