Those new to resistance training may not know what a superset is or how they can be used effectively, so we shall start with some definitions.
Firstly, there are two different kinds of superset:
1. The agonist/antagonist superset:
This type of superset involves working opposing muscles, for example: bicep hammer curl followed directly by tricep pulldowns (with no rest in between).
2. The same muscle group (compound) superset:
This type of superset targets the same muscle group consecutively. It is important to have the second exercise different from the first so you can achieve a different angle/range of motion. For example: chest press followed directly by chest flyes (no rest in between).
Now you know the two types of superset, let’s have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of them.
- Supersets are a great way of increasing the intensity of the workout for the concerned muscles.
- Both types of superset save time when compared with straight sets, which is great if you’re on a busy schedule!
- In the agonist/antagonist superset, blood is pumped to the area during the first set so that the second muscle can utilise it accordingly.
- In a compound superset, the target muscles get a more intense workout due to the lack of rest during the superset.
- Also in the compound superset, more muscle fibres may be recruited than if you were doing two sets of the same exercise, allowing for more development.
- Both supersets are very demanding due to the lack of rest in-between exercises. Because of this, supersets may not be suitable for beginners.
- Supersets require multiple pieces of equipment (dumbbells, etc.) to be free for one set. This may not be possible in busier gyms.
- Supersets may not be appropriate for large compound movements, such as the deadlift or squat, due to your body needing a rest period.
So, that’s the superset. My recommendations on implementing these into your workout is to use them on isolation exercises. Also, check out a previous post on building arm size using supersets!