Training Systems: Supersets

Has your workout routine become a little boring? Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you hoped for? Don’t stress – I may have just the answer for you.

Training systems are specific methods of exercise which can be implemented into your gym routine (very easily might I add!). They come in a variety of forms – supersets, trisets, giant sets, pre/post-exhaust sets, pyramids; the list goes on. To avoid sending you all to sleep, I’m going to focus solely on supersets in this post.

What is a superset?

A superset is when two different exercises are performed back-to-back, with no rest in between; rest is taken when a full set of both exercises is complete. There are two forms of superset (this is where it starts to sound tricky, but I promise, it’s actually pretty simple):

  • Agonist-agonist: working on the same muscle twice, through two different exercises, such as chest press and chest flies, both of which focus primarily on the pectorals.
  • Agonist-antagonist: working on opposing muscles, such as a bicep curl and a tricep extension.

How do supersets work?

A superset places excess stress on the muscle, forcing it to work much harder than during a single set. Working muscles will be pushed outside of their comfort zone, which is essential in stimulating progression.

Why should you use supersets?

There are so many reasons to use supersets! Here are just a few:

  • Efficiency: supersets are incredibly time-efficient. If your whole workout consisted of them (not that I would necessarily recommend this for everyone), you could almost double your workload in the same amount of time! As we know too well, time is always of the essence – I don’t know anyone who has enough of it.
  • Results: supersets are an incredible addition to any programme, particularly if you are training for hypertrophy (muscle growth). Don’t fret… Increased muscle mass won’t make you ‘bulky’ (for more information on lifting weights, check out this post). Instead, it will lead to a more toned appearance and a higher resting metabolic rate. Who can argue with that!?
  • Variety: supersets will mix up your workout. A boring programme won’t make you get your butt to the gym. Shaking things up every so often is the key to maintaining motivation, and also crucial in avoiding plateaus.

Try adding some supersets to your workouts, and don’t forget to let me know how you get on! Contact me on:

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