FINALLY! Most of the new year’s resolutes have fallen off their programs and Spring Break body polishers have been there and done that. So ….
Which means better equipment availability and a few more training options!
And one of my favorites is the use of SuperSets!
If you’re looking for a step up in intensity, or for a way to pack more exercise into a limited time budget, incorporating SuperSets into your routine might be the ticket!
While it will indeed be a super addition to your program, the term SuperSet is really just a term used to describe an extra-large set.
A set, of course, is a collection of continuous repetitions. 10 push ups completed consecutively is a set of push ups. 20 situps done without rest in between is a set of situps. And so on. Fitness Professionals typically call a set like this a Straight Set.
A SuperSet then, is two Straight Sets done back to back to each other without any rest in between.
Indeed, a set of 10 push ups followed immediately by and without any rest in between a set of 20 situps is a SuperSet!
Supersets can be done, for similar muscle groups, opposing muscle groups, or, as in the above example, completely unrelated muscle groups!
At Fitness Together we frequently train clients with something called tri-sets where 3 exercise sets are done consecutively and without rest in between, but I’ll save that soap box for another day! 🙂
And why would you want to do SuperSets at all!?
Answer: Generally speaking, you would use SuperSets to increase load to promote adaption (get bigger, stronger, leaner, have more endurance, etc.). Your body will eventually adapt to Straight Sets, so using SuperSets is simply one way to trick and force your body to adjust!
SuperSets are most frequently done for similar or identical muscle groups to increase intensity and improve muscular endurance. A SuperSet of two chest exercises will not only enhance muscular endurance for your chest, but it will also exhausts the muscle groups in a way different from straight sets … and thus promotes adaption.
So, with the additional availability of equipment in the clubs these days, this is where you can really add some spice to your program for a nice little bump in progress!
Something like chest presses followed immediately by some chest flyes will really light up your pecs! Or, if you have a push/pull workout planned, something like cable crossovers followed by some lat pulldowns can pump up your entire upper body!
Here are a few SuperSets to try:
- Chest: Chest Presses followed by Flyes
- Back: Lat Pulldowns followed by Bent Rows *
- Quadriceps: Squats followed by Leg Extensions
- Deltoids: Overhead Dumbbell Presses followed by Upright Rows
- Legs: Diagonal Lunges followed by Single Legged Ball
- Chest/Back: Wide Grip Incline Bench Presses followed by Wide Grip Cheater Chinups
- Core: Hanging Straight Leg Leg Raisers followed by Hyperextensions
Completely Unrelated Muscle Groups:
- Biceps/Calves: Standing Dumbbell Curls followed by single legged Calve Raisers with the same weight
- Deltoids/Abs: Single Arm Dumbbell Rows followed by ball crunches
Got an interesting or favorite SuperSet? Please do comment here, or shoot me an email!
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