Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Benefits of Supersets

Supersets provide a great way to completely change up a workout program. Supersetting is a training method in which you do 2 exercises, one directly after the other, with no rest in between. The exercises may be for the same muscle group or 2 different muscle groups, depending on your goals.

Types of Supersets:

1) Opposing Muscle Groups: 2 exercises that target opposing muscle groups, one muscle gets to rest while the opposite muscle groups. For example: back and chest, biceps and triceps, hamstrings and quadriceps, etc.

2) Isolation Supersets: Combine 2 isolation exercises, for example dumbbells flies followed by a cable crossover.

3) Pre-Exhaustion Supersets: This type of superset involves 2 exercises for the same muscle group. The first is an isolation move, which targets one muscle group, and the second is a compound movement, which targets multiple muscles, for example, leg extension which targets quads, followed by squats. In this manner, the quads are tired, but the other muscles used in squats (glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs) are not fatigued.

4) Post-Exhaustion Supersets: This type of supersetting is the opposite of pre-exhaustion. In this method, you start with compound movement and follow with the isolation exercise, for example, bench press followed by dumbbell flies.

5) Staggered Supersets: In this method, you perform an exercise for a different muscle between sets. For example, during a straight set of chest presses, you can throw in a set of stability ball crunches or calf raises while you rest your chest muscles. This method saves time, thus allowing you to work smaller muscle groups while the larger ones rest.

6) Tri-Sets: This method is the same as a superset, except you are performing three exercises rather than two.

7) Cardio and Strength Supersets: Another option for supersetting involves pairing a cardio exercise with a strength exercise. Paring these together in a certain way can add intensity to your workouts, thus overloading your muscles and forcing them to adapt and grow stronger. For optimal results, try working the same muscles for both exercises.
For example, Cycling uses the quads a fair amount, pair with leg presses. The elliptical targets the glute muscles a fair amount, pair with squats.

Supersetting saves time, makes things interesting, incorporates more variety into your workouts and is easy to set up!

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