Supersets have been around for ages and many people use this technique even without realising it. Using supersets comes with many many benefits, however they have to be used reasonably and efficiently and one needs to have at least brief understanding on how to use them to get the pros.
What is superset workout ?
A kid-like definition of a superset would be two exercises performed one after another without break in between or with minimal break just to transition. Creating a superset is a matter of preference and is left open to the person performing it. Things like rest time, which exercises to choose, to combine are up to you. Some forms of performing a superset root in PEP training, which in short is pairing heavy weight movements followed by low weight movement. I will get into the details of PEP in my next post.
- Science has proved supersets to provide a higher metabolic rate by comparing 10 men’s energy expenditure when divided into two groups: one performed supersets and one did not. The results were higher total energy expenditure and higher post-exercise oxygen consumption and blood lactate levels meaning burning calories longer post-exercise in the first group.
- Studies have also found that supersetting may contribute to higher power output. They found that people who performed agonist-antagonist exercises one after another had a slight increase in power when compared to people performing traditional exercises with rest and hen moving onto the next exercise.
- Some say this method of training aids muscle gainsss and hypertrophy however this is lacking research and scientific proof.
How to programme supersets ?
Like I said before, creating a superset workout can be left open to an individual but there are a few things you might want to consider before doing so.
Determine a goal
Are you trying to safe time on your workout ? Gain muscle endurance or increase energy expenditure ?
Remember that multi-joint movements, should come first otherwise you may get mentally or physically fatigued.
Adjust this factor to your level of fitness. If you are unsure how much to lift, let the reps guide you to it. If you are constantly missing on the reps you set ourself to do – it’s time you dropped the weight a little.
How best to theme up your superset workout ?
Agonist – antagonist muscles
This way of performing supersets is probably the most common. It is about mixing up exercises targeting different muscle groups to avoid fatigue. As an example you would perform push + pull.
Agonist – antagonist style is great also for cutting down on the time on your workout while still doing a full and valuable session. It is also great for making sure you balance out your workouts in terms of developing muscles evenly.
Same or similar sets – complex workout
This one is a little more complicated and requires a little more understanding, can also be done as a complex or PAP training. Here you are performing exercises targeting similar muscle groups one after another, for instance bench press and tricep pushdown. For PAP you would for example squat with a barbell, then in the next set drop some weight and squat until exhaustion. Using that style will help improve your muscle endurance and aid hypertrophy.
Upper – Lower sets
Pairing upper and lower body movements. That style would be best when training full body or focusing on improving your overall fitness. It is also great for muscle endurance, sport specific training and additionally cuts down on your workout’s time.
Hope I cleared up and gave you enough of reasons as to why perform supersets ! I’m not gonna lie it is probably my favourite type of workout always leaving me feeling literally exhausted but in that good way ! Do you perform supersets ?