Supersets, Types and How to plan your workout

Super sets are an advanced training technique to add to a resistance training routine. While there are a number of different styles of super sets, they all have you performing 2 or more consecutive exercises with no break in between the exercises (other than the time it takes to move to the next exercise). When the exercises are completed that is the end of set 1 and you want to take a break of approximately 2 minutes.

Reasons to use Supersets in your resistance training program:

• Adds variety to your routine
• Increases the intensity of the workout while reducing the overall time
needed to stress your muscles in the workout
• The muscles will get overloaded in a new way which will force the body to
respond (great way to start breaking a plateau)
• Great way to train more than one muscle group in one session

Different types of Supersets:
Same muscle group:

This is a very challenging method as your muscle group will be greatly overloaded and requires a lot of energy to perform effectively. The positive side is that the muscle group will get worked very effectively (with proper form and technique) in a short period of time.
Example: 1. Bench press immediately followed by dumbbell flies then break
2. Olympic bar squats immediately followed by lunges then break

Opposing muscle groups:

This style allows you to focus on 2 opposing muscle groups and train them both in a relatively short period of time. When one muscle group is working the other gets to rest.
Example: 1. Dumbbell press immediately followed by a seated cable row then break
2. Tricep extension immediately followed by a biceps curl then break

Tri Superset:

This method is about using 3 consecutive exercises (with no break in between the exercises) instead of two. It can be more intense than those above so be sure you are at the appropriate conditioning level to do this. Using the same muscle group tends to work best with this method and can be a great way to exhaust that muscle group and then move on to another.
Example: 1. Flat chest press, incline chest press, dumbbell flies then break

Opposing Muscle Groups:

Here is a basic list of opposing muscle groups to help you choose which ones to use:
Chest and Back
Biceps and Triceps
Abs and Lower back
Quads and Hamstrings
Calves and Tibialis anterior

What a Superset workout might look like:

Same muscle group: Chest:
Flat chest press – incline press
Decline push ups- chest flies
Back:
Pull Ups- Lat pull down
Cable row – Bent over dumbbell rows
And so on for each muscle group

Opposite muscle group:
Chest/Back:
Flat chest press – Bent over barbell row
Biceps/Triceps:
Dumbbell curl – Triceps press down
Quads/Hamstrings:
Leg extension – Leg curl
And so on for each muscle group

Tri Supersets:
Chest:
Incline chest press – flat chest press – decline chest press
Incline chest press – standard push ups – chest flies
Back:
Pull ups – Lat pull down – Cable row
Lat pull down – Cable row – Front pull down
Legs:
Squats – Lunges – Leg press
Biceps:
Dumbbell curl – Hammer curl – Concentration curl
Olympic bar curl – Dumbbell curl – Hammer curl
Triceps:
Overhead extension – Triceps press down – Kickbacks
And so on for each muscle group

If you begin to use supersets in your routine it is important that you start slowly to allow for your body to adapt to the increased intensity of this training method.
Start out using 1 set of each superset and slowly increase the number of sets and/or number of supersets used.

Remember to also allow the body to rest after each superset for at least 2 minutes. The muscles will be exhausted and need time to recover for the continued use.
Try not to use the same superset methods in all your workouts. Mix them up (same muscle group, opposite muscle group, tri-sets) as well as traditional training methods to keep your body guessing and responding to your training.

As this method of training can be quite intense on the muscle you should rest them for at least 48-72 hours to allow for proper recover and re-building.

About the author

Annapurna Nilesh

Hi Reader, we are Annapurna & Nilesh.

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