Anyone who’s now getting into the fitness lifestyle, tend to follow the normal path and focus on the basics. This is very good for progress and to prevent injury, but as one progresses, they need to venture off into other aspects of weight lifting that can yield some awesome results.
Generally, we focus on doing one exercise, for 1 set, with one body part and then break for 45-60 seconds and then move onto the same body part, doing the same exercise. With supersets, you’re going to be allowed to continuously work on a particular muscle group, but utilize another exercise for that body part.
There are different variations to supersets to make it more challenging as time goes by and to also make it more interesting, basically tricking your body into continuously growing to adapt to the new challenges and never become stagnant and stalling from the lack of new stimulation. For this article though, I am going to focus on the basic premise behind supersets and the basic routine that goes along with it. Later on, I will expand with other forms of supersets in other articles in the future.
If you are interested in incorporating supersets into your routine, I suggest you continue reading! 🙂
Superset is basically doing 2 exercises one after the other, that generally train either the same or alternating muscle after the initial set. For example, if you focus on doing barbell bicep curls, after that one set is over, you immediately go and work on dumbbell alternate bicep curls and then rest for 60 seconds to 90 seconds.
This is the basic format of using supersets. Like I mentioned, you can do an alternating muscle group but that would be discussed later. What you want to take from this article is that superset is basically, multiple sets that are performed, right after the other. This yet again, is generally only 2 exercises, for 1 set then rest and repeat for 3 sets, with a total of 6 sets for that one routine (3 for the bb bicep curls and 3 for the db bicep curls). This to provide greater stimulation to the muscles, allowing for sacroplasmic hypertrophy (increase in the sacroplasmic fluid) of the muscles.
Now, I am sure you’re wondering how much reps am I suppose to do? When I first heard of superset, it provided a rep range of 10 for one exercise and 20 for the other. But, the 10 reps was with a descent amount of weight that you can do the 10 reps with, and the 20 reps was done by a weight that was a little less. So for example, if you are doing the bicep barbell curls and you’re using 60 lbs for 10 reps, you pick up the 20 lb dumbbells or 30 lb dumbbells, which ever feels fairly light for you and pump out 20 reps.
Remember, to stretch nicely after each set, and rest for about 60-90 seconds. If you need more rest, then take it but I don’t really suggest resting for more than 2 minutes while doing these. The point is to work upon the failure of the last set, at least in this form of supersetting.
You can easily use this format, throughout your workout, to reduce the amount of time you’re in the gym or you can use it on body parts you really feel you are lagging on. For a beginner, I’d suggest just doing this on a body part you really want to catch up with the rest of your body. I wouldn’t suggest this for your whole routine for that particular day, although you can do that. Just make sure to note how much sets and exercises you want to accomplish and go for it. Generally beginners are not sure how much volume is required for them to gain muscle mass, this is why I was advising to gradually get into a whole routine with this, with just a few exercises for that day being from supersetting.
Normally, back in the day, I’d focus more on supersetting my chest and my back. But I figured out that I only needed 3 exercises to workout my biceps back in the day. Now it’s moved to 4, but this is from assessing my gains and figuring out which works for me over time.
Again, remember the volume that you are using, if you’re doing supersets. If you have decided initially that you want to do 12 sets per body part, you’ve already reached 6 sets if you’re doing 3 sets per exercise during your superset. This gives you 2 more separate exercises to do, that’s 3 sets each, or 1 more superset session. Always remember and record what you’re doing so that you know that you’re not just blowing our fumes after hitting high set numbers and not even stimulating the muscles anymore.
I hope this was helpful and that you can utilize supersets into your routine. It’s an awesome training protocol or system you can use, to stimulate some excellent growth. Next time, I will focus on the alternating muscle groups, which you can look forward to reading in the One Set Bicep and One Set Tricep article. 🙂Read More »