There are many different styles of training available to make your workout harder, more efficient, and more effective. One such style is supersets.
What is a superset?
Although there are many different variations to supersets, they all have one common feature in that all exercises that make up part of the superset are done back-to-back with no rest period in-between. You can either do a superset targeting the same muscle group, in order to activate more of the muscle fibers or you can target two different muscle groups.
Benefits of doing supersets?
- Supersets save time by reducing the rest period between exercises.
- By shortening the rest you are also increasing the intensity of the workout.
- Research has shown that supersets increase muscle activation and muscle damage. This leads to better muscle growth.
An antagonistic superset is where you target opposing muscle groups. The benefit of this type of superset is that while one muscle is being worked, the opposing muscle has time to rest. This type of superset is mainly done to save time. The duration of a workout can be cut in half by doing antagonistic supersets.
An example: Bicep curls and Tricep dips – 3 sets x 12 reps. This means you do 1 set of bicep curls for 12 reps then immediately do 1 set of tricep dips. Once the set is complete you can take a break before doing the next set.
In a pre-exhaustion superset, you work on the same muscle group with an isolation exercise and then follow up with a compound exercise without rest in between sets. For example, still, on your chest and back day, you do a set of dumbbell flyes (chest isolation exercise) then immediately after you do a set on the bench press (chest compound exercise).
By performing an isolation exercise first (flyes), you pre-exhaust the targeted muscles you are working on, which in this instance are your pectorals (pecs) and then hit your pecs hard again with a compound movement (bench press) that allows other muscles that are still fresh such as your deltoids and triceps to assist your pecs in the exercise.
Another version of super setting is the post-exhaustion method. It is the exact reverse of the pre-exhaustion. In other words, do a compound exercise first and then follow up with an isolation exercise for the same muscle group. It will allow you to lift a heavier weight for the compound exercise because your targeted muscle group is not pre-exhausted yet.
Whether you are trying to save time, increase the intensity of your workout or just want to spice things up a bit. Supersets are a great addition to any workout program.