The Science of Supersets

Another effective way to increase the intensity of your workouts in limited time is by incorporating supersets.  A superset is a combination of two exercises done back to back with little to no rest in between. Supersets can be done with opposing muscle groups (bis and tris), alternating muscle groups (legs/arms) or a single muscle group to achieve that “burn out” effect.  You can program supersets into any type of workout - full body, upper/lower splits, push/pull splits - pick your poison!

The idea behind using supersets in your workout is to decrease rest time between exercises, which not only increases the intensity of your workout but allows you to do the same amount of work in less time. Try to avoid unilateral (single side) exercises and instead focus on compound movements that work multiple muscle groups.  When performing full body superset workouts, start with the larger muscle groups (legs) and end with the smaller (bis/tris).

For someone who is only able to workout 3-4 days a week, supersets are a great approach to help build muscle or even just break through a plateau.

I love using supersets in my workouts when I know I have limited gym time.  You can do a full body workout in under 30 minutes.  Because of the decreased rest between exercises, you have the added bonus of a built in cardio workout too!

Here are 3 examples of full body superset workouts.  Complete 15 reps of each exercise back to back for 3 rounds before moving on to the next set.  Rest 1 minute between sets.

Opposing Muscle Groups

Superset 1

Back Squats

Romanian Deadlifts

Superset 2

Bench Press

Bentover Rows

Superset 3

Shoulder Press

Lat Pulldowns

Superset 4

Bicep Curls

Tricep Kickbacks

Similar Muscle Groups

Superset 1

StiffLeg Deadlifts

Hamstring Curls

Superset 2

Bench Press

Chest Flies

Superset 3

Hammer Curls

Biceps Curls

Superset 4

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Tricep Dips

Alternating Muscle Groups

Superset 1

Squats

Pull Ups

Superset 2

Deadlifts

Push Ups

Superset 3

Walking Lunges

Military Press

Superset 4

Calf Raises

Hammer Curls

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