Adding Supersets to Your Resistance Training Regimen


Supersets are an intermediate to advanced workout technique that can be invaluable when you are trying to build muscle mass and endurance. The definition of a superset is to do a full set of one muscle group and then immediately do a set of the opposite muscle group, no break in between exercise. Before you do anything, you need to know which muscle groups are opposing ones. Some examples include:

Biceps : Triceps
Forearm Extensors : Forearm Flexors
Front Deltoids : Rear Deltoids
Abdominals : Erector Spinae
Quadriceps : Hamstrings
Chest : Upper Back
Calves : Tibialis Anterior

 Using supersets are beneficial for many reasons. First off, because you are working two muscle groups that are relatively close together, you keep the increased blood flow to one area which can assist in bringing oxygen and nutrients to the muscle while removing lactic acid buildup. The increased blood flow to the muscle is also famously known as "the pump" which temporarily engorges the target area with blood and can drastically increase size temporarily. This can be very useful for improved muscle endurance and recovery, both of which lead to increases in calories burned, muscle mass, and strength gains. The other benefit is that while you contract the antagonist (the muscle producing the movement), the antagonist (the opposite/opposing muscle or muscle group) is being stretched, and vice versa. This creates some active range of motion and stretching which can help you  maintain or improve your flexibility without taking long bouts of time to do static stretching.

When would you do supersets? You can do them anytime, especially if you are short on time for your workout. I would personally do them on any muscle group split day, such as "Back and Chest", "Arms", or "Legs". On Back/Chest or Leg Days these superset workouts are known as "Push/Pull" workouts as you push with a chest press, squat, etc and then pull with a row, pulldown, deadlift, etc right after. On leg and arm workouts especially, you will notice improved muscle "pumps" since the increased blood flow to the muscles stays in the same area and is not distributed to different parts of the body. If you are doing a total body workout, you can do some supersets in the beginning as a warmup or at the end as a burnout. The key is to make sure you are using the proper weights and using excellent form. Since this is not an easy workout technique, beginners will need to use lighter weights and/or do less repetitions.

Some Simple Superset Examples:
Arms: Bicep Curl + Tricep Extension
Upper Body: Bent Over Row + Barbell Bench Press
Core: Crunches + Hip Bridge
Legs: Leg Extensions + Leg Curls

Add Supersets to your workout today and enjoy the added benefits! Also check out my future articles and videos on Compound Sets, Drop Sets, Pre-exhausting sets, Burnout Sets, and more!

Frugal Fitness