What are Supersets?

 

Everybody has at some time or another been strapped for time, running late, on the go, and yet still having to find a way to fit in a good workout. So you’re faced with two options: simply skip your workout, claiming that you don’t have the time, or find a way to squeeze in as much exercise as you can into your narrow window of opportunity. Since nobody likes a quitter, what’s the best way to squeeze in your regular workout? One popular method is called Supersetting, and it’s as fast as it is effective. And what, pray tell, is that? Well, read on for all you need to know 😉

Supersetting is a simple yet brutal concept. You do two exercises back to back, with no break in between. The exercises can be for the same muscle group, or more commonly for different muscle groups that compliment each other. The idea is to go directly from one to the next without pausing, and to do multiple sets of both. This results in not only a quicker workout time, but also in greatly increased intensity, leading to breaking plateaus and increasing your strength as you challenge your system.

There are several kinds of supersets:

  • Pre-Exhaustion Supersets: This involves doing two exercises that target the same muscle, but doing first an isolation exercise followed by a compound exercise. For example, you could choose to do quad extensions followed by squats. The benefit is that your quads would be worn out by the time you hit the squats, forcing the rest of your muscles to work harder to compensate.
  • Post-Exhaustion Supersets: The opposite of Pre-Exhaustion, where first you do the compound exercise, and then the isolation technique. So you could start with a bench press, and then do a dumbbell fly.
  • Compound Supersets: This is hardcore, since you’re challenging your entire body twice in a row. For example, you could do squats, and then follow immediately with lunges. This is brutal, and will definitely test your stamina and resolve.
  • Opposing Muscle Groups: This is the most popular version of supersets, in that it allows you to exercise hard with different muscles groups. This allows one group to rest as the other is taxed, so that you can maintain a high level of intensity throughout. Popular pairings are exercises such as bench press and upright cable row, or bicep curls followed by tricep extensions, etc.